Borderlands Brewing Co. Science Café

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Series Title: AQUIFERS TO ZIKA: Biotic and Abiotic Issues in Conservation

Environmental conservation encompasses a wide range of concerns, from preventing epidemics to establishing sustainable water sources, from animal conservation to predicting climate change. In this series four Carson scholars will examine how genomics, entomology, photovoltaics, and citizen science can be used to address the wide breadth of environmental challenges that our world faces today.

Borderlands Brewing Company

PhD Candidate graduate student speakers are selected from the Carson Scholars Program, sponsored by the UA Institue of the Environment. To learn more, visit their website here!

Fall 2017 Schedule of Talks:

Thursday, September 14, 6:00 p.m.
Born to be Bad:  Zika's Hidden Cycle of Transmission 

Genevieve Comeau Presenter: Genevieve Comeau, Ph.D. Student, Entomology and Epidemiology

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease that causes severe nervous system damage in babies and, as we are quickly finding out, adults. Mosquitos get Zika by biting an infected person, but can mosquitos get Zika from other mosquitos? Many mosquito-borne diseases can be passed from a mother mosquito to her eggs. If this is true of Zika, the virus could become permanently established in all the new countries it has spread to, circulating in the mosquito populations even when there is no one sick to bite. I will discuss my research on this hidden transmission cycle, what it means for Southern Arizona, and preventative measures you can take to avoid the disease.

Genevieve Comeau's Borderland Brewing Co. Science Café Video: 

Thursday, October 12, 6:00 p.m.
Water Desalination Using High Concentration Photovoltaics: Water, Energy and Food Security for Underserved Populations in the most Arid Regions of the World

Rodolfo PeonPresenter: Rodolfo Peon, Ph.D. Student, Arid Lands Resource Sciences

By the year 2030, about half of world's population will be living in areas of high water stress. Being agriculture the largest water consumer, food production will be extremely challenging in the future. Taking the Navajo Nation as case study, it is shown that treatment of saline aquifers with small-scale solar desalination technologies can provide end users with sufficient water and energy to meet their needs and grow food all year round.


Rodolfo Peon's Borderland Brewing Co. Science Café  Video: 

Thursday, November 9, 6:00 p.m.
Blood, Tissue, Hides and Bones:  Using Conservation Genomics to Inform the Reintroduction of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs

Alex ErwinPresenter: Alex Erwin, JD/PhD student, Genetics & Law

Scientists can now use DNA from wild animal populations to help manage rare or threatened species for future persistence.  I will explain just how conservation geneticists like myself go from taking samples in the field to producing data to inform management and policy.  I will specifically use my work with black-tailed prairie dogs as an example.  I use blood, tissue, hair, bones, and even 19th century hides to extract black-tailed prairie dog DNA.  By extracting and sequencing portions of this DNA, we are informing managers how best to proceed with the reintroduction of the black-tailed prairie dog back into Arizona.  Black-tailed prairie dogs are keystone species that maintain grasslands and provide habitat for a myriad of other species.

Alex Erwin's Borderland Brewing Co. Science Café  Video:

*Due to technical issues, this 25 minute video is not the full Science Café talk. 

Thursday, December 7, 7:00 p.m. 

*Please note, this Science Café begins at 7:00pm unlike other Borderlands Science Cafes

The Winds above, the Flowers below: How the Jet Stream Influences Changing Seasonal Cues and Plant Growth

Amy HudsonPresenter: Amy Hudson, PhD student, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

High-speed winds eight miles above our heads correspond with plant growth on the ground. Plants are beginning their growing season earlier, but at different rates across the United States. I explore how these rates of plant growth can be explained by changes in atmospheric circulations, and how they are connected with growth across the globe. I use tree-ring records, citizen science, satellite data, and computer models to hone in on historic and future interactions between regional climate and the global carbon cycle. Help us track changes in plant growth by becoming a citizen scientist and recording the big events of your own backyard plants!

Amy Hundson's Borderland Brewing Co. Science Café Video:

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