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Arctic Environments, Lake Mud and Climate Change

A Window on the Past and a View to the Future

Dr. John P. Smol

ABSTRACT: Striking and often unprecedented ecological changes have occurred in arctic regions over the last 100-150 years. These changes have important implications for all parts of our planet. Potential global warming is predicted to be greatest in high-latitude regions. As a result, attention has been directed towards the use of arctic lakes and ponds as monitoring sites. Fortunately, lakes archive a tremendously important library of information of past changes in their sediments. What do these lakes tell us about our changing environment and about global warming? Is the environment changing? If so, why and by how much? What are the causes of these changes?

THE SPEAKER: John P. Smol, B.Sc (McGill), M.Sc. (Brock), Ph.D. (Queen's), FRSC is a professor in the Dept. of Biology at Queen's University, where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. John also co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), a group of over 20 students and scientists dedicated to the study of global environmental change, especially as it relates to lake ecosystems. John has authored about 320 journal publications since 1980, as well as completed 15 books. He is the Editor of the international Journal of Paleolimnology and the journal Environmental Reviews, and is on the editorial boards of a number of other journals. In December 2004, Prof. Smol was awarded the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal, as Canada's top scientist or engineer. Since 1990, he has received over 20 other national and international research and teaching awards, including an NSERC Steacie Fellowship, the 1992 Steacie Prize, a Canada Council Killam Fellowship, the Geological Association of Canada Past-Presidents' Medal, the Botanical Society of America Darbaker Prize, the Rigler Prize from the Society of Canadian Limnology, the Royal Society of Canada Miroslaw Romanowski Medal, and an NSERC Award of Excellence.

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