UA Science Cafes

Discover the fascinating science happening all around us at a Science Café series this Fall 2014, brought to you by UA Science. A Science Café brings the community together with a UA scientist in a casual setting. You’ll learn about the latest research, get to know the people doing science, and have the opportunity to ask lots of questions. We have four separate series at different locations this fall, all with their own themes for fascinating science discussions. Come join the conversation!

All Cafés begin at 6:00 pm. and go until 7:30 p.m.


To sign up to receive emails about upcoming Cafés, click here to visit our MailChimp sign up form (link opens in new window). 

Downtown Science Café
Where: Magpie's Gourmet Pizza
             605 N. 4th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705 

Tues, September 16, 2014
Speaker: Jonathon Overpeck, Institute of the Environment
Title: "Global Warming: Implications for Changing Climate Extremes"

Tues, October 21, 2014
Speaker: Liz Ritchie, Atmospheric Sciences
Title: “Adventures with Hurricanes”

Tues, November 18, 2014
Speaker: Ken Cummins, Atmospheric Sciences
Title: “Discover the Science of Lightning: Cause and Effect”

Tues, December 16, 2014 Speaker: Mike Crimmins, Soil, Water, and Environmental Science
Title: “Tracking Climate Extremes Across the Desert Southwest”


Borderlands Brewing Science Café
Carson Scholars Series
Where: Borderlands Brewing
             119 E. Toole Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701

Thursday, September 11th
Speaker: Stephanie Doerries
Title: Wildlife on the Border: A noninvasive study of human impacts on Sonoran Pronghorn.
As human and wildlife interactions increase, knowledge of the effects of human activity on wildlife populations is essential to facilitating recovery of endangered species. Learn how we are taking a noninvasive approach to examining human impacts on the behavior, physiology, survival, and recruitment of Sonoran pronghorn, an endangered subspecies of American “antelope” unique to the Sonoran desert.

Thursday, October 9th
Speaker: American Lutz Ley
Title: Watersheds and Socialsheds: Adaptive agricultural systems in the Arid Americas.
Higher temperatures, more variable precipitation, growing populations, and better economic conditions will push productivity of agricultural systems in the Arid Americas. To adapt to these combined challenges we require a better understanding of how social and natural components of these systems interact.

Thursday, November 13th
Speaker: Aaron Lien
Title: Ecosystem Services: How they relate to conservation of endangered species.
Ecosystem services are the benefits people receive from nature, such as clean water, flood protection, and climate regulation. In recent years, this concept has become increasingly popular among researchers and conservationists. Learn about how work with ranchers in southern Arizona aims to better understand their attitudes and preferences toward wildlife conservation, especially jaguars, and other endangered species.

Thursday, December 11th
Speaker: Sarah Richman
Title: Cheating in Plant Sex: How the birds and (especially) the bees change the outcome of pollination interactions.
Pollinators are often given the image as being benevolent servants to plants. However, if we examine their interaction more closely, we see that pollinator behavior is more complicated than we thought, and the ecological fallout plays out somewhat unexpectedly. This talk will describe these dynamics, using examples from the subalpine Colorado Rockies.


College of Science Lectures at SaddleBrooke
Where: Desert View Performing Arts Center
             39900 Clubhouse Drive, Saddlebrooke, AZ 85739

October 15th, 2014       
Speaker/Title: Tom Flemming: What Makes the Sun Shine?

November 5th, 2014    
Speaker/Title: Ed Beshore: What's With All the Talk About Asteroids?

December 3rd, 2014  
Speaker/Title: Phil Pinto: TBA

Tumamoc Hill Lecture Series
Tumamoc Research Series
Where: Tumamoc Hill
             Off West Anklam Rd., just west of North Silverbell Rd.

The Tumamoc Hill Lecture Series provides speakers on topics that relate to the science, history, archeology, and educational mission of Tumamoc Hill.  Not everyone knows Tumamoc Hill even though it rises just west of downtown.  If you’re looking at “A” Mountain (Sentinel Peak) from downtown Tucson, then Tumamoc is the big hill just to the right, the one with the radio antennas on top.  The lectures are held in the library of the old Desert Laboratory, the buildings that are roughly half-way up the Hill.  You can’t drive up Tumamoc Hill, but you can walk up and there is a shuttle provided for the lectures.  The staff asks that you make a reservation for the lecture series so they can prepare for the right number of people, just send an email to or call 520-629-9455. 

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
How to Deal with Diverse Predators: Horned Lizard Ideas
Wade C. Sherbrooke, Director Emeritus, Southwestern Research Station of the American Museum of Natural History and Research Associate, UA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
A horned lizard’s survival may depend on appropriate judgments and reactions during predator advances. Horned lizards factor in to these events the nature of specific predator categories, responding with different but appropriate defenses. Predators such as rattlesnakes, whip snakes, hawks, roadrunners, grasshopper mice, leopard lizards, coyotes, foxes and bobcats are part of the horned lizard’s working mental framework.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Tumamoc Hill: an Island in the Desert Tortoise Landscape
Taylor Edwards, Assistant Staff Scientist, University of Arizona Genetics Core
A general introduction to the natural history of desert tortoises followed by a look at the tortoise population on Tumamoc Hill and tortoise population movements and barriers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Social and Individual Intelligence: Insect Colonies as Models for Organized Societies
Anna Dornhaus , Associate Professor, U of A Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Ants, bees and termites are the most important pollinators, seed dispersers, nutrient recyclers, and predators in many habitats and play a bit role in desert environments. They also employ sophisticated organization strategies unknown from any other animal group. What can we learn from them about group level problem solving?


For More Information

Erin Deely
UA Science Outreach