Past Events 2020-21

Child giving camels water

A Turkana child camel herder watering his herd from a “scoop hole” in a dry river bed (laga) near the Kakuma Refugee Camp, January 2016. Photo by Paul Bauman.

Searching for Water in Humanitarian Crises

In the marginal landscapes where refugee camps are usually sited, groundwater is often the only practical source of water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation, and a lack of access to adequate water supplies is directly tied to increasing occurrences of cholera, dysentery, hepatitis, trachoma, and other diseases.  In this talk, Mr. Paul Bauman will lead you on the geophysical search and then the discovery of water in a few of the refugee camps and conflict zones in East Africa. In each of these settings, the cause of human displacement is distinct, the geology and hydrogeology vary, the landscapes are strikingly different, but the need for water is equally desperate.

Presenter:  Mr. Paul Bauman, Principal Geophysicist, BGC Engineering Inc.

Full bio and lecture abstract

Date:  Thursday, March 4, 2021
Time:  6:30 – 7:40 p.m. (MT)
Location:  Online

Man holding diamond

The Finest Diamonds Hold Earth's Deepest Secrets

Some of the finest gem diamonds unearthed to date are among the deepest-sourced well-preserved samples of our planet. One of the most common materials trapped within these diamonds is a metallic iron-nickel-rich melt, whose exact origin and significance is not yet fully understood. What is becoming increasingly clear is that these diamonds have an integral connection with deep subduction recycling of oceanic plates. In this talk Dr. Evan Smith will summarize key observations to date and explore emerging implications from these gemstones.

Presenter:  Dr. Evan Smith, Research Scientist, Gemological Institute of America

Full bio and lecture abstract

Date:  Thursday, February 11, 2021
Time:  6:30 – 7:40 p.m. (MT)
Location:  Online

Image of water stream

How Fracking Affects Our Water

Researchers endeavor to foster dialogue about water quality among scientists and nonscientists as well as within and outside the industry.  With more than a decade of study, researchers can now use data to address the question -- how does fracking affect our water?  In this talk Dr. Susan L. Brantley discusses the fracking boom that changed the worldwide energy economy and the environmental issues around water that created worldwide public pushback.  Additionally, Dr. Brantley emphasizes the basin with some of the oldest commercial oil, gas, and coal exploitation in the world (Appalachian Basin).

Presenter:  Dr. Susan L. Brantley, Distinguished Professor of Geoscience, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University

Full bio and lecture abstract

Date:  Thursday, January 21, 2021
Time:  6:30 – 7:40 p.m. (MT)
Location:  Online

Dinosaur fossil

A Night at the Royal Tyrrell Museum

The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, located in Drumheller, Alberta, is one of the largest museums dedicated to the science of paleontology in the world. Since its opening 35 years ago, the museum has been the flagship of paleontological research, especially as it relates to dinosaurs and Late Cretaceous ecosystems, in Canada and has conducted field expeditions all over the world. During this talk, Drs. Caleb Brown and François Therrien will present a “behind-the-scenes” overview of the museum research facilities and discuss some of the amazing paleontological discoveries and research projects that have taken place at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

Presenters:  Dr Caleb Brown and Dr. François Therrien, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
Moderator:  Dr. Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary

Presenters and Moderator bios and full lecture abstract

Date:  Thursday, November 19, 2020
Time:  6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (Mountain Time/GMT-7)
Location:  Online

This event was organized in partnership with the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.


NASA’s Juno Mission to Jupiter

This fascinating talk will bring you front and centre of NASA’s Juno mission. The spacecraft was launched in August 2011 and has been in orbit over Jupiter’s poles since July 4th, 2016. Dr. Fran Bagenal, as the co-investigator and team leader of the plasma investigations on NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Juno mission to Jupiter, will help unlock Jupiter’s secrets and improve our understanding of the solar system's beginnings.

Presenter:  Dr. Fran Bagenal, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder

Presenter bio and full lecture abstract

Date:  Thursday, October 29, 2020
Time:  6:30 – 7:40 p.m. (Mountain Time/GMT-6)
Location:  Online

“The series is excellent and provides a good variety of speakers and subjects to keep it very interesting and give a good overview of what is happening in the scientific world. It also helps me keep up to date with what is going on in the world. It is one of the very few good things happening in the world these days. Thank you.”

Attendee from January 2020 lecture by Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar