Pinhead: Punk Science the Arctic and Climate Change

Pinhead: Punk Science the Arctic and Climate Change

Telluride’s Pinhead Institute’s Punk Science program brings fascinating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) topics during its annual summer Punk Science learning series for kids. On the plaza at the Wilkinson Public Library every Tuesday starting July 5 through August 2, 5:15 – 6 p.m. Recommended donation is $2 per Punk. This week’s topic is climate change.

PH 2016 Punk Science July 19-20 Telluride Letter copy


What is it like exploring the ends of the Earth? What tools of the trade are used in an Arctic expedition? What can a scientific research expedition still tell us? What happens when things go wrong?

On Tuesday., July 19, Max Holmes, PhD, will answer these questions and more during the Pinhead Institute’s next Punk Science program at the Wilkinson Public Library, 5:15-6:00 p.m.

“I love doing climate change research in the Arctic because it combines globally significant science with genuine adventure,” said Holmes, a senior scientist for the Woods Hole Research Center and National Fellow of the renowned Explorer’s Club.

Note: The WHRC was recently chosen for the third consecutive year by the International Center for Climate Governance as the world’s top climate change think tank.

Emphasizing the excitement and adventure inherent in Arctic research, Holmes will recount some of the thrilling tales of his climate research expeditions in the Siberian, Canadian, and Alaskan Arctic, while discussing how climate change is impacting the Arctic, and how those changes can amplify global warming.

“Not only is the Arctic being dramatically impacted by warming, but the changes taking place there may also further contribute to future warming globally,” Holmes said.

As a bonus, Holmes plans to bring along some of the instruments he depends on in his research, and examples of some unique finds hidden in the region’s thawing permafrost.

“I’ll also discuss an amazing project that will take 12 undergraduate students to Alaska’s Yukon River Delta next summer for climate change research,” he said.

More about Dr. Max Holmes:

Dr. Max Holmes

Dr. Max Holmes

Dr. Holmes is an earth system scientist who studies rivers and their watersheds and how climate change and other disturbances are impacting the cycles of water and chemicals in the environment. He is particularly interested in the fate of the vast quantities of ancient carbon locked in permafrost in the Arctic, which may be released as permafrost thaws, exacerbating global warming. Dr. Holmes has ongoing projects in the Russian, Canadian, and Alaskan Arctic and, in the tropics, in the Amazon and the Congo.

Dr. Holmes is committed to engaging students in his research projects and communicating the results and implications of his research to the public and to policy-makers. He recently served for two years as Program Director of the National Science Foundation’s Arctic System Science Program and, in 2015, was named National Fellow of the Explorers Club.


More about Pinhead:

The Pinhead Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Affiliate based in Telluride, Colorado that educates and inspires children and adults in the greater Telluride region about the wonders of science and technology through engaging programs, direct interaction with scientists, and unique research-centered internship experiences.

To learn more visit: or call 970-369-5190.

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