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News Release

Western Washington University

Don Easterbrook, (360) 650-3583,
Scott Linneman, (360) 650-7207,

12 October 2006

WWU Professors to Present at National Geology Meeting Easterbrook Challenges Global Warming Predictions, Linneman to Discuss Science Education Programs

BELLINGHAM - Western Washington University professors Don Easterbrook and Scott Linneman will present their research at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Philadelphia Oct. 22 to 25.

Western Professor Emeritus Don Easterbrook will present his paper, "The Cause of Global Warming and Predictions for the Coming Century," on Monday, Oct. 23.

He will outline 10 abrupt climate changes during the past 15,000 years that have implications for understanding present-day global warming. Easterbrook predicts that temperatures should cool between 2065 until 2100, and that global temperatures at the end of the century should be less than 1 degree cooler than at present. This is in contrast to other theories that there will be a warming by as much as 10 degrees by 2100.

Easterbrook will raise the question, "Global Warming: Are we heading for global catastrophe in the coming century?" in a talk Tuesday, Oct. 24. Easterbrook challenges the theory that the global warming of the past century was caused by human input of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Although atmospheric carbon dioxide rose sharply between 1945 and 1980, global cooling occurred and temperatures actually declined. If atmospheric carbon dioxide is not the cause of global warming, Easterbrook says, the computer models predicting global catastrophe are meaningless.

Also on Tuesday, Oct. 24, Scott Linneman, a WWU associate professor of geology and science education, will present sessions about two of Western's groundbreaking teacher education programs.

In "Preparing Future Elementary Teachers That Will Teach Earth Science," Linneman will describe the North Cascades Olympic Science Partnership (NCOSP), which brought together 29 school districts and area community colleges to improve science education through teacher training. During the past three summers, 160 teachers participated in a Summer Academy at Western, where they practiced "science immersion" and collaborated on curricula for pre-service teachers.

In his second talk, "GK-12 Fellows as Catalysts for Reform of Science Education," Linneman will discuss the successes of a Western fellowship program that put science graduate students in middle school science classrooms. The Catalysts for Reform fellowship program, sponsored by a $1.9 million National Science Foundation grant, enriches the science learning experience for middle school students and helps the WWU fellows improve their communication and teaching skills.