Science Pubs 2012-2013

November 20, 2012 • McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend: Registration in now closed.

Singing in the Sea: Acoustic Communication in Whales and Dolphins

Dave Mellinger, Associate Professor, OSU Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies

Whales and dolphins sing during breeding season, non-breeding season, across hundreds of miles of ocean, and it seems, just for fun. What purpose do these songs serve and how can our awareness of them help us protect and understand these creatures? Come learn the technology used in hearing, locating and tracking whales, and how that technology helps us understand these fascinating sea mammals.

 December 13, 2012 • McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend: Registration is now closed.

The Politics and Science of Being Born: Location, Location, Location

Melissa Cheyney, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, School of Language, Culture and Society, OSU College of Liberal Arts

Recent studies show that the United States ranks 28th in the world for maternal health and now lags on child mortality rates. For researchers, these statistics are alarming and necessitate a need for action and policy guidance.  Learn how Melyssa Cheyney’s work to battle the “home/hospital divide” has led her to support an “integrated medicine” approach to birth that weaves together traditional birthing practices and newer biomedical techniques. Cheyney’s research has made her an in-demand consultant for policymakers deliberating on issues of legalization and licensure for midwives and has been featured in TIME.

January 15, 2013 • McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend: Registration is now closed.

Flat Screens for a Green World

Doug Keszler, Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science; Director, Center for Green Materials Chemistry

The Pacific Northwest is known for its water – rivers, ocean, and rain.  We all know that water is essential to life.  With energy from the sun, water is converted into the food we eat and the oxygen we breathe by the chemical factories that we call plants.  But, did you know that water chemistries are being developed to provide industrial factories with new ways to make electronic gadgets like smartphones, tv’s and solar cells?  These developments are enabling a transformational approach to environmentally responsible manufacturing.  Come explore how we turn rocks into computers and how the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry is contributing to a clean and sustainable future through chemistry.

February 19, 2013 • McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend: Registration is now closed.

Alternative Transportation Fuels: What about Natural Gas? 

Chris Hagen, Assistant Professor, Energy Systems Engineering, OSU-Cascades

Natural gas is one of the cleanest alternative fuels, we don’t have to go overseas for it, and it’s cheaper than gasoline.  But, it’s not easily available, you don’t go as far on a tank, and gas-powered vehicles aren’t exactly the rage. Learn about new research underway at Oregon State University’s Bend campus that may make gas-powered transportation increasingly possible, by creating a storage and compression system that can perhaps work in your vehicle.

March 19, 2013 • Three Creeks Brewery, Sisters: Registration is now closed.

Waning Winters and the Interconnected Effects of Snow and Wildfire

Anne Nolin, GeoSciences, Institute for Water and Watersheds, OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Climate change is leading to declining snowpacks in the Cascades and elsewhere. Healthy forests depend on the moisture provided by snow. But when snowpacks are less abundant and summers are hotter, longer and drier, wildfires become larger and more frequent. Post-fire forest recovery benefits from snow but in a warming world, what are the implications for regrowth? Moreover, charred forests affect how much snow accumulates on the ground and how fast it melts. As snowpack researcher Anne Nolin will explain, the relationships between snow, climate and wildfire in our western mountains, are intricate.


April 16, 2013 • Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic & Recreation Center: Registration is now closed.

Why is the Deschutes River So Peculiar? The Curious Case of Cascadian Rivers.

Gordon Grant, USDA Forest Service; OSU Forest Engineering, Resources and Management, OSU College of Forestry; Institute for Water and Watersheds, OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

“…the Deschutes is of especial interest to geographers, as it exhibits certain peculiarities not commonly met with”
Early Oregon geographer Israel C. Russell in 1905

It starts on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, winds south then north, depletes to a trickle then swells into a river of enormous flow volume. Over time it has flooded and been dammed and adored by fishermen. The Deschutes River is spectacular – and peculiar, as you will learn. Research hydrologist Gordon Grant will explore how the Deschutes and other rivers of the Cascades teach us how rivers in the western U.S. – and beyond -  are likely to change and where water is likely to be abundant and scarce in the future, issues important to all Oregonians.

May 21, 2013 • McMenamins, Old St. Francis School, Bend: Registration is now closed.

Hitchhikers from Afar: Aquatic Invasive Species & You

Sam Chan, OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds; Oregon Sea Grant

Invasive species arrive in Oregon via land, air and sea, and can cause serious harm to our economy and environment.  Learn how these invaders arrive in ways we would never anticipate – through innocent classroom projects, gardening, and on floating tsunami debris – and what you can do to prevent and minimize their impact.  Chan’s research guided the creation of the award-winning statewide “Silent Invasion” program.


June 18, 2013 • McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend: Registration is now closed.

Is there Life on other Planets? How Discoveries on the Sea Floor led to the Mars Exploration

Martin Fisk, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Many scientists now believe that life exists elsewhere within the Milky Way Galaxy, not just on earth. Astrobiology, the study of the potential for life outside of Earth, can help us find it. Marine geologist Martin Fisk will follow a trail of evidence deep on the sea floor and show how we don’t need to leave the Earth to find organisms that could survive on other worlds. Microbes and microbial fossils found in deeply buried volcanic rocks and in extreme environments on our own planet indicate that life could survive on our solar system’s outer moons, around distant stars, and even on Mars.