Richard Fairbanks '73, Dale Chayes '73, Miriam Katz '81 and Peter deMenocal '82
Doctor of Science
An early signer of the President's Climate Commitment, St. Lawrence signals further its recognition of this critical world issue by awarding honorary Doctor of Science degrees to four alumni who have distinguished themselves by contributing significantly to the world's growing understanding of climate change. All four have done their work at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
Richard Fairbanks '72 has been at the center of oceanographic and paleoclimatic studies. A pioneer in the study of deepwater circulation, his documentation of the importance of air-sea exchange in modifying the carbon isotope chemistry of surface and intermediate waters and his instrumentation for streamlining analytic spectroscopy have made possible the data of modern global climate study.
Dale Chayes '73 has enabled many major oceanographic mapping, bottom profiling and submarine research cruises during the past 36 years. He has worked with numerous U.S. and foreign academic and government research organizations and sailed on over 100 research cruises contributing to a broad range of oceanographic insights intended to enhance human understanding of the Earth. His efforts have led to improved understanding of the Arctic, one of the most important ecosystems as climate change threatens.
Paleoceanographer and micropaleontologist Miriam Katz '81 utilizes the marine geological record to reconstruct past extreme climate events, changes in mean climate state and normal climate variability. Her contributions include modeling the geological carbon cycle and documenting the sedimentary response to sea-level change. Her recent research has focused on the extreme global warming event that occurred 55 million years ago, providing the opportunity to examine the system response to climate and greenhouse gas changes that occurred at rates similar to modern changes.
As a paleoceanographer and marine geologist, Peter deMenocal '82 is at the frontier of climate research. That frontier is using geochemical analyses of ocean sediments to develop long and detailed records of ocean temperature and climate changes spanning past millennia. His objective is to place recent historical climate variations within the context of longer records over the recent geologic past, as a way to understand the causes and impacts of climate change.