Physicist Consults Laos Government on Global Warming

Physics professor presented a seminar entitled, “The Science of Climate Change and Global Warming.”

With global warming at the forefront of environmental concerns, developing countries are starting to evaluate their effect on the environment. The Lao People's Democratic Republic is one such developing country, and Dr. Frank Munley, associate professor of physics, consulted with them on the challenges they will face.

While in Laos during his sabbatical, Munley presented a two day seminar entitled "The Science of Climate Change and Global Warming." The invitation arose when the government saw his previous experience in the United States on this topic.

"The fact that the National Science Council of Laos was interested in global warming and invited me to give this talk, indicates that they don't want to make the same mistakes other developed countries have in the past," says Munley.

The seminar, held in the Office of the Prime Minister, was attended by government ministers and education officials. Focusing on the technical nature and causes of global warming, Munley provided insight as to how Laos could develop their country without impacting their environment. Some key concerns of Laos revolve around a hydroelectric dam project and road development.

The willingness of the Laos government to discuss such a topic is heartening to Munley. Here in the United States he is an advocate of environmental awareness and has attempted to bring the topic into the classroom by developing a chapter on it in his unpublished physics textbook. In addition, he has presented talks on how to incorporate this topic in teaching to professional organizations.

Munley is a member of many professional organizations including the American Association of Physics Teachers, Sigma Xi and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His articles have been published in the American Journal of Physics and Physics Education. His research interests include Brownian motion and the use of number partitions for Bose-Einstein statistics.

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