Keynote — Wednesday, November 5, 2008
John J. Magnuson
Emeritus Professor of Zoology and Limnology, UW-Madison
Climate Change: Local to Global and Back Again
Ballroom D and E
This year’s keynote speaker will be John J. Magnuson, an Emeritus Professor of Zoology and Limnology and past Director of the Center for Limnology at UW-Madison, and an expert of global climate change. While Climate Change is global in extent, the impacts are felt locally and can provide strong evidence for climate change. Ice cover of Lake Mendota and other Wisconsin lakes are as useful as a miner’s canary, and when combined with global ice information can indicate global warming. Magnuson is a member of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace prize in 2007 for its science synthesis (this is the prize most often associated with former Vice President Al Gore). Its analyses reveal that the pattern of change in temperature and precipitation are heterogeneous around the world. These differences point to markedly different impacts in different regions of the globe. The challenges of climate change are to mitigate the causes to reduce the magnitude of change and to adapt to the inevitable changes that are occurring. In Wisconsin the Governors Task Force is considering the mitigation issues and the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) is considering adaptation. Both require action and taking a long-term view.
He earned his BS and MS from the University of Minnesota-St. Paul in fish and wildlife management and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, Canada, in zoology with a minor in oceanography. He joined the faculty in 1968 and taught Limnology and Ecology of Fishes. At Madison, he taught Limnology and Ecology of Fishes and mentored graduate students in aquatic ecology. He was one of the co-chairs of the Waters of Wisconsin Project for the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters (2001-03) and is a member of the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, and a Co-chair of the Council for the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. He played a lead role in the lakes and streams portions of the 1995 and 2001 Assessments by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as the Union of Concerned Scientist’s “Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region.” He is presently co-chair of the “Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts." His most recent book, Long-Term Dynamics of Lakes in the Landscape by Magnuson, Kratz, and Benson, was published by Oxford University Press in 2006. John Magnuson’s research interests are in long-term regional ecology, aquatic ecology & climate change and variability, biodiversity and invasions, and fish and fisheries ecology.
Dr. Magnuson will put a local face on this global issue, and help us understand how what we do locally can have either positive or negative effects.