Science Seminar

everyone is welcome!

January 18, 2019

Lonnie Somer

The Latest Finds in Hominin Evolution

Did at least two smaller brained, more ancient-appearing human species live alongside our own species for thousands of years? Were Neandertals capable of creating art, and if so, what did it look like? When modern humans and Neandertal encountered one another, the result was sometimes Neandertal/modern human babies. How much of the legacy of this genetic exchange survives in us? And are there the ghosts of other extinct hominins lurking in our DNA? Humans domesticated by dogs, genetic population discoveries and the resultant Hindu extremist backlash, the real Paleo diet, why it may sometimes be advantageous for an archaeologist to be built like Gollum and be able to slither through caves, and more. Join Highline Community College Anthropology instructor Lonnie Somer as he discusses these and other late-breaking news items in the field of human evolution.

January 25, 2019

Aaron Moehlig

Beer! And Chemistry II

The origins of what is now called an India Pale Ale or an IPA date back to at least 1835 (and possibly as early as 1793). Today, craft brewers in the United States make more IPAs than any other style; every local brewery has to have at least one IPA on tap because they know the clientele will want it. This talk will discuss the history of this deliciously hoppy beer and how the definition of an IPA has changed while the style has exploded over the past few decades. As brewers are exploring all the things beer can do, the style has become much more inclusive than the just being a really bitter beer. Come learn about all of the types of IPAs currently on the market and discover the chemistry behind the many ways brewers use the simple ingredients of an IPA to craft some really great (and really weird) beers.

February 15, 2019

Chris Boudreaux

How to Solve Humankind's Problems

Ever wonder if the future is going to be the bleak, post apocalyptic wasteland that is depicted in some science fiction movies or if it will be the shining utopia depicted in others? Both are possible, but we should do our part to make sure that it is the latter. This presentation will help us to get there! Here, we will address the needs of all humans and how to meet them for the planet.

February 22, 2019

Dr. Katie Baker

The Chemistry of Cake

My name is Dr. Katie Baker. I am a retired naturopathic physician (I had a primary care practice for 10 years) and currently teach A&P for majors and non-majors students, cellular biology, nutrition and health at many Seattle area colleges. I have recently moved to the Des Moines area and am enjoying spending the sunny days exploring the local parks with my young son. We also enjoy cooking together, puzzles and spending time with family and friends in the area. As a recent and ardent devotee of the Great British Baking Show and a BIG fan of science-y stuff, I thought a talk about cakes and the chemistry of baking would be interesting. I, for one, found the research fascinating and quite filling!

March 1, 2019

Joy Strohmaier

The Essential World of Microorganisms

Take a journey from the beginning of life itself through the lens of the invisible but absolutely essential world of Microorganisms and the roles they play in....... almost everything. From the cheese you eat, to the gunk growing on your deck, from the deep thermal ocean vents to a termite's gut, microorganisms play a role in it all.

March 8, 2019

Eric Baer

Why Buildings Fail in an Earthquake and What Can Be Done About It

One of the most common causes of death in an earthquake (especially in the developing world) is building collapse. In this science seminar we will look at why buildings fail and what can be done to prevent it. We will then practice constructing shake-resistant structures using earthquake simulators. If time permits, we will also walk around campus to see where these techniques have been used and where they are needed.