Florida State University's new president, Eric Barron, is a formero FSU student who went on to lead climate research at Pennsylvania State University.
Barron graduated from FSU with a geology degree in 1973 and moved to the University of Miami. There, he got his master's and Ph.D. in oceanography and wrote the ground-breaking dissertation that established his reputation among fellow scientists.
Barron, not even 30 years old, did something that hadn't been done before. He used modern-day climate modeling to determine what the atmosphere and ocean looked like millions of years ago. He found that there was no ice above the poles. Vegetation bloomed and alligators roamed above the Arctic Circle. His research earned him the Smith Prize at UM for ``most creative dissertation'' and helped him land prestigious posts including his most recent: director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
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