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Paul Mayewski, director of the Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies at the University of Maine and chief scientist and expedition leader for the U.S. International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE), will speak at Colby College in Waterville on Tuesday, February 18, at 7 p.m. Mayewski will speak about the ITASE, a traverse of 5,000 kilometers of Antarctica over four years to record 200 years of climate and environmental change. The lecture will be held in room 100 of Lovejoy Building and is open to the public free of charge.

Mayewski has pursued his research in climate change and change in the chemistry of the atmosphere by collecting snow samples and ice cores from throughout Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. Between 1999 and 2002, scientists from 19 countries traversed Antarctica for ITASE, collecting ice cores and gathering data to describe climate and environmental change. The ice core records provide detailed historical descriptions of climate change, which can be compared against records collected at weather stations around the world. Mayewski has served as field leader of all four U.S. ITASE teams since the project began in 1999, including for the 2002-03 team, which finished its research in January. In addition to being director of the Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies at the University of Maine, he is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences.

Mayewski has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and his papers have been instrumental in understanding a wide range of scientific problems including the chemistry of the remote atmosphere, the ozone hole, identification of massive and rapid change in climate, controls on climate change and storm activity.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Mayewski earned his undergraduate degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo and received his Ph.D in 1973 from the Institute of Polar Studies at Ohio State University. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, a fellow and citation winner in the Explorers Club and is a member of several international committees, including the International Geosphere Biosphere Program and the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research.