September 3, 2021
Our climate is critical to human health, food security, water supply, transportation, energy, and ecosystems. Ice cores represent a unique historical record that deepens our understanding of past climate events, providing tools to better interpret what is happening today and predict future climate conditions. In this seminar, Dr. Criscitiello will share her ice core research and recent discoveries from the far reaches of the Canadian North, and what they tell us about contaminants in our climate and environment. She will discuss sea ice proxy development in ice cores as well as environmental contaminant histories recorded in ice, highlighting the importance of considering ice core records in environmental decision-making.
Dr. Alison Criscitiello is an ice core scientist and high-altitude mountaineer. Criscitiello's research explores the history of sea ice in polar regions using ice core chemistry. She is the Director of the Canadian Ice Core Lab (CICL) at the University of Alberta, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary. She holds a BA in Earth and Environmental Science (Wesleyan University), an MA in Geophysics (Columbia University), and the first PhD in Glaciology ever conferred by MIT. As an alpine climber, she is capable of drilling ice cores in some of the highest, most inhospitable places on our planet. She has been the recipient of three American Alpine Club climbing awards, the Mugs Stump Alpine Award, and the Alpine Club of Canada's John Lauchlan Award. She has been named a National Geographic Explorer and a Fellow of the Explorers Club and Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Alison is also founder and co-director of Girls on Ice Canada, a tuition-free, science-immersion summer wilderness expedition that inspires young women to explore their curiosity in science and the outdoors.