Accomplished Alumnus Presents Claritas Lecture in the Sciences

Robert Pickart '81

October 28, 2016

Robert Pickart, a 1981 graduate of Susquehanna University who went on to become a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, will present the 2016 Claritas Distinguished Lecture in the Sciences on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall of the Cunningham Center for Music and Art. The event is free and open to the public.

His lecture, In Search of Sinking Water: Wintertime Fieldwork in the North Atlantic Ocean, will chronicle an expedition to the Labrador Sea to characterize its wintertime sinking, an occurrence found in only select locations around the world, but one that is critical for maintaining the Earth's climate. Pickart is a senior scientist in WHOI's Physical Oceanography Department. He has worked for the research and higher educational facility for more than 30 years. He studies air-sea-ice interaction at high latitudes using a variety of observational techniques.

Pickart, who in 1987 earned a doctorate degree in physical oceanography through a joint program between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and WHOI, is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society. This honor is conferred to a small fraction of society members who have made outstanding, long-term contributions to atmospheric, oceanic or hydrologic science. He was recognized for his research with the society's prestigious Henry Stommel Research Award for "pioneering work in the exploration of high-latitude water masses and currents, and for advancing the understanding of their climatic impact."

He has led dozens of research expeditions over the years and has published more than 100 scholarly articles published in science's most highly respected journals, including Nature and Science.

The Claritas Distinguished Lecture in the Sciences at Susquehanna University was endowed by George E. '64 and Margaret Lauver '66 Harris to support lectures, seminars or residencies by nationally recognized leaders in business, government or education on topics in the public interest. This series brings an accomplished scholar in the sciences to our campus annually for a public address.