Organization: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Personal Biography: Compton Tucker, a native of Carlsbad, New Mexico, received his B.S. degree in biological science in 1969 from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. After working for Colorado National Bank in Denver and the First National Bank in Albuquerque, he realized banking was not his cup of tea, and returned to Colorado State University for graduate school in Earth science. He received his M.S in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1975, both from the College of Forestry. In 1975, he came to NASA/Goddard as a National Academy of Sciences post-doctoral fellow, and in 1977 became an employee of NASA. He has used NOAA AVHRR, MODIS, SPOT Vegetation, and Landsat satellite data for studying deforestation, habitat fragmentation, desert boundary determination, ecologically-coupled diseases, terrestrial primary production, glacier extent, and how climate affects global vegetation. He also takes part in NASA’s Space Archaeology Program, leading a group that assists archaeologists mapping ancient sites in Turkey, including Troy and Gordion. He has authored or coauthored more than 160 journal articles that have been cited more than 16,000 times, is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, is a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and has appeared in more than twenty radio and TV programs. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and has been awarded several medals and honors, including NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, the Pecora Award from the US Geological Survey, the National Air and Space Museum Trophy, the Henry Shaw Medal from the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Galathea Medal from the Royal Danish Geographical Society, and the Mongolian Friendship Medal. He was the NASA representative to the US Global Change Research Program from 2006 to 2009.
Lecture Topic: “Global Warming – Are We on Thin Ice?”
The Earth’s climate is determined by irradiance from the Sun and properties of the atmosphere, oceans, and land that determine the reflection, absorption, and emission of energy within our atmosphere and at the Earth’s surface. Since the 1970s, Earth-viewing satellites, operating at frequencies where unique couplings with properties of the Earth exist, have complimented non-satellite geophysical observations with consistent, quantitative, and global measurements that have led to an unprecedented understanding of the Earth’s climate system. He will describe the Earth’s climate system as elaborated by satellite and in situ observations, review arguments against global warming, and show the convergence of evidence for human-caused warming of our planet.