SaddleBrooke Science Café

Click Here to view SaddleBrooke Science Cafés on the Desert View Performing Arts Center YouTube Channel

Series Title:  Earth's Core to the Clouds

Volcanoes, earthquakes, ocean currents are a few of the geologic forces that have shaped the contours of our planet for millennia. Today, our climate is rapidly changing.  Research presented in this series seeks answers as to why and how natural phenomena and human evolution have played a role.  Our journey from the deepest depths of Earth will culminate in a closer look at the trends happening in the southwestern deserts today.

DesertView Performing Arts Center

Spring 2018 Schedule of Talks:

Thursday, January 11, 6:30 p.m.

The Anthropocen: the Human Footprint

Dr. Susan BeckPresenter: Jay Quade, Professor, Department of Geosciences

Humans are profoundly altering the Earth’s surface and atmosphere.  We are not just influencing climate, but are dumping megatons of trash into rivers, oceans, and landfills, changing the chemistry of the oceans, and driving many animal species to extinction.  When these sorts of major obvious changes occur in the deep geologic record, geologists give the time period a new name.  Right now we live in the Holocene Epoch, but geologists are seriously considering formally renaming the times we live in the Anthropocene, or “Human Epoch”.  The really challenging and contentious question is where in time should we mark the beginning of the Anthropocene, and why?  Whatever we decide on, future geologists will be absolutely delighted with the mess we are creating, because our mark on the geologic record will be so distinctive and easy to recognize.  




Jay Quade's SaddleBrooke Science Café, Desert View Performing Arts Center Video:


Thursday, February 15,  6:30 p.m.

Humans & Humidity: How Past Climate may have Shaped our Evolutionary History

Dr. Barbara CarrapaPresenter: Andy Cohen, Distinguished Professor, Department of Geosciences

Human evolution spans the last 6 million years, and much of the fossil and archaeological record comes from Africa. Over the last few decades, scientists have accumulated much evidence that climate change has significantly shaped both human evolution and possibly the extinction of many close relative species. Advances in drilling technologies and development of new laboratory protocols are rapidly transforming our understanding of African environmental history allowing us to test various ideas about the links between this history and human origins.



Andy Cohen's SaddleBrooke Science Café, Desert View Performing Arts Center Video:


Thursday, March 22, 6:30 p.m.

Using the Past to Reinvent Conservation for the Future


Dr. Jessica TierneyPresenter: Steve Jackson, Adjunct Professor, Department of Geosciences; Director, Department of the Interior, UA Southwest Climate Center


The conservation we practice today was largely developed in the mid-late 20th Century, and was founded on ideas of environmental and ecological stability that prevailed in the science of the time.  In the past few decades, we’ve learned a lot from the geological record about environmental and ecological changes that have taken place in the past 100,000 years.  The perspective of history forces reexamination of some of the most widely accepted and closely held assumptions of conservation.  Reinvention of conservation based on knowledge of past environmental change will make conservation more effective in a rapidly changing future.

Steve Jackson's SaddleBrooke Science Café, Desert View Performing Arts Center Video:


These talks will be simulcast on Youtube and available for viewing here!

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