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DWU announces Carhart Lecturer on climate change

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Carhart Lecture, Feb. 20,

This year’s Carhart Lecture at Dakota Wesleyan University will discuss the extent of and possible solutions to climate change.

Dr. Charles “Chuck” Kutscher, of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., will give the lecture, “Climate Change: How Bad Is It and What Can We Do About It?” on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. in Java City and again at 7 p.m. in the Sherman Center. These lectures are free and open to the public.

Kutscher is the director of the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He will review some of the latest scientific findings on climate change and discuss the various solutions. His presentation will focus on why decarbonizing the building sector is so important, and he will review the various research projects that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is pursuing to address this. A key is the development of zero-carbon buildings and urban districts, and he will describe several projects that are underway.

“At a time when science, particularly climate science, is often in the news but not always taken seriously, understanding how humans can use technology to slow the effects of climate change is particularly important. Dr. Kutscher’s work is groundbreaking in this respect,” said Dr. Brian Patrick, associate professor of biology at DWU. “Through his presentation, I hope that people will understand that climate change is real, that humans are the cause, and that we can affordably slow climate change through investment in renewable resources instead of our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Kutscher has led research programs in solar heating and cooling, building energy efficiency, solar industrial process heat, geothermal power, and concentrating solar power. He is a fellow of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and served as the society’s chair in 2000 and 2001. He was the chair of two major conferences: the SOLAR 2006 National Solar Energy Conference, and the 2012 World Renewable Energy Forum. He led the ASES study, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S., which detailed how energy efficiency and six renewable energy technologies could greatly reduce U.S carbon emissions by 2030. He is also the lead author of the forthcoming third edition of the college textbook, “Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems.” He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Colorado School of Mines. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the State University of New York at Albany, N.Y.; his Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ill.; and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The Carhart Lectures were endowed by DWU alumnus Homer Carhart ’36, whose engineering firm provided services to the armed forces for many years. Carhart served on the panel of experts who investigated the explosion aboard the spaceship Challenger.