1) Dr. Johnny Waters is co-leader of a United Nations International Geoscience Programme project to study the geologic history of climate change. Waters is a professor of geology in Appalachian State University’s Department of Geology. He is the only person from the United States selected to co-lead the five-year project that will involve more than 60 scientists from 19 countries. Other research sites are in Siberia, the Gobi Desert Africa, Mongolia, Southeast Asia and the United States.
Waters and other scientists are studying the existing fossil record and fossils recovered from selected field sites to determine if there is a correlation between climate change, which they define as temperature change, and changes in the marine ecosystems in the Devonian and Carboniferous periods, which occurred 420 million to 320 million years ago. Their findings will provide data useful in today’s climate change discussion.
2) Dr. Baker Perry from Appalachian State University’s Department of Geography is part of an interdisciplinary team studying climate variability and change in the Andes, specifically the Quelccaya Ice Cap. Perry and others tracking the impact of climate changes in ecosystems, survey plants and animals and see how distribution and species composition is changing over time. The Quelccaya Ice Cap, the largest glacier in the tropics, is located in the Cordillera Vilcanota in southern Peru. By some estimates, the entire area of Cordillera Vilcanota has lost 33 percent of its ice since 1985.
3)Dr. Ellen Cowan from Appalachian State University’s Department of Geology studies glacial-marine sedimentology to document past climate trends to better understand global warming. She has been a research on the Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) and the ANDRILL projects that collected glacimarine sediments off the coast of Antarctica. She also has participated in projects off the coast of Alaska.