Photo © Thomas Nash 2001
Dr. Lonnie G. Thompson is one of the world's foremost authorities on paleo-climatology and glaciology. He has led more than 50 expeditions during the last 30 years, conducting ice-core drilling programs in the world's polar regions as well as in tropical and subtropical ice fields. Recently, Dr. Thompson and his team developed light-weight solar-powered drilling equipment for the acquisition of histories from ice fields in the high Andes of Peru and on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The results of these histories, published in more that 200 articles, have contributed greatly toward the understanding of the Earth's past, present, and future climate system. Other Thompson-led expeditions have recovered a 460-meter-long ice core, the world's longest from a mountain range (Alaska, 2002); the first tropic ice core (Peru, 1983); and cores containing the entire sequence of the Last Glacial Stage as well as cores dating over 750,000 years in age, the oldest outside the polar regions (Tibet, 1992). Dr. Thompson's research has resulted in major revisions in the field of paleo-climatology, in particular, by demonstrating how tropical regions have undergone significant climate variability, countering an earlier view that higher latitudes dominate climate change. Dr. Thompson has received numerous honors and awards. In 2005, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the John and Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He has been selected by Time magazine and CNN as one of "America's Best" in science and medicine. His research has been featured in hundreds of publications, including National Geographic and the National Geographic Adventure magazines. He and his team are the subject of a book entitled: Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains by Mark Bowen, published in late 2005. In 2006, he was elected member of the American Philosophical Society and Alumni member of Phi Beta Kappa, and was chosen to receive the Roy Chapman Andrews Society 2007 Distinguished Explorer Award.