Science

Monday, February 22, 2016

Don't Miss Tonight's Climate Change Talk

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 2:00 PM


If you want to learn more the health impacts of climate change, head on down to Centennial Hall to see tonight's installment in the UA College of Science spring lecture series, Earth Transformed. Tonight's speaker is Kacey Ernst, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, who will discussing "Climate Change and Human Health: Impacts and Pathways to Resilience." The free talk is at 7 p.m.

The Weekly has a Q&A with Ernst here. And if you can't make it down there, you can see both Ernst and UA College of Science Dean Joaquin Ruiz talking about the lecture series on Zona Politics in the above video.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Zona Politics: Alt Fuels and Climate Change

Posted By on Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 10:47 AM

February 14th, 2016 from Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel on Vimeo.

On this week's episode of Zona Politics: UA engineering professor Kimberly Ogden talks about making fuel from algae, carbon sequestration and other strategies to combat climate change ahead of her Feb. 29 talk in the UA College of Science spring lecture series.

Then we talk with two authors, Tom Prezelski and Megan Kimble, as part of our ongoing preview of the Tucson Festival of Books.

Watch the show at 8 a.m. Sunday on the CW Tucson, Channel 8 on Cox and Comcast and Channel 58 on broadcast, DirecTV and Dish. Or listen at 5 p.m. Sunday on community radio KXCI, 91.3 FM.

Here's a transcript of the show:

Hello, everyone. I'm Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel, and we're here to talk Zona Politics. Today, we are once again highlighting the U of A College of Science Spring Lecture Series on Climate Change. Joining us in the studio are Dr. Kimberly Ogden, UA professor of chemical and environmental engineering, who has been studying how to turn algae into fuel. Dr. Ogden will discuss "Carbon Sequestration: Can We Afford It" as part of its Spring Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29, at Centennial Hall. Dr. Ogden, welcome to Zona Politics.

(Ogden) Thank you. Thanks for having me.

(Nintzel) You do a lot of work with biofuels such as algae Tell us a little bit about how that works and where the resource is at this point.

(Ogden) Well, at the University of Arizona, I lead up a program that's collaborative with one of the government labs, specifically Northwest Labs and New Mexico State University and Texas A&M, but the U of A is the lead institution and our goal right now for the research is to understand if we can grow algae or cultivate algae outside, 24-7, 365 days a year to be able to make fuel The Department of Energy is our funding source for that. And WE also if you don't want to make fuel when fuel is only $30 a barrel right now, oil is, and you can also use the algae to make food.

(Nintzel) And how do you make fuel out of algae?

Continue reading »

Friday, February 12, 2016

TED Talk Day at the UA

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 4:15 PM

click image A Facebook promotional image for the TEDxUofA event held on the University of Arizona campus on Feb. 17, 2016. - INNOVATE UA
  • Innovate UA
  • A Facebook promotional image for the TEDxUofA event held on the University of Arizona campus on Feb. 17, 2016.

The Innovate UA program is hosting the first ever TEDxUofALive event, a live-cast of the 2016 TED conference in Vancouver, Canada this week.

The University of Arizona has been issued a licence to broadcast the live talks on Wednesday Feb. 17 across the UA campus.


"What I have noticed about campus, and our culture in general, is that innovation is heavily dominated by technology," said Justin Williams of Innovate UA. "What TED does that is really great, is it's intentionally multidisciplinary so it pulls from fields, in our case, what would be all across campus."

Speakers at the TED conference are separated into sessions. The whole day of events is free but seating is limited so be sure to reserve your spot at the sessions that interest you!

Continue reading »

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

We've Got Gravitational Waves!

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 11:00 AM

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It's a big day for physics as the existence of Albert Einstein's long-predicted gravitational waves has been confirmed.

The waves, first postulated by Einstein a century ago, are ripples in the fabric of space-time created by the collision of super-massive objects such as black holes.

Gizmodo has a primer on why this is a BFD in the world of physics:

The discovery of gravitational waves confirms an important aspect of the theory of relativity, but it does much more than that. Quite literally, it opens up a new chapter in our exploration of the cosmos, one where electromagnetic radiation is no longer our only tool for “seeing” the universe. As MIT astrophysicist Scott Hughes told Gizmodo in a phone interview, we can use gravitational waves to probe mysterious celestial objects like black holes and neutron stars, which typically no light.

“There’s a lot of rich information encoded in gravitational waves,” he said, noting that the shape of a spacetime ripple can tell us about the size and motion of the object that produced it. “As an astronomer, I try to think about how to go from the ‘sound’ of the waveform that LIGO measures, to the parameters that produce that waveform.”

ASU physicist and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss played a big role in the discovery. ASU has a briefing on why it's a big deal:

Everything shifted this morning.

In the 100th-anniversary year of Einstein’s theory of relativity, scientists announced they have proved it.

