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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » Natural History Survey Annual Meeting: “Varves, Palaeomagnetism, and Radiocarbon”
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Events &Lectures &News RINHS on 21 Sep 2007 03:53 pm

Natural History Survey Annual Meeting: “Varves, Palaeomagnetism, and Radiocarbon”

Date: 21 September 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kira Stillwell, 401-874-5800

Geologist, Expert on the History of Glaciers in New England, to speak at Natural History Survey Annual Meeting

Kingston, RI: The Rhode Island Natural History Survey will host a lecture entitled Varves, Palaeomagnetism, and Radiocarbon: Formulating a Detailed History of the Last Ice Age in New England by geologist Jack Ridge, Thursday, September 27th, at 7:30 p.m., at the Coastal Institute building on the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus. This lecture is the first event in the Survey’s 2007-2008 Mark D. Gould Memorial Lecture Series. The lecture will be preceded by the Survey’s 13th annual meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. The annual meeting will include a look back at events and discoveries of the past year and a preview of new projects coming up. Both the lecture and the annual meeting are free and open to the public. The entire program will take place in Weaver Auditorium at the Coastal Institute on URI’s Kingston Campus.

At 7:30 p.m., Dr. Jack Ridge, Professor of Geology at Tufts University, will speak on “Varves, Palaeomagnetism, and Radiocarbon: Formulating a Detailed History of the Last Ice Age in New England.” Through extensive field investigations, Ridge succeeded in securely dating the retreat of the glaciers that covered New England during the last glaciation. For any point in New England, the departure of the glaciers marked the beginning of ecological processes that still determine much of our local environment today so dating this sequence was an important breakthrough. Ridge has been able to trace subtle fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field in “varves,” fine-grained sediments deposited in lakes near retreating glaciers. By combining advanced radiocarbon dating techniques with the known history of magnetic fluctuations, Ridge created a detailed history of glacial retreat in New England between 22,000 and 11,000 years ago.

The lecture will be preceded, at 5:30 p.m., by the Survey’s 13th annual meeting, which is open to the public. During the meeting, executive director David Gregg and president of the board Peter Paton will update RINHS members and the public on the role of the Survey in the course of environmental science and management in Rhode Island in the past year and discuss plans for the future.

The entire evening is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will precede the lecture. For more information and directions call 401-874-5800, email: programadmin@rinhs.org or visit www.rinhs.org

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey, founded in 1994, serves as a non-profit, umbrella organization for ecological information in Rhode Island. It gathers and disseminates information on RI’s biology, geology, and ecosystems, manages the Biota of Rhode Island Information System (BORIIS), the most complete source of information available on the state’s animals, plants, and natural communities, and hosts events to highlight the state’s biodiversity and the work of researchers and naturalists. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Rhode Island’s plants and animals.

(Pleistocene age varves at Scarboro Cliffs, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The thickest varves are more than half an inch thick. Source: Wikipedia)

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