Renowned forest ecologist and climate change researcher, Dr. Craig Allen, will speak at the 5th Annual Murphy Memorial Lecture presented by the University of New Mexico’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.

Dr. Craig Allen

The lecture, held in conjunction with the nationwide Geography Awareness Week, will take place on Friday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. in Mitchell Hall, room 101.

Allen works for the U.S. Geological Survey in the Jemez Mountains, where he has studied landscape dynamics for 30 years. His research examines the ways that climate change, wildfire, and human impact intersect to influence forest dynamics. The lecture will also address predictions about how the mountainous New Mexico landscape might look in the future.

The annual Murphy Memorial Lecture is supported by an endowment established in honor of Richard Murphy, founder of UNM’s Geography Department. The first Murphy Lecture was given by Murphy’s son, Alexander Murphy, now a professor of geography at the University of Oregon and former president of the American Association of Geographers.

“We are delighted to honor the Murphy family’s gift by bringing distinguished geographers like Dr. Craig Allen to the UNM campus every year,” said Maria Lane, chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. “I think this talk will appeal broadly to geographers, students, and members of the public, given its focus on how New Mexico’s forests are faring in an era of changing climate."

The lecture is free and open to the public. Lane said they do expect a large crowd, so arrive early to ensure a seat. A reception with light refreshments will be provided after the lecture.