Event Calendar

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March 2017

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Environmental Archaeology Lab

Environmental Archaeology Lab

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 9:00am - 3:30pm

Join SERC's volunteer Archaeology Lab excavating sites on campus, Wednesdays from 9 to 3. No experience required. Sign up with Alison Cawood (cawooda@si.edu; 443-482-2271) first: We need to know you're coming!

Pre-registration Required
Yes

Event Details

The SERC Archaeology Lab is looking for volunteers to help excavate two sites over the summer.  Volunteers will work with scientists and students to excavate sites, preserve artifacts, and collect environmental data to understand the ways the land has changed (or not) over the past 200 years.  We need volunteers on Wednesdays from 9am to 3pm. No prior knowledge is required, and all training will be provided on site.

Volunteers may be working outside, and some bending and kneeling is required.  Volunteer activities include excavating dig pits, sieving soil samples, and washing and cataloging artifacts.  We will consider volunteers under the age of 18 on a case-by-case basis.  Any volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Please sign up before coming! We need to make sure we keep the number of people on site manageable. Contact Alison Cawood to register.

Learn more about the Environmental Archaeology Citizen Science Project

9:00AM - 3:00PM
 
Science Seminar: Large-scale Forest Ecology at Powdermill Nature Reserve

Science Seminar: Large-scale Forest Ecology at Powdermill Nature Reserve

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 11:00am - 12:00pm
Event Location
Schmidt Conference Center

Learn how scientists are using drone technology and other new methods to understand forest ecology. Note: SERC's Thursday science seminars are directed towards a scientific audience, so are slightly more technical than regular lectures.

Pre-registration Required
No

Event Details

Speakers: John Wenzel and Jake Slyder
Affiliation: Powdermill Nature Reserve

Summary: Several prominent theories of forest processes are examined in the same 900-hectare experimental site.  A new large-scale experiment is initiated, and we develop methods for incorporating UAV (drone) technology in forest ecology.

11:00AM - 12:00PM
 
 
 
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Making Sense of Climate Change

Making Sense of Climate Change

Confronting Denial and the Truth About Uncertainty

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 11:00am - 12:00pm
Event Location
Schmidt Conference Center

Why are Americans so divided in their views on climate change? In the series finale, follow the story from climate change skepticism in the 20thcentury to denial in the 21st. Sixth lecture in the 6-part "Making Sense of Climate Change."

Pre-registration Required
No

Event Details

Despite widespread agreement among scientists, climate change has become one of the most hotly debated and perplexing issues of our time. How has one species managed to shape the Earth’s climate, and how is climate change shaping our future in return? Join Smithsonian plant scientist Bert Drake for "Making Sense of Climate Change," a free 6-part lecture series on the science and history of climate change. Discover how we got here, how we move forward, and what it could mean for our food, our coastlines and our homes. Come for any or all of these lectures. No pre-registration required, and attendance at the first lectures is not required to attend later ones.

Lecture 6: "Moving Forward: Confronting Denial and the Truth About Uncertainty"
Why are Americans so divided in their views on climate change? In the series finale, follow the story from climate change skepticism in the 20thcentury to denial in the 21st.

View the full "Making Sense of Climate Change" series

11:00AM - 12:00PM
 
 
 
 
 
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Evening Lecture: Ospreys on the Patuxent

Evening Lecture: Ospreys on the Patuxent

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Event Location
Schmidt Conference Center

Speaker: Greg Kearns, Patuxent River Park

Learn about the fascinating biology of ospreys, and how conservationists have helped them make a comeback in the Chesapeake.

Pre-registration Required
No

Event Details

gregkearns_patuxentriverpark.jpg
Greg Kearns (Photo: Patuxent River Park)

Join us to learn about Ospreys, the often-seen “fish hawk” of local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, with Patuxent River Park naturalist Greg Kearns. Roughly one-fourth of the ospreys in the continental U.S. nest in Chesapeake Bay, but the birds suffered massive declines in the 1950s and 60s due to widespread use of pesticides like DDT. Kearns will discuss Osprey biology, his banding program with the public, reintroduction efforts, satellite tracking of osprey migrations and how this once-imperiled bird became a conservation success story.

Greg Kearns has been a naturalist with the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission for over 30 years at Patuxent River Park in Croom, Md. He is also an accomplished photographer, expert birder, licensed bird bander and leader of eco-tours both here and abroad.  Greg was named Conservationist of the Year by the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources in 2006 for his work on the restoration of the wild rice marshes in Maryland's Jug Bay, which has been recognized as one of the best wetland restorations in Maryland.  Jug Bay is a component of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR) under NOAA, and among the most beautiful natural areas in Prince George’s County. 

7:00PM - 8:00PM
 
 
Science Seminar: The Challenges and Opportunities of Using Radon to Estimate Denitrification

Science Seminar: The Challenges and Opportunities of Using Radon to Estimate Denitrification

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 11:00am - 12:00pm
Event Location
Schmidt Conference Center

Speaker: Dr. Karen Knee (American University)

Our Thursday seminars are open to SERC staff and the public. Since they are aimed at a scientific audience, they are more technical than our evening lectures.

Pre-registration Required
No

Event Details

Summary: In many mid-Atlantic watersheds, a large fraction of net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs (NANI) are not accounted for in river discharge. This NANI may be transformed into biogenic nitrogen gases that escape to the atmosphere, or it may be stored in the watershed in groundwater, soil or biomass. The research presented here focuses on developing a streamlined, natural-tracer based method for quantifying biogenic nitrogen gases in streams. We compared different potential natural tracers and calculation methods and explored spatial and temporal variability. Our results supported the use of radon as a tracer of gas exchange in open-channel stream studies, emphasized the importance of biogenic nitrogen gas production in groundwater and not only in bottom sediments, and raised intriguing questions about the behavior of radon and argon, another potential natural tracer, in streams.

11:00AM - 12:00PM
 
 
 
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