Monthly Archive: April 2012

The List: Science and Environment Happenings in and Around Boulder

Solar Probe. (Photo/NASA)

Events this week will discuss the relationship between extreme weather events and climate, and the 2018 NASA mission that will send a spacecraft closer to the sun than ever before.  There will be a viewing of the HBO documentary “Too Hot Not to Handle,” followed by a discussion and reception with Susan Joy Hassol, the movie’s writer, on the CU Boulder campus.

“Challenges in Attribution of Weather and Climate Extremes,” hosted by the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR). April 30.
What? Randall Dole, the seminar’s speaker, is deputy director for research in the Physical Sciences Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder.  He holds a doctorate in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dole’s research emphasizes the connections between weather and climate.  His published studies encompass phenomena associated with weather and climate extremes, including droughts, heat waves, tornadoes and extratropical cyclones.  Dole has served on numerous high-level service roles relevant to weather and climate, and he was one of the three scientific experts on the U.S. delegation for the IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report, “Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.”
Where? CSTPR Conference Room. Map
Time? 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Cost? Free

“Solar Probe and the Solar Wind: The First Mission to our Nearest Star,” hosted by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). May 2.
What? LASP researcher David Malaspina will discuss the Solar Probe+ mission to study the sun.  This mission will send a spacecraft closer to the sun than ever before with the goal of answering a fundamental question: “How does the sun interact with the solar system?”  By repeatedly sampling the near-sun environment, the Solar Probe+ will answer other questions that have been ranked as top priorities by heliophysicists for decades, such as the origin and evolution of solar wind and the kind of interplanetary dust close to the sun.  The seminar will also describe the Solar Probe+ itself, including its scientific instruments and challenges to its survival, such as temperatures of up to 2,600 Fahrenheit.
Where? LASP Space Technology Building (LSTB)-299, Auditorium. Directions
Time? 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Cost? Free

“Viewing of HBO’s Documentary: ‘Too Hot Not to Handle,’” hosted by the Forum on Science Ethics & Policy (FOSEP). May 2.
What? HBO’s 2006 documentary shows Americans experiencing climate change impacts and features leading scientists explaining these changes.  The second half of the films is devoted to solutions available now to help address the climate challenge.  The viewing will be followed by a discussion and reception with the movie’s writer Susan Joy Hassol. Hassol is the Director of Climate Communication, based in Boulder, Colorado.  She’s worked for over 20 years to communicate the science of climate change to policy makers, the media and the public.
Where? CU Boulder, Eaton Humanities, room 250. Map
Time? 5:30 p.m.
Cost? Free

The List: Science and Environment Happenings in and Around Boulder

Saturn’s moon Tethys with its prominent Odysseus Crater silently slips behind Saturn’s largest moon Titan. (Photo/NASA)

At the 2009 and 2010 annual global talks on issues surrounding climate change, sponsored by the United Nations, developing nations were promised billions of dollars for climate change adaptation measures and to make their energy systems less-carbon intensive.  How was this promise handled — was the money ever granted, or used for the intended purposes? A seminar held on CU Boulder’s campus this week will discuss the critical issue of climate finance.

Other events in Boulder this week will focus on the state of environmental law and how the unique chemistry of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, may provide clues for the origin of life on the universe.  On Wednesday, Novelist Kent Haruf will receive the Wallace Stegner Award, the Center of the American West’s highest honor. Continue Reading

Photo Round-up: Engineered Landscapes

rice fields on Dragon's Backbone

From the miles and miles of carefully sculpted rice fields in the province of Guangxi to the most spectacular displays of engineering of Hong Kong, China has demonstrated it’s masterful ways of manipulating the natural landscape for thousands of years. (Photo/Kre Reischel)



For the last Photo Round-up of our spring series, we explore how we engineer the world around us. In each of these pictures, the message is clear: We greatly alter the our surroundings, but we are often forced to—and wise to—work within the constraints of the natural landscape. Continue Reading

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