Science Café Archives 2013-14

The Mummy Returns: Evidence of a boreal forest ecosystem in the Canadian High Arctic

Dr. Joel Barker
School of Earth Sciences, Byrd Polar Research Center
The Ohio State University

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 • 7:00 PM

Current climatic conditions prevent boreal forest plant species from surviving in the Canadian High Arctic. However, evidence in the form of ancient forest sites (so-called fossil forests) indicates that boreal forest ecosystems existed in the Arctic up to 81° north latitude until just prior to the onset of the last ice age, some 3 million years ago. Interestingly, atmospheric CO2 concentrations at the time were ~400 parts per million, a level that was recorded for the first time in human history during spring 2012. As concentrations of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere continue to rise, approaching and expected to surpass levels associated with a warmer and forested ancient Arctic, what does this mean for Arctic regions in the future?

Using information learned from Arctic fossil forests, including the most recently discovered and most northerly fossil forest site (2009), the relationship between past atmospheric CO2 and climate and ecosystem change will be explored. We will also discuss the application of this information for predicting future climate and ecosystem dynamics in the Arctic.

Listen to a recording of Joel Barker's Science Cafe Presentation

Accents in Ohio: Who's got them, what do they mean and why do we care?

Dr. Kathryn Campbell-Kibler
Department of Linguistics
The Ohio State University

Tuesday, October 1, 2013  • 7:00 PM

Dr. Campbell-Kibler will talk about previous and ongoing research about how Ohio got to be a center of "normal" or unaccented speech and where we are today. If you've ever noticed or heard about a "Cleveland accent" and wondered what the heck that was, this is the talk for you!

Listen to a recording of Kathryn Campbell-Kibler's Science Cafe Presentation

COYOTE: Uncovering the truths and debunking the myths of the ‘Ghost Dog’

Dr. Stan Gerht
Associate Professor  & Extension Wildlife Specialist, School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Ohio State University

Tuesday, November 5, 2013  • 7:00 PM

Coyotes have proven to be very adaptable animals and are thriving in many cities across the U.S.  Although the coyote is common throughout the U.S., many aspects of the coyote remain mysterious and poorly understood.  Dr. Stan Gehrt, Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology, has been conducting research on urban coyotes in the Chicago area for the past 13 years, making it the largest study of its kind.  To date, over 750 coyotes have been captured and followed as they live among 9 million people.  Dr. Gehrt will present results of the research and along the way address myths and truths about this amazing carnivore.  Topics to be discussed include coyote movements, social behavior, survival, and food habits, and what these mean for coyote/people conflicts and strategies for coexistence. 

Listen to a recording of Stan Gerht's Science Cafe Presentation

Maize, Migration, and Mississippians: Life 1,000 Years Ago along the Middle Ohio River Valley         

Dr. Robert Cook
Department of Anthropology
The Ohio State University

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 • 7:00 PM

This talk presents results from an ongoing research project that is exploring the spread of maize agriculture into the Great and Little Miami Rivers of Southwest Ohio.  The shift to a maize-focused diet in this region was accompanied by the establishment of large villages.  These villages were closely connected with neighboring Mississippian societies from whom this way of life was adopted.  Specific indicators of these connections include the movement of people into the region in small numbers, forming marriage alliances and key positions of authority. 

No recording available for this presentation

Creating Economic Development through Water Quality Trading for Marion

Dr. Richard Moore
Department of Rural Sociology, Associate Director for Academics for the Office of Energy and Environment and Executive Director of the Environmental Sciences Network
The Ohio State University

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 • 7:00 PM

US Middle East Policy: Lost in Transition

Dr. Hassan Aly
Department of Economics
The Ohio State University

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 • 7:00 PM

Crisis in Syria: The Science behind Sarin

Dr. Ryan Yoder
Department of Chemistry
The Ohio State University

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 • 7:00 PM

To Frack or Not to Frack: Energy Sustainability and the Emerging Subsurface Enery Development

Jeffery M. Bielicki, Ph.D.
Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering; and John Glenn School of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 • 7:00 PM

The energy landscape in the United States has changed substantially over the past few years as a result of the enormous expansion of the use of directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  This talk with introduce some of the causes and consequences, benefits and drawbacks, of these technologies and the associated ways in which societies use the subsurface in a variety of ways to enhance their well-being.