USGS Evening Public Lecture Series
2009 Video Archive
January | February | March |
April | May | June |
July | August | September |
October | November | December
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EXPLORING MARS: Geology, Climate Change and Prospects for Past Life
By Michael H. Carr, USGS Astrogeologist
- Data from a recent polar lander, two still active rovers
and three spacecraft in orbit are changing our
perceptions about how Mars evolved. What do
these new data imply for the prospects of past and present life?
Flyer: jan09flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
February 19, 2009
* Special Guest Lecture *
A lecture by Martha A. Sandweiss on her latest book -
Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line"
By Martha Sandweiss, Princeton University
- After leading one of the four great surveys of the western U.S., Clarence King was appointed to be the first Director
of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1879. For thirteen years he lived a double life-- as the celebrated white
explorer, geologist and writer Clarence King, and as a black Pullman porter and steel worker named James
Todd. The fair, blue-eyed son of a wealthy China trader passed across the color line, revealing his secret to his
black common-law wife, Ada Copeland, only on his deathbed.
PETROLEUM IN THE ARCTIC:
Geology, Climate, and National Interests
By Donald L. Gautier, Geologist
- For better or worse, technological advances and diminishing opportunities elsewhere make the Arctic increasingly attractive to oil and gas exploration. Retreating polar ice, shifting ecosystems, and heightened development potential are vital issues to the nations of the Arctic, to petroleum companies, and to all concerned about the region's fragile environments.
Flyer: feb09flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
Can our Western Forests Take the Heat?!
Climatic change and the future of forests in the western United States
By Philip van Mantgem, Ecologist
- Tree death rates have more than doubled over the last few decades in old-growth forests of our western states, possibly reflecting increasing temperatures, with potentially serious consequences for wildlife, fire risks, and the global carbon cycle
- Rising regional temperatures have lengthened the summer drought, likely stressing trees and leading to higher death rates
- Is this alarming trend a harbinger of larger, more abrupt changes in our forests?
Flyer: mar09flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
SOILS, CARBON, and Global exCHANGE
by Jennifer Harden, USGS Soil Scientist
- Studying Arctic Changes during the International Polar Year
- Why soils aren't just for growing crops
- What does carbon have to do with global weather and climate?
- Balancing tradeoffs between the carbon cycle, econoic concerns, and the environment
- Making choices-- from household decisions to national policies
Flyer: apr09flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
May 28, 2009
Video archive not available
International "Volcano Diplomacy"
Rapid response team prevents crises from becoming disasters
By John Pallister, Volcanologist
- The Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) working with foreign
counterparts responds to international volcanic crises to reduce risk and save
Since 1986, VDAP scientists have responded to 24 major crises, built
volcano monitoring infrastructure in 12 countries, and helped save tens of
thousands of lives and hundreds of millions in property
Recent examples from Colombia and Indonesia provide success stories of
eruption forecasting and disaster prevention
Hear about insights into the challenges, tensions, and rewards of global volcano
science with humanitarian and diplomatic objectives
Lessons learned from VDAP are applied in the United States and elsewhere
to reduce the loss of life and minimize economic disruption from volcanic
Tracking Mercury from Ore to Organism
Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation
In a Mine-Dominated Ecosystem
By Tom Suchanek, USGS Western Ecological Research Center
- Nearly 300 abandoned mercury mines and prospects are found in the California Coast Range-- the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine at Clear Lake, CA is one of them
- Clear Lake is one of the most mercury-contaminated lakes in the world, but fish and wildlife there are not as mercury-contaminated as might be expected
- Learn about mercury concentration in the Clear Lake water column and sediments, mercury bioaccumulation in the food web, and which fish have mercury-contamination that exceeds recommended levels for consumption
Flyer: jun09flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
Restoring California's "Inland Sea"
by Lee Case, Chief Scientist, USGS Salton Sea Science Office
Status of efforts to restore the Salton Sea
- The Salton Sea is California's largest lake and has a surface elevation about 230 feet below sea level
- The Salton Sea is a terminal lake - it has no outlets, inflows are principally from agricultural drainage, and its salinity not as mercury-contaminated is about 30% greater than the Pacific Ocean
- This "inland sea", a critical stop for migratory birds on the Pacific and Central Flyways, is used used by more than 400 species of birds
- Proposed water transfers will result in loss of aquatic aquatic and wetland habitat, increased salinity, and degraded regional air quality quality unless mitigation actions are taken
Flyer: jul09flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
The Future of Geothermal Energy
by Colin F. Williams, USGS Geophysicist
a discussion of present opportunities and future challenges
- A new USGS assessment of our
Nation.s geothermal resources
identifies favorable areas for
- Can geothermal energy help
satisfy the growing need for
.clean. energy sources?
- Seven western states are currently
generating electricity from geothermal
- Emerging technologies may dramatically
increase the potential for geothermal
Flyer: aug09flyer.pdf (Acrobat PDF)
Meeting the Challenge of the Loma Prieta Earthquake
by Jack Boatwright, USGS Seismologist
The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake ended decades of seismic tranquility
in the San Francisco Bay region. It was considered then . as well
as now . to be a wake-up call for the region to prepare for potentially
even more devastating earthquakes. How well is the Bay Area prepared
for the next large earthquake?
- Learn what scientists now think happened during
the Loma Prieta earthquake
- How did this destructive event change scientific
thinking and influence Bay Area earthquake
- Future large Bay Area earthquakes are inevitable .
are we prepared?
Paddling for a Purpose in a Troubled Sea
by Eric Grossman, USGS Tribal Journey Science Advisor
Sampling the Salish Sea During Tribal Canoe Journeys
- Deteriorating water quality in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia is causing population declines in valued species such as salmon, orcas, and a number of sea birds
- USGS scientists and the Coast Salish Peoples are blending science and tradition to sample water quality in ancestral waters along canoe routes during annual Tribal Journeys
- Water sampling will identify the extent and likely causes of poor water quality, possibly related to changes in land use and changing climate conditions
- Studying Puget Sound water quality is crucial for making informed decisions about balancing the needs of coastal ecosystems and human livelihood
Geohazards in the Aleutian Islands
by Steve Kirby, Geophsicist, and Dave Scholl, Scientist Emeritus
Great Earthquakes, Great Waves, and Great Volcanic Explosions!
- The Aleutian Islands are discussed with respect to geology, climate
change, and the fates of sediments produced by mountain building and
- These islands, occupied by maritime indigenous cultures known as the
Aleuts for 9,000 years, lie over an active crustal subduction zone spawning
seven great earthquakes since 1895, resulting in several destructive
- Over a dozen catastrophic volcanic eruptions have occurred during
the time of the Aleuts, forcing cultural separation and differences
in Inuit and Aleut languages
- Continued research promises to uncover the Holocene prehistory of
such events and aid in future forecasting of mega-earthquake probabilities.
A New Generation of Maps
by Mark DeMulder, Director of the National Geospatial Program
Topographic Maps for the 21st Century
- December 5 marks the 125th Anniversary of the popular USGS topographic map, used by engineers and surveyors, industry, academia, and outdoor enthusiasts for reliably accurate information
- Starting December 3 the new US Topo maps will be available free on the Web at the USGS Store: http://store.usgs.gov. Each USGS Topo quadrangle is constructed in GeoPDF format from key Layers of geographic data found in The National Map
This new technology enables richer content, providing the user with more than a standard map
- The National Map provides a continuous evolution and incorporation of additonal data layers. For more information: http://nationalmap.gov
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For additional information on the USGS Evening Public Lecture Series
please contact Amelia Barrales: firstname.lastname@example.org
or telephone (650) 329-5136.