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Stony Brook University

University Libraries STEM Speaker Series: Fall 2018

First Lecture

Guest Speaker: Dr. Heather Lynch, Department of Ecology and Evolution

Title: "How many Adélie penguins are there? and other mysteries solved by satellites"

Date: Tuesday, September 18

Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm

Location: Special Collections Seminar Room, E-2340, second floor of the Melville Library

Please register here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Lecture

Guest Speaker: Dr. Thomas Allison, Department of Chemistry and Department of Physics

Title: "Mastering the Electromagnetic Spectrum and Using it to Learn About Nature" 

Date: Tuesday, October 16

Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm

Location: Special Collections Seminar Room, E-2340, second floor of the Melville Library

Please register here.

 

 

 

 

 

Third Lecture

Guest Speaker: Dr. Edmund Chang, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

Title: "Predicting Nor'easters: From Days Out to Decades"

Date: Tuesday, November 20

Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm

Location: Special Collections Seminar Room, E-2340, second floor of the Melville Library

Please register here.

First Lecture: Dr. Heather Lynch, Department of Ecology and Evolution

Title: “How many Adélie penguins are there? and other mysteries solved by satellites”


Sub-meter resolution satellite imagery is a transformational technology that radically expands our ability to study the spatial ecology of colonial seabirds. Sub-meter mapping of Antarctic penguin colonies at continental scales provides a window into the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors in structuring the fine-scale spatial ecology of seabird colonies (biological process) and the within-colony dynamics driving habitat occupancy at regional scales (geographic pattern). These data have already contributed a number of important insights into penguin biology, have led to the first global population surveys of a number of penguin species, and have provided the raw data with which to track populations at spatial scales relevant to Southern Ocean fisheries management. On the other hand, the volume of information now available for many Antarctic species poses some unexpected ‘big-data’ challenges. I will discuss advances in data analysis that allow us to integrate multiple streams of data in a spatial explicit way that is easily scaled from individual breeding populations to biologically-relevant meta-populations to areas of interest for the management of Southern Ocean fisheries. My talk will emphasize that direct field measurements and remote sensing approaches can and should be integrated in a synthetic model of population abundance and distribution that exploits the strengths of each and provides real-time information relevant to both basic research on penguin dynamics and applied questions important for resource management. While this recent paradigm shift in population monitoring has occurred almost exclusively in polar areas (for reasons I will discuss), the insights gained have broad applicability to other species being monitored over large spatial scales.

Biosketch:


Dr. Heather J. Lynch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolution and in the Institute for Advanced Computational Science. Her research is focused on the ecology and population dynamics of Antarctic wildlife, where she runs a major field research program that is the basis for her work with remote sensing and advanced computing and statistics methodologies. Dr. Lynch received an A.B. in Physics from Princeton University, an M.A. in Physics from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University.

Second Lecture: Dr. Thomas Allison, Department of Chemistry and Department of Physics

Title: “Mastering the Electromagnetic Spectrum and Using it to Learn About Nature”

 

Most of what we associate with the word “technology” derives from our ever increasing ability to control electromagnetic fields. From the early days of telephone and radio communication to the current era of the internet and GHz microprocessors, physicists and engineers have worked relentlessly to produce and utilize electromagnetic fields of higher frequencies and larger coherent bandwidths. In this talk, Dr. Allison will discuss how now physicists can control light waves and even x-rays using a new type of laser called a frequency comb. Frequency combs now allow us to build the most precise atomic clocks and generate attosecond pulses of soft x-rays - the shortest manmade events - pushing the boundaries of what scientists can measure in the “natural” world.

 

Biosketch:

 

The Allison lab develops and utilizes new light sources and techniques to follow the motions of molecular systems in real-time. Developing new technologies and physics ideas go hand in hand with gaining insight into chemical dynamics. He earned his BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and his PhD in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley. He started at Stony Brook in 2013 after a postdoctoral fellowship at JILA.

Third Lecture: Dr. Edmund Chang, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

 

Title: "Predicting Nor'easters: From Days Out To Decades"

 

Here on the U.S. East Coast, nor’easters cause frequent disruptions to the entire region. On top of potential losses in lives and properties, their havocs can cost billions of damages to the regional economy. Our ability to predict these storms have improved over the years, and this has provided emergency management more lead time to prepare for mitigation. In this talk, Dr. Chang will discuss the physical processes behind why these storms can be predicted more than a few days ahead of their occurrences, as well as explore how these storms and their impacts are projected to change under global climate change.

Biosketch:

 

Dr. Edmund Chang is a Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. His research focuses on investigating mid latitude storms, including how to forecast them better from a few days out to a season, how they may change under global warming, and their immense societal impacts. His research group employs a wide range of tools, ranging from analyses of gridded atmospheric analyses and state of the art climate model simulations to learn about the basic characteristics of the phenomena, examination of actual observations to validate what have been learnt from the gridded data, and dynamical studies using a suite of intermediate/mechanistic models to achieve better understanding of these observed phenomena.  Dr. Chang received his B.S. in Physics from California Institute of Technology, M.A. in Astrophysical Sciences and M.A. in Atmospheric Sciences from Princeton University, and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from Princeton University.

Event Organizer: Clara Tran, Science Librarian