Ricky Ochilo, staff writer
Warren Wilson College will welcome renowned researcher and biochemist William H. Schlesinger on Feb. 13 to speak on the issue of climate change and environmental chemistry. Schlesinger has been conducting research for at least 30 years focusing specifically on environmental chemistry, which involves the analysis of chemical and biochemical trends that occur in natural places and their resulting effects on surrounding areas.Some of the work Schlesinger has done so far has dealt with the effects of trees and soil on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The study offers an interesting perspective since it aims to understand how uncontaminated environments work, the chemicals in the air and respective concentration levels, as well as their natural occurrence. Moreover, Schlesinger’s study provides information that gives insight about humans’ effects on the environment through the release of certain chemicals.
Likewise, Schlesinger will talk about how society can begin harnessing their potential toward conservation given the rising population levels in accordance with increased resource use. Schlesinger’s investigative study has also looked at the effect of carbon sequestration. He proposes that sequestration can be used as a way to control the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thereby reducing the threat of global warming.
The presentation is part of a larger project called the Head Waters Gathering, which will take place from March 27-29 at the College. The project is premised on climate change issues and centered on the theme, “Southern Appalachia at the Crossroads: A Call to Action.”
Schlesinger is former dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He also served as president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. in 2007. In addition, he is the former Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and has been published in numerous scientific journals.