Richard Alley


Department of Geoscience
Penn State University

Presenting Lectures:

“Younger Dryas-Type Abrupt Climate Change: The Case for North Atlantic Causation”
Date: August 13, 2002

“Research Priorities in Abrupt Climate Change: Why We Must Look Beyond the North Atlantic”
Date: August 15, 2002


Dr. Richard B. Alley is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and Associate of the EMS Environment Institute at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. There he teaches and conducts research on the paleoclimatic records, dynamics, and sedimentary deposits of large ice sheets, as a means of understanding the climate system and its history, and projecting future changes in climate and sea level. Dr. Alley has spent three field seasons in Antarctica and five in Greenland. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and has been awarded a Packard Fellowship, a Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Horton Award of the American Geophysical Union Hydrology Section, the Wilson Teaching Award of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the Faculty Scholar Medal of the Pennsylvania State University. His book on abrupt climate change, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was the national Phi Beta Kappa Science Award winner for 2001. Dr. Alley chaired a recent National Research Council study on Abrupt Climate Change, and serves, or has served, on many other advisory panels and steering committees, such as the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council, the Antarctic External Review Panel (the “Augustine Commission”), and the board of directors of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States. He has authored or coauthored more than 120 refereed publications, and his publications have been cited more than 4000 times in the refereed literature. Dr. Alley is married with two children, a ranch house, a cat, a minivan, and two bicycles, and resides in State College, PA, where he coaches recreational soccer and occasionally plays some. He received his Ph.D. in Geology, with a minor in Materials Science, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987, and earned an MSc degree (1983) and BSc degree (1980) in Geology from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.