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News Release

Date: March 29, 2006
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College-Germantown to Host Talk about Polar Ice Caps
Climatologist to Discuss Changes in Ice Covers of Arctic, Antarctic on April 12

Dr. Claire Parkinson, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, will speak at Montgomery College-Germantown on Wednesday, April 12, as part of its 2005-2006 Spectrum Lecture Series. Her talk, entitled “The Changing Sea Ice Covers of the Arctic and Antarctic as Revealed from Satellite Observations,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Globe Hall, which is located in the High Technology and Science Center, 20200 Observation Drive, Germantown, Md. This event is free and open to the public.

Over the past several decades, concerns have been raised about global climate change and its consequences. One such concern has dealt with the polar sea ice in both Arctic and Antarctic. Spreading over millions of square miles of polar surface, these ice covers have huge impacts on the climate and ecosystems of both regions. The life cycles of polar bears, penguins, human and vast numbers of other plant and animal life forms living in those regions are profoundly affected by the covers and the changes occurring in them.

Like all Spectrum Lectures, Dr. Parkinson’s lecture is designed for a non-scientific audience, enabling scientists, students, and the community to learn about ground-breaking advancements in science. She will summarize what is currently understood about the Earth’s sea ice covers, their environmental significance, the changes they are undergoing, and their connection to the rest of the earth’s climate system.

Dr. Parkinson has been a climatologist at NASA since 1978, with research emphasis on sea ice and its connections to the climate system and climate change. Since 1993, she has been the project scientist for the Aqua satellite mission. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and has a Ph.D. in climatology from Ohio State University.

For questions or to request accommodations for physical disability, please contact Professor Robert Coley at 301-353-7798.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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