Science Seminar

everyone is welcome!

January 17, 2014

Lonnie Somer

Latest Finds in Hominid Evolution

Could Neandertals rap (potentially)? Did Cro-Magnon twerk in the dark recesses of caves? Did a population of hobbits actually exist on a small Indonesian island until relatively recently? Was it the Neandertal genes present in some modern-day humans that caused aids of the governor of New Jersey to close lanes on the busy George Washington bridge in an act of political revenge? Did our extinct cousin species, Paranthropus boisei, actually graze on grass, and, more importantly, if they were around today, would they have therefore made excellent McParanthropus burgers? Join Highline Community College Anthropology instructor Lonnie Somer as he discusses these and other late-breaking news items in the field of human evolution.

This video is not available.

January 24, 2014

Natalie Bjorge

Nano, Nano! Why should we care about nanoscience!?!

Nano: it's the prefix they put in front of all those cool sciency gadgets in commercials. What constitutes as actual nanoscience? Does the iPod Nano have anything to do with it? Could we use nanoscience for cancer therapy?! Much of the new cutting edge science in many fields now includes nanoscience. Solar cells, drug delivery, SERS (not to be confused with SARS), quantum dots, carbon nanotubes and even bucky balls have a place in nanoscience. Come learn what all the hype is about!

January 31, 2014

Evan Houston

Birds: Fun, fascinating, and very loud wildlife

You have probably noticed birds where you live, work, and walk. But did you realize that over 500 species of birds have occurred in Washington state, and many of them are easy to observe? This talk will introduce you to some of the avian diversity that is all around you, discuss some reasons that make birds particularly fun to observe, and give you some information about great places to observe birds in the area.

February 7, 2014

Arun Jhaveri

Carbon Reduction Strategies

During the past ten years, Global Climate Change has devastated many regions of the world with unexpected and unpredictable havocs caused by such disasters as hurricanes & typhoons, forest fires, flooding, droughts, polar snow melts, rising seas/oceans, and displacing many of the established rural, urban, and/or agricultural lands & communities. What are strategies we can use to address this issue?

This seminar was cancelled. Video not available.

February 14, 2014

Eric Baer

Catastrophic Subduction Zone Earthquakes: Lessons learned from Japan, Chile, and Indonesia and what it means for us

In the last 10 years there have been 3 huge earthquakes in subduction zones. One killed ~250,000 people (Indonesia, 2004), one killed ~20,000 (Japan, 2011) and the third killed ~550 (Chile, 2010). They were the three most powerful earthquakes on Earth since the mid-1960s and each was one of the 10 most powerful quakes in the last century. All three took place in a subduction zone where the Earth’s crust is forced down into the mantle - exactly the geologic setting we live on. Thus, it would behoove us to learn what we can from each of these quakes and especially to explore what made the death tolls so widely different so hopefully we can be more like Chile and less like Indonesia when we get all shook up.

February 21, 2014

Stewart Moughon

Some Of Us May Never Die: The rapidly advancing frontier of longevity research

Ever since human beings have understood that we all must die, we have looked for ways to extend our lives—and perhaps even live "forever." Much progress has been made in understanding the basis of longevity and increasing it in the laboratory. It is no longer ridiculous to think that some people alive today might have lifespans without any definite end. In this seminar, we will look at efforts to prolong our lives and review some of what has been discovered. We will look to the future and to what work being done today may eventually lead to. And we will consider what it might mean for life on Earth if these efforts succeed.

February 28, 2014

Tina Ostrander

Don't Make Me Think: How usability affects our lives

Usability is the ease of use of anything you might interact with. This might include a website or computer program, a tool or machine, or the subway system in Washington, D.C. Learn how designers and developers strive to create products that don't make you think!

March 7, 2014

Darin Smith

Exercise and the Brain: Movement as medicine for the mind

Lose weight, gain strength, get healthy; these are all common physical outcomes we expect from exercise. But what about the mental benefits? Many people inherently know that exercise "makes them feel better" and have experienced some of its mood-boosting, stress relieving benefits firsthand, but what is it about physical activity that influences mental health? Is exercise simply a way to burn off nervous energy and release endorphins or is it a mechanism for building and maintaining an optimally functioning brain? Can exercise really make you happier, smarter, and less stressed? Find out the answers to these questions and more at this week's Science Seminar.