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Seminar: Dr. Stanley Riggs, East Carolina University
January 27, 2016 @ 3:35 pm - 4:35 pm
North Carolina’s Coastal System: An Incredible Record of Dynamic Climate Change (Host: Brent McKee) Dr. Riggs will discuss the geologic and climatic changes in a cascading scale that begins with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean about 200 million years ago to building the Atlantic Continental Margin as the Earth transitioned from the Cretaceous “Hot House” to the Quaternary “Ice House”. He will then zero in on the evolution from the last glacial maximum to the ongoing interglacial climatic shifts in sea level and storms that are rapidly modifying our modern coastal system and severely impacting the coastal economy.
As long as we have an Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina will have a coastal system—it just won’t be in the same place or be characterized by the same geologic or climatic conditions as our present coastal system at this moment in time. “Change is the only constant in our dynamic coastal system!”
Bio: Dr. Stanley Riggs received a BS degree from Beloit College, MA degree from Dartmouth College, and PhD from the University of Montana. He is a stratigrapher, sedimentologist, and economic geologist with expertise in coastal and marine systems. He has been doing research on ancient and modern coastal systems since 1964 and has been on the faculty at East Carolina University since 1967. His research extends from the Cretaceous to the modern sediment systems including inland rivers, lakes, and pocosins; the estuarine and barrier island systems; and seaward across the continental shelf with special focus on the inter-relationships between the environmental dynamics, natural resources, and human civilization. Dr. Riggs has been actively involved in many coastal and natural resource issues ranging from the international to local levels, along with appointments to many federal and state commissions, task forces, panels, and committees. These appointments, as well as most of his research and publications, have dealt directly with integrating scientific understanding with utilization and management of critical issues including climate change and sea-level rise, shoreline erosion and land loss, inlet dynamics and habitat preservation, water quality and quantity, and energy and mineral resources.