Atmospheric Expertise 

From left, Raymond Falconer (founder of the lecture series), Vincent Schaefer (founder of ASRC), Bernard Vonnegut and Duncan Blanchard.

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 21, 2017) – The late Ray Falconer strove to educate and enlighten the public on the wonders of science, nature and the environment.

Falconer, the first full-time employee at the renowned Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), was known as the “Dean of Weather Forecasting.” He was in charge of running the ASRC’s Whiteface Mountain Field Station. Every day, he called in weather forecasts to six or more radio stations. At Whiteface Mountain in 1963, he started a highly successful lecture series on natural history. A decade later, he started the Spring Lecture Series at the University at Albany campus, a series that continues for the community today.

The free public lectures are Tuesday evenings at 8 p.m. in the Sullivan Auditorium in the CESTM building, 251 Fuller Road. This spring’s talks begin tonight and include:

  •  March 21: Raymond G. O’Keefe, National Weather Service, A Warning on Warnings. How do we improve the nation’s response to weather warning?
  • March 28: Michael Kitto, assistant professor, School of Public Health, Occurrence of Radon in Air and Water in New York State. Naturally occurring radon kills an estimated 1,000 New Yorkers a year. Find out more about measuring, mapping and mitigating radon in the air and groundwater of New York homes.
  • April 4: Dr. Joshua R. Ginsberg, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Science in a counterfactual world: why data matters to management.
  •  April 11: Spring break.
  •  April 18: Andrew Newhouse, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse. The Return of the American Chestnut: New Technologies Solving Old Problems. ESF has developed an American chestnut tree that is highly resistant to the chestnut blight that nearly wiped out American chestnuts in the early 20th century.
  • April 25: Lawrence Syzdek, emeritus scientist, ASRC. There’s life in the air. What’s causing my allergies? Szydek will present a survey of common pollen and mold types.
  • May 2: Professor Dennis V. Kent, Rutgers University. Geological Climate Change. This talk will focus on the changes in paleogeography and their effects on the atmosphere.
  • May 9: Dr. Charles Brock, NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colo. Mapping the Formation and Growth of Aerosol Particles from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.