Penn Distinguished Professor selected for Krause Lecture Series

Marshal Lester headshot

Dr. Marsha Lester, Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss climate change during the 2017 Ellis L. and Jennie Mae Krause Lecture in Science at Marietta College.

She will discuss, “Climate Change: Chemistry, International Assessment and Policy,” at 7:00 p.m., Monday, March 6th in the Alma McDonough Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“The focus will be on the underlying chemistry associated with climate change: sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, and how these gases trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere,” Lester said. “Information will be drawn from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC Fifth Assessment, Physical Science Basis), chemistry textbooks, and publically accessible databases of greenhouse gas emissions, including a breakdown by country, and the global temperature record.”

Lester added that the talk is based on years of teaching a course on chemistry of the environment to non-science majors at Penn.

“Climate change is a very complex subject. I think that having an expert on the subject present her work in a way that everyone, not just scientists, can understand is a valuable public service,” said Dr. Jim Jeitler, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Marietta. “She is a woman who is a recognized expert in the hard sciences. I feel very strongly about promoting role models like Dr. Lester.”

Lester, who is joining the College as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Lecturer, will provide up-to-date data on the changing environment and she will discuss recent international agreements — like the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Action.

“Impacts on the environment to date, including melting ice caps and rising sea levels, and future predictions of climate change will be explored,” Lester said. “The environmental and energy policies proposed by presidential and congressional candidates, along with what individuals can do to reduce their carbon footprint, will be discussed and debated.”

Lester is editor-in-chief of "The Journal of Chemical Physics" and founding member of the Penn Forum for Women Faculty. Her research group has developed innovative methods for stabilizing ‘entrance channel complexes’ and reaction intermediates of environmental significance.

The lecture series, which began in 2002, is supported by gifts from the late Dr. Richard M. Krause ’47, the son of E.L. and Jennie Mae Krause. Dr. Krause served on the College’s Board of Trustees for 22 years.