USGS Evening Public Lecture Series
2008 Video Archive
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The Indonesian Mud Crisis
Long-lived mud "eruption" inundates housing and infrastructure
By Thomas J. Casadevall, Geologist
In May, 2006 hot, dark mud appeared from a fissure covering more than 10 square kilometers, displacing more than 30,000 people. The ongoing mud extrusion has also damaged or broken important transportation and communication infrastructure, displaced an oil pipeline, caused the closure of numerous factories, and impacted agricultural development.
The USGS was invited for a fact-finding visit to assess the ongoing geological, social, economic, and political issues associated with the mud extrusion.
Alaska's Rivers of Ice
USGS scientist Bruce Molnia, discusses the impact of
changing climate and conditions on Earth's glaciers
By Bruce Molnia, Geologist
See excerpts from this full-length film feature showing:
- How and where glaciers form
- How scientists study glaciers and climate
- The processes of glacial erosion and deposition
- Glacial ecosystems and ice worms
- The role glaciers play in global sea level change
A video production introduced and discussed by Steven E. Schwarzbach, Director, USGS Western Ecological Research Center
Restoring San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds to Wetlands Habitat
Nearly 15,000 acres of salt ponds in the southern San Francisco bay were purchased in 2003 for restoration
by a partnership of Federal, State, and nonprofit organizations
This new USGS video product documents how science is playing a crucial role in restoring these
wetland areas and shows that...
- ... USGS biologists, hydrologists, and geologists are playing a crucial role in restoring these salt
ponds through unprecendented restoration efforts
- ... endangered species including the California Clapper Rail and the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
are expected to rebound as the salt marsh habitat returns
- ... restoration of wetlands habitat in the nations's most urbanized estuary faces many challenges but is important
for migration and wintering of waterfowl and shorebirds
The Hayward Fault in Google Earth
USGS scientists David Schwartz, Heather Lackey, Luke Blair, and Scott Haefner take you on a
virtual tour of the Bay Area's most urbanized fault
Visualizing Past, Present, and Future Earthquakes
- Explore the destructive 1868 Hayward earthquake and today's earthquake hazards using Google Earth
- Nearly 2.4 million people in the East Bay, critical infrastracture and lifelines, and large
public facilities are vulnerable to significant damage
- Scientists have estimated a high probability of a large earthquake on the Hayward Fault, the
single most dangerous in the entire Bay Area
- The next large Hayward Fault earthquake will affect the entire Bay Area, are you prepared?
Michael Dettinger, USGS Research Hydrologist
- Increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases are linked to a rise
in global temperture of almost 1.5° F
- Is climate change already affecting Western lands and waters?
- What changes predicted by climate models are still to come -- when will they be here?
- Why is the West especially vulnerable, and California even more so?
Cleanup on Aisle 9
Dave Stonestrom, USGS Research Hydrologist
The Long Lasting Legacy of Nuclear Waste
- Radioactive wastes:
- Where do they come from?
- How do we get rid of them?
- Once buried, do the wastes stay put?
- What are the risks of off-site migration?
- How does basic research inform decision making?
A Moroccan Adventure
by USGS Herpetologist Jeffrey Lovich and visiting Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakech) Professor Mohammed Znari
Searching for a blue-eyed turtle in the Sahara Desert
- See several ecoregions of central Morocco in a picturesque 1,000 mile journey
- Take a virtual tour from the
Atlantic coast through High Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert
- Learn about the only blue-eyed turtle in the world, found in a river flowing through the Sahara Desert
How the Earth Copes with Our LUSTs
by Barbara Bekins, USGS Research Hydrologist
The amazing capabilities of subsurface life
LUST= Leaking Underground Storge Tank
- By some estimates, the total carbon in subsurface bacteria is nearly as large as the carbon in all surface plants
- Underground microorganisms are capable of biodegrading an array of industrial contaminants, including petroleum-based fuels
- In the late 1990s this knowledge was used to revise clean-up strategies for LUST sites
- There are more than 3,000 LUST sites in California-- more than 450 in the Bay Area
Ready for the Next Big Bay Area Earthquake?
by Tom Brocher, USGS Seismologist
The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake was not the Bay Area's "Big One"
but a repeat of the destructive 1868 Hayward earthquake may qualify!
- The next large Hayward Fault earthquake will effect the entire San Francisco Bay Area - Are You Prepared?
- The Hayward Fault is the most urbanized active fault in the Bay Area. The fault crosses multiple freeways, major water pipelines, and BART runs parallel to and crosses the fault.
- A large earthquake on the Hayward Fault could impact more than 5 million people with $1.5 trillion in property damage.
- October 21st marks the 140th anniversary of the last large earthquake on the Hayward Fault. Are we due for a repeat?
Prehistoric Packrat Piles --
by Kenneth Cole, USGS Research Ecologist
Archives of Climate Change
- Piles of ancient vegetation hoarded by packrats are providing clues to past events of rapid climate warming -- similar to those expected for the 21st century
- Preserved material shows the effects of three sudden warming events that occurred over the last 20,000 years
- Each historic warming event was followed by several thousand years of vegetation migration and succession
- Changes following these past warming events resemble some recently observed shifts in natural ecosystems, and can be incorporated into models of future ecosystems
Taking the Biological Pulse of Our Planet
by Jake Weltzin, NPN Executive Director
The USA National Phenology Network
- Phenology, an emerging integrated science, is combining government, university, and public knowledge to study seasonal cycles in the biosphere
- Recent findings in phenology are providing new insights into the timing of biological events and cycles in relation to changing seasons and global climate conditions
- Citizen scientists are contributing valuable information to Project BudBurst nationwide with backyard and field observations of nature
- Scientists are using phenology to study the effects of global climate change on the delicate interaction between plants and animals, and for predicting the future health of our environment
Gemstone Deposits of the United States
by Pete Modreski, USGS Gemstone Specialist
Commercial production - localities visited by mineral collectors
- Gemstones found in the United States include sapphire, opal, tourmaline, aquamarine, turquoise, amethyst, peridot, and many others
- More than a half-dozen states are known for their gemstones, including unusual and exotic varieties such as red beryl, benitoite, and sunstone
- The gem material produced in the U.S. having the greatest overall value, does NOT come from rocks . what is this valuable commodity?
- In how many states have diamonds have been found; which states have produced diamonds commercially?
USGS Public Events Calendar (Recorded Message)
--- (650) 329-5000
For additional information on the USGS Evening Public Lecture Series
please contact Amelia Barrales: email@example.com
or telephone (650) 329-5136.