Using a stunning display of technological prowess, a group of physicists measured gravitational waves, a ripple in the fabric of space caused by the collision of two immense objects far out in the universe.

The discovery is on par with the invention of the telescope, said Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at Arizona State University.

“It heralds what I think is the beginning of the new astronomy for the 21st century,” Krauss said. “Gravitational-wave astronomy will be the astronomy of the 21st century. It’s opened a new window on the universe, just like the telescope in some sense or when we first used radio waves to explore the universe.”

Continue reading »

Monday, February 8, 2016

Another Extraordinary Snapshot From Astronaut Scott Kelly

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Astronaut Scott Kelly, who is continuing his year in space aboard the International Space Station, delvers another extraordinary image via his Twitter feed.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Zona Politics: How Will Climate Change Affect the Oceans?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 3:00 PM

ZonaPol2-4-16Fin_1_1 from Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel on Vimeo.


On this week's episode of Zona Politics: UA professor of geosciences Joellen Russell talks about how climate change is affecting the world's oceans. Then we talk with two writers who will be appearing at this year's Festival of Books: Kathryn Ferguson, author of The Haunting of the Mexican Border, and Margaret Regan, author of Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire. 

You can catch the show at 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the CW Tucson, Channel 8 on Cox and Comcast and Channel 58 on DirecTV, Dish and broadcast. You can hear it at 5 p.m. Sundays on KXCI, 91.3 FM. And you can watch it online here or at zonapolitics.com.

Here's a transcript of the show:

Hello, everyone. I'm Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel and we're here to talk Zona Politics. Today, we're once again highlighting the UA College of Science spring lecture series on climate change. Joining us in the studio is Joellen Russell, a U. of A. associate professor of geosciences, who specializes in studying the impacts of climate change on the world's oceans. Dr. Russell, welcome to Zona Politics.

(Russell) Thanks for having me.

(Nintzel) So what got you interested in studying the oceans?

Continue reading »

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Let's Watch This Rare Video of a Jaguar Roaming the Santa Rita Mountains

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:35 AM

The only wild jaguar in the U.S. lives in the Santa Rita Mountains outside Tucson. We've been waiting to see live footage of him, and it's our lucky day today: environmental groups have released a rare video of the jaguar, named El Jefe, roaming the Santa Ritas.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Conservation CATalyst, a former program within the UA, have been collaborating in a video project to monitor the endangered jaguar and ocelot in the southeastern Arizona mountain range. Chris Bugbee, a biologist with Conservation CATalyst, has collected data on the jaguar for the past three years, a Center for Biological Diversity press release says. 

El Jefe has been often photographed by remote sensor cameras in the Santa Ritas over the past few years. But this is the first-ever publicly released video of him.

He is the only verified jaguar in the country, since another, known as Macho B, was euthanized in March 2009. Environmental groups are fighting hard for the species preservation, especially as the Rosemont Copper open-pit mine continues to loom over the Santa Ritas. 
The mile-wide open pit and 800-foot-high piles of toxic mine waste would permanently destroy thousands of acres of occupied, federally protected jaguar habitat where this jaguar lives.
“The Rosemont Mine would destroy El Jefe’s home and severely hamstring recovery of jaguars in the United States,” said a prepared statement from Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “At ground zero for the mine is the intersection of three major wildlife corridors that are essential for jaguars moving back into the U.S. to reclaim lost territory. The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important to jaguar recovery in this country, and they must be protected.”

Watch the footage:


Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity released new video today of the only known wild jaguar currently in the United States.Captured on remote sensor cameras in the Santa Rita Mountains just outside of Tucson, the dramatic footage provides a glimpse of the secretive life of one of nature’s most majestic and charismatic creatures. This is the first-ever publicly released video of the #jaguar, recently named 'El Jefe' by Tucson students, and it comes at a critical point in this cat’s conservation. Learn more here: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/jaguar-02-03-2016.html

Posted by Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, February 3, 2016



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Monday, February 1, 2016

What's Climate Change Going To Do to the Food Supply?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 3:00 PM

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The UA College of Science Spring Lecture Series on climate change continues tonight with a talk by David Battisti, the Tamaki Endowed Chair and professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. Here's what he's going to be talking about:

By the end of the century, the season averaged growing temperature will very likely exceed the highest temperature ever recorded throughout the tropics and subtropics. By 2050, the increase in temperature alone is projected to cause a 20% reduction in the yield of all of the major grains (maize, wheat, rice and soybeans). The breadbasket countries in the midlatitudes will experience marked increases in year-to-year volatility in crop production. Increasing stresses on the major crops due to climate change, coupled with the increasing demand for food due to increasing population and development, present significant challenges to achieving global food security. This lecture explores the likely impact of climate change and volatility on food production and availability in the foreseeable future.
The lectures draw a full house to Centennial Hall, so get there ahead of the 7 p.m. start time if you want a good seat. More details here.

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