Professors to discuss melting Arctic ice


Friday’s session of the Delaware Great Decisions Series, which will take place virtually at noon, will focus on “Struggles Over the Melting Arctic.”

This week’s program will be presented by professors Nathan Amador Rowley and Erinn Patrick Nicley. Rowley is associate professor of geology and geography at Ohio Wesleyan University, while Nicley is associate professor of political science and geography at Western Governors University.

A specialist on the topic of global warming and declining ice, Rowley has spent time above the Arctic Circle, where the ice melt is creating opportunities for access to resources.

A press release for the program states these new opportunities has created “competition amongst the nations, especially Russia, which already has a fairly large population north of the Arctic Circle.” Other counties involved include the U.S., Canada and other Scandinavian countries.

Rowley and Nicley will discuss the effect of ice melt above the Arctic Circle, and how countries can work together, rather than competitively, in accessing the valuable resoures, the press release states.

Rowley holds degrees from The Ohio State University (B.S. and M.Sc.) and Penn State University (Ph.D.). His research focus is on the earth-atmospheric interactions, looking at atmospheric circulation patterns and their effect on the proliferation of surface melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet. While at OWU, his research has expanded to evaluating landscape change using satellite and drone imagery in Costa Rica.

An OWU graduate, Nicley completed his master of science degree at Florida State University and his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has taught extensively in geography, sociology, international relations and environmental studies. He also previously served as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State.

The community is invited to join the online Zoom discussions by registering in advance at Individuals who registered previously for one of the Great Decisions programs are already scheduled to receive the link to the event.

The Great Decisions program, a free community discussion series, is designed to encourage debate and discussion of the role of the United States in world affairs. The program provides materials that help people reach informed opinions on issues and encourages them to participate in the foreign-policy process.

Gazette staff

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Information for this story was provided by Rev. Ward “Skip” Cornett, who serves as chair of the Delaware Great Decisions program.

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