Skip to main content
Honors Colloquium


This bibliography is by no means all inclusive but will be a dynamic site where readings are offered for those interested in deeper investigation of a given speaker's work or related topics.



California Air Resources Board web site concerning AB32-Chair Mary Nichols California's major initiatives for reducing climate change or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are outlined in Assembly Bill. These efforts aim at reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 - a reduction of about 25 percent, and then an 80 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2050.

Jeremy B. C. Jackson

Ecological extinction and evolution in the brave new ocean. The great mass extinctions of the fossil record were a major creative force that provided entirely new kinds of opportunities for the subsequent explosive evolution and diversification of surviving clades. Today, the synergistic effects of human impacts are laying the groundwork for a comparably great Anthropocene mass extinction in the oceans with unknown ecological and evolutionary consequences. Proceedings of National Academy, Aug 11, 2008

What was natural in the coastal oceans? Humans transformed Western Atlantic coastal marine ecosystems before modern ecological investigations began. Paleoecological, archeological, and historical reconstructions demonstrate incredible losses of large vertebrates and oysters from the entire Atlantic coast. Untold Proceedings of National Academy, Aug 11, 2008.

Elizabeth Kolbert
The Climate of Man - I [Abstract from Annals of Sciance], about the effect of global warming on the Arctic. Part one of a three-part series. New Yorker, April 25, 2005.

The Climate of Man - II [Abstract from Annals of Sciance], about paleoclimatology and the use of geolocigal and archaeological data and climate models to predict changes in the earth’s climate. Second of a three-part New Yorker, May 02, 2005

The Climate of Man - III [Abstract from Annals of Sciance], about global warming and the Bush Administration. Part three of a three-part series. New Yorker, May 09, 2005

Michael E. Mann

The Value of Multiple Proxies. Reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperatures in past centuries provide evidence that the warming of the late 20th century is unprecedented in at least the past millennium (1–4). But how are these reconstructions obtained? And how reliable are they? SCIENCE VOL 297 30 AUGUST 2002

Climate Over Past Millennia. Jones, P.D., Mann, M.E. Evidence for climate change over the past several millennia from instrumental and high-resolution climate ‘‘proxy’’ data sources and climate modeling studies, a focus on changes over the past 1 to 2 millennia. Reviews of Geophysics, 42, RG2002, 2004.

Charles Mann

1491. Before it became the New World, the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought—an altogether more salubrious place to live at the time than, say, Europe. New evidence of both the extent of the population and its agricultural advancement leads to a remarkable conjecture: the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.

Robert Socolow

Good enough tools for global warming policy making
. We present a simple analysis of the global warming problem caused by the emissions of CO2 (a major greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. We provide quantitative tools which enable policymakers and interested citizens to explore the following issues central to the global warming problem.

A plan to keep Carbon in Check. R. H. Socolow* and S. H. Lam. Scientifc American, September 2006. Getting a grip on greenhouse gases is daunting but doable. The technologies already exist. But there is no time to lose.

General References

International Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. The IPCC prepares at regular intervals comprehensive Assessment Reports of scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, potential impacts of climate change and options for mitigation and adaptation. Four Assessment Reports have been completed in 1990, 1995, 2001 and 2007. The Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007" is composed of 4 volumes and various contributions. The fourth and last volume - the Synthesis report - was launched in November 2007.

The Discovery of Global Warming. This Website created by Spencer Weart supplements his much shorter book, which tells the history of climate change research as a single story.

RealClimate. Commentary on climate science news by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists.

Pew Center on Global Cliamte Change. This year, the Center celebrates 10 years of working as a leading voice for climate action to provide credible information.

National Geographic Magazine Online Climate Connections Hub.

Sites Specifically for Teachers

Climate Change and Our Planet. NOAA Education - Coolsites for Everyone. Educational graphics on Global Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect. This site can help teachers with more than 50 figures to graphically depict climate change.

Thinking Through Climate Change. West Midlands Regional Broadband Consortia. Links to view and / or print relevant Teachers' Notes as PDF files. Responses to Climate Change, Extension Opportunities, etc.

Teachers Guide on Climate Change and Global Warming. Given all this confusion and controversy, it is particularly important that teachers and students have access to reliable information about climate change.

Hundreds of links to great resources at

Please visit for current colloquium information and directions, or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or

Major Sponsor:

The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation

Sustaining Sponsors:

URI Office of the President; URI Honors Program; The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment; The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment.

Leadership Sponsors:

URI Graduate School of Oceanography and URI College of Arts and Sciences.


Environmental Data Center, URI Department of Natural Resources Science; R.I. Center for the Book at Providence Public Library; R.I. Office of Library and Information Services; R.I. Sea Grant College Program; U.S. E.P.A. Office of Research and Development, Atlantic Ecology Division; URI Classroom Media Services; URI Coastal Institute; URI College of Business Administration; URI College of Engineering; URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences; URI College of Human Science and Services; URI College of Nursing; URI College of Pharmacy; URI Division of Student Affairs; URI Division of University Advancement and the URI Alumni Association; URI Foundation; URI Office of the Provost; URI Office of the Vice President for Administration; URI Office of the Vice Provost for Information Technology Services; URI University College.

Colloquium Coordinators:

Professor Steven D'Hondt, Graduate School of Oceanography;
Professor Arthur Spivack, Graduate School of Oceanography;
Professor Judith Swift, Theatre and Communication Studies.

For information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact Tom Zorabedian at 401-874-2853 or