Recognition ceremony planned for world's hottest recorded temperature

July 10, 2013

It would take a special occasion for anyone to head to Death Valley in the middle of July, and Randy Cerveny is no exception to that rule. Cerveny is heading there to take part in a 100th anniversary recognition of the world’s hottest temperature ever recorded.

On July 10, 1913 the weather observer at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, Calif. recorded a high temperature of 134 F (56.7 C), the highest reliably recorded air temperature on Earth. To mark the occasion, Cerveny, an Arizona State University President’s Professor of geographical sciences and urban planning and the rapporteur for climate extremes for the World Meteorological Organization, will be part of a recognition ceremony in the heart of Death Valley. Download Full Image

Joining Cerveny this July 10 will be a host of other weather enthusiasts, including Chris Stachelski and Dan Berc of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, and Christopher Burt of the Weather Underground. While nearly all of the activities will be held indoors (temperatures are expected to reach 118 F), there will be an outside weather observation made at 4 p.m.

“There are a lot of reasons why this is important,” Cerveny said. “First of all, it calls attention to climate change research and it's important to note these records as we lay down what basically are the baseline measurements for years to come. Secondly, there is interest in knowing the engineering factors and stresses placed on buildings and structures that are built in these extreme environments. And third, the general public gets excited about extremes and this is the hottest temperature ever recorded.”

Cerveny adds that weather extremes have only reliably been recorded for the last 150 years or so, making our overall understanding of the extremes a bit spotty at best, and this record has only been the hottest recorded temperature for less than a year.

The Death Valley measurement was not considered the world record until last autumn when some investigative work, initiated by Christopher Burt and led by Cerveny, overturned the previous record of 136.4 F (58 C), recorded on Sept. 13, 1922 in El Azizia, Libya. The group found that there were enough questions surrounding the measurement and how it was made that it was probably inaccurate, overturning the record 90 years to the day it was recorded and making the measurement of July 10, 1913 in Death Valley the record.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The School of Geographical Studies and Urban Planning is a research unit of ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Law students honored by Trial Advocacy Program

July 10, 2013

Eight law students were honored at spring graduation by the Trial Advocacy Program at the College of Law at Arizona State University.

Sean McGarvey and Gayathiri Shanmuganatha were named as co-recipients of the Paul W. Holloway Trial Advocacy Award. In addition, McGarvey and Shanmugantha, as well as six other students, were designated Advocacy Fellows in recognition of their successful completion of all Trial Advocacy Program requirements. Download Full Image

The Holloway award is named for the late Paul W. Holloway, a noted trial attorney, and is funded in part by his former firm, Holloway Odegard Forrest & Kelly, P.C.

McGarvey and Shanmuganatha were selected because their academic achievements and advocacy skills are highly reflective of the Trial Advocacy Program’s objective of preparing law students to be trial lawyers.

The program combines traditional law courses with a broad array of litigation-oriented electives and skills courses taught by more than 50 experienced trial lawyers and judges who serve as adjunct faculty in the program.

Upon graduation, McGarvey, a member of the U.S. Air Force, will work as a Judge Advocate Officer serving at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Shanmuganatha plans to return as an associate to the Mesa office of Emord & Associates, P.C., where she previously served as a law clerk.

The six additional students named as Advocacy Fellows were Tyler Cornia, Ruth Faulkner, Nathan Kassebaum, Elisabeth Martini, Karoline Torgerson and Trent Woods.

Faulkner said she was attracted to the program because of its focus on experiential learning and that the courses increased her confidence in the courtroom setting.

For further information regarding the Trial Advocacy Program, contact program director Deana S. Peck at