Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

All day
Before 01
CSTPR Noontime Seminar

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

Climate and congress: The making of a citizen by Grant Couch, Citizen's Climate Lobby

This talk will be available via live webcast. To view the live webcast please go to Adobe Connect and login as a guest.

Grant Couch is the founder of the Conservative Caucus within Citizens Climate Lobby - a national, non-partisan group advocating for a national price on CO2 and other GhGs. Until he left full-time work Grant never gave “global warming” much thought. However after studying the issue he became convinced it is a critical reality that needs US leadership to create a solution. Today’s talk will cover his personal journey as a life-long, fiscal conservative who moved from  apathy to action on climate. Some of the issues to be covered include: Is there a meaningful solution - with a viable political path?  Is non-partisan citizen lobbying possible on such a politically polarized issue? How does Congress really work? What does it mean to be a citizen? 

Grant CouchBiography: Grant graduated from Lehigh University in 1971 with an MBA and a BS in Mechanical Engineering and worked in the financial services industry at a number of Wall Street firms.  He retired from full-time work in the financial industry in 2008 as the President & COO of Countrywide Securities Corp and moved to Boulder in 2008 to be the CEO of Louisville-based Sounds True until 2010.  He retired in 2015 as the Chairman of the Bank of Manhattan and Manhattan Bancorp.  Grant is currently a member of the investment committee of Aravaipa, a Colorado-based, impact technology VC fund and he serves on the Board of Zen Peacemakers International.  He is also a Zen teacher in the Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi lineage.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm


CSTPR Conference Room

Event Type



Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Paleo-environmental studies on permafrost deposits in western Beringia - from field sampling to lab analysis to regional synthesis by Lutz Schirrmeister, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Periglacial Research Unit, Potsdam


The Department of Periglacial Research of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research is studying permafrost deposits as paleo-environmental archives. We have been working on this topic successfully with collaborators from Russia and North America for more than 20 years: Starting in the 1990’s in Siberia on Taymyr Peninsula, we continued with field studies further east along the Laptev Sea and East Siberian coasts, in Central Yakutia, as well as on the Chukotka Peninsula. In addition, in the early 2000’s we started field investigations of permafrost deposits in Alaska and Northwest Canada. 

In the beginning of my presentation I will provide a short introduction about our institute, especially the Periglacial Research unit, located in AWI’s Potsdam site near Berlin. Based on my almost 20 years’ experience in the periglacial department I will then focus on my own research field and projects. Starting with some visual impressions of field work in Siberia, I will show the conditions of sample collection and field measurements, and how these conditions have changed during the last two decades. Sampling of permafrost outcrops and cores as well as sampling of unfrozen active layer and lake sediments resulted in a broad range of sample materials from a diverse set of cryostratigraphies, which we used for different sedimentological, geochronological, hydrochemical, mineralogical, and paleoecolgoical studies in order to reconstruct periglacial paleoenvironments in our research area.

Using this multidisciplinary approach, we are able to reconstruct paleo-environmental conditions for the last 200.000 years at several Arctic sites. We use such windows into the past as an analogue to future warming, and reconstruction of the landscape for improved process understanding (e.g. soil, plants, geomorphology). Our focus is largely on the late Pleistocene and Holocene periods covering the last 50.000 years. During this period, large areas in northeastern Siberia, northern Alaska, and northwest Canada were not glaciated, including during the ice age. This region, including the Arctic shelf regions subaerially exposed during the late Pleistocene, is called Beringia. 

I will present results from our studies covering old pre-Eemian (Sangamon) permafrost with large ice wedges, which were partially thawed during the interglacial warming ca. 125.000 years ago. I was able to study ice wedge casts including interglacial lake deposits and flood plain sediments deposited during the early Weichselian (Wisconsinan), as well as ice-rich permafrost, called Yedoma (mid and late Wisconsian). Finally there was a great change in the landscape geomorphology and environmental conditions induced by the warming period at the late Pleistocene Holocene transition. This period in Beringia was marked by 

  • the extinction of the mammoth fauna and the connected tundra-steppe flora
  • the rise of the global sea level and the flooding of the Arctic shelves
  • the restructuring of the hydrological networks because of thawing of large Yedoma Ice Complex areas, and
  • the formation of the modern periglacial tundra landscapes with numerous thermokarst lakes and basins as well as thermo-erosional gullies.

Finally, I will give an outlook on current research and future work of our group at the Periglacial Research unit of AWI with a particular focus on permafrost organic carbon dynamics in the Yedoma region as well as modern ecological analogues to fossil bio-indicators.

To join by ZOOM: 
From a computer:
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US: +16465588656,,5409618610#
Or Telephone, Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: 1-646-558-8656 
Meeting ID: 540 961 8610
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017
11:00am to 12:00pm


East Campus, RL-2, Room 155

Event Type


Science Communication Workshop for Grad Students

Science Communication Workshop for Grad Students

COMPASS Message Box Training

This workshop by COMPASS is intended for graduate students in geography/geology/biology/related departments and institutes who want to learn how to better communicate their science to different audiences.  If you are planning to attend, please RSVP to Chelsea Nagy ( by Friday 10/20/17 with your name and department affiliation.  Please feel free to bring your own lunch to the event. 

This COMPASS science communication training will help participants share what they do, what they know - and most importantly, why it matters - in clear, lively terms. Grounded in the latest research on science communication, this training is designed to help participants find the relevance of their science for the audiences they most want to reach — journalists, policymakers, the public, and even other scientists.
Participants will be introduced to The Message Box- COMPASS' most fundamental tool no matter who you are preparing to communicate with. The Message Box is a powerful tool to help distill what you know and why it matters for your particular audience. There will be time for hands on practice with your peers, and an interactive exercise practicing your "elevator pitch” to explain to others what you do in 30 seconds.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017
12:00pm to 1:30pm


CIRES Auditorium