Modesto Area Partners in Science

2005 - 2006 Archive

[This is an archive of our 2005 - 2006 MAPS year. Here is a link to the Current MAPS schedule.]

April 21, 2006
Looking for life on Mars
Dr. Dawn Sumner, UC Davis

The search for life on Mars begins with a search for water. Dr. Sumner is Associate professor of Geology, UC Davis. Her research focuses on the early evolution of life and ocean chemistry on Earth. She is also a member of NASA Mars Exploration Payload Advisory Group and is currently working on a special committee to revise the scientific goals involved in the search for life on Mars.
Age range: 12 and older.

NASA's Mars Exploration Program
European Space Agency (For Kids, Mars Express.)
Mars-o-Web (Mars Landing Sites)
Google Map of Mars. (Cool!)
Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group
NASA's Planetary Data System
NASA's Home Page
Astrobiology Magazine
NASA's Astrobiology Institute

April 4, 2006
Intelligent Design and Finding Darwin's God
Dr. Kenneth Miller, Brown University

Dr. Miller is the author of "Finding Darwin's God", a stimulating and authoritative exploration of unifying science and faith. He has also authored three college and high school biology textbooks used widely in the US. He was a major expert witness for evolution in the recent Dover, Pennsylvania trial on whether Intelligent Design should be taught in science classes. He teaches biology at Brown University and does research on membrane structure and function.
Age range: 15 and older.

Dr. Miller's page at Brown University
Dr. Miller's Home Site
Dr. Miller's Evolution Page

February 24, 2006
The Future of the Shuttle After Columbia: Some Personal Observations
Doug Kohl

Mr. Kohl participated in more than 50 Space Shuttle missions while at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He now lives in Twain Harte. NASA asked him to examine suspected space shuttle debris in the Sierra Nevada.
Age range: 12 and older.

Tyrannosaurus rex skull

January 27, 2006
Intelligent Design ... a view from the Trial.
Kevin Padian, Curator, UC Berkeley Paleontology Museum

Dr. Padian is a major evolutionary biologist working at U.C. Berkeley on the evolution of life during the Age of Dinosaurs. He was an expert witness for the plaintiffs at the Dover, Pennsylvania trial in October 2005, on whether the Dover School Board could require Intelligent Design to be presented as an alternative to evolution in science classes.

Dr. Padian's specialties include:

Dr. Padian is:
Curator, UC Berkeley Paleontology Museum and
President, National Center for Science Education
Both sites have excellent evolution information for citizens and teachers.
Age range: 15 and older, please.

December 9, 2005
The Christmas Star
Bill Luebke, Astronomy professor, MJC

This has been a Modesto favorite for years. Bill has a nifty new edition to share!
Age range: Entire Family

Hurricane Katrina heading for New Orleans

November 18, 2005
The Science of the Katrina Disaster: A Symposium
Noah Hughes, Garry Hayes and Phillip Duffy

Noah Hughes, professor of earth science at MJC, spoke on "Hurricanes and Storm Surge: Why New Orleans Flooded". He will discuss how Katrina formed, how wind strength, storm surge and Lake Pontchartrain conspired to create a well-foreseen catastrophe.
Hughes holds a B.S. in Geology from University of Colorado, Boulder and an M.S. in Geology from University of Montana, Missoula.

Garry Hayes, professor of geology at MJC, spoke on "The New Orleans flooding: is our Delta vulnerable?" He will discuss whether an earthquake could create flooding in the northern California Delta.
Hayes has a B.S. in Geology from Pomona College and an M.S. in geology from University of Nevada, Reno.

Philip Duffy, leader of the Atmospheric Science Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an associate adjunct professor in the School of Natural Sciences at University of California, Merced, spoke on "Global Warming and Hurricane Strength," addressing whether or not global warming is contributing to the number or strength of hurricanes.
Duffy has a B.S. degree in Astrophysics from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford. He has published papers in astrophysics, atomic physics, and climate research.

After the three 30-minute presentations we will have a 30 minutes question-and-answer period.

Age range: 10 years old and up.

Garry Hayes
LLNL Climate and Carbon Cycle Modeling Group

September 23, 2005
Science and Forest Policies in the Sierra Nevada
John Buckley, Director, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center

John provided a summary of many science-influenced policies and projects affecting public and private forest lands of the Sierra Nevada. His presentation included photos of rare wildlife and stunning scenery, and the latest updates on forest management, wilderness, livestock grazing, off-road vehicle use, herbicide spraying, wildlife populations, and other current issues in our local forests. What is the actual role of science in shaping such management decisions?

This important presentation will be science-based, socially enlightening and visually entertaining. John worked for 13 years as a Forest Service firefighter and has been director of the environmental resource center for 15 years.

Age range: 10 years old and up.

Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center Home.

Dashing young mathematician in tuxedo with a dozen cards in the air October 21, 2005
Art Benjamin

Dr. Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College Mathematics Professor, astonished us with his ability to perform math problems in his head faster than people in the audience could do them on a calculator!

Age range: 10 years old and up.

Arthur Benjamin's Home Page.