Science Talks

Join us on the second Wednesday of every month as we settle in together and learn something new from an esteemed guest lecturer. Join us virtually via Zoom or our Facebook page as we reintroduce Penn Dixie’s Science Talks. Series highlights include lectures relating to mineralogy, petrology, and astronomy. These free science talks are meant to take the place of our in-person lectures until we are able to meet in person safely again. Sign Up Here!

Friday, February 12th @ pm – Joint Science Talk with Alan Strauss, Ph.D.
Dr. Alan Strauss is the director of the UA Science: Sky School and Mt. Lemmon Sky Center. He earned his doctorate from the University of Arizona’s College of Education, and has over 20 years administrative experience and 10 years teaching experience at the university. He also has a background in outdoor education and recreation especially with persons with disabilities and at-risk youth.

Wednesday, April 14th @ 7 pm – Champions for Conservation presented by Lisa Thibault from the Buffalo Zoo
Meet a few endangered species, see how the Buffalo Zoo tackles conservation, and learn how you can be a conservation champion at home.

Lisa Thibault is the Onsite Programs Specialist at the Buffalo Zoo. She has her B.A. in Zoology and her MAT in Biology and spent her college career conducting studies in ecology and conservation education techniques. She currently works with student of all ages and teaches a variety of biological topics.

Sign Up Here! We’ll contact you with a Zoom link prior to each program.

Devonian: The Age of Fish

Wednesday October 14, 7 pm EST

As part of Earth Science Week, join PaleoJoe Kchodl for a special virtual presentation as he describes some of the many fish that once swam the ancient Devonian Seas. PaleoJoe will talk about the implacable placoderms, the armor plated fish that were dominant in the Devonian. He will also show examples from his collection of armor plates, the ostederms that once covered the head and trunk of these unique creatures.

PaleoJoe goes fishing with a hammer and chisel.

Register Here and you will receive a Zoom link for the talk by 10/13. If you don’t see the email, please check your spam folder.

Got a question for PaleoJoe? Email it before 5 pm on 10/14 to phil@penndixie.org.

There is no charge for this program but Zoom registration is limited to 100 participants. The talk will also be streamed to our Facebook page and PaleoJoe’s Facebook page.

The History of the Niagara Gorge

Wednesday May 27, 7 pm – Virtual Presentation

By Catherine Konieczny, School Programs Manager, Buffalo Museum of Science

Niagara Falls is one of the most recognizable waterfalls in the world, it also happens to be in our backyard. Learn what makes this geological wonder so dynamic.

Explore the historical and cultural significance of the oldest state park in America and how it impacts us today. Journey down through time to discover how Niagara Falls got its shape, how it’s still changing today, and what secrets lay beneath.

Key topics:

-Historical significance: Native Americans and early development

-Geomorphology: The last ice age, weathering and erosion

-Geology: Stratigraphic column and fossils

-Human mitigation: Hydropower and Dewatering the Falls

To participate you’ll need to Register Here and download Zoom. We’ll email a link to the talk shortly before 7 pm.

Recent Discoveries in the Science of Paleontology

Wednesday June 3, 7 pm – Virtual Presentation

By Dan Krisher, Retired Fossil Hunter

The advancement of knowledge in many fields of study typically proceeds at a relatively slow and incremental pace. If you were to look back over the years in fields such as economics, engineering, the social sciences, and mathematics you would see a slow progression where one advancement builds upon another. The “hard” sciences such as physics, astronomy, biology, and geology tend to display a somewhat different pattern.

The slow accumulation of knowledge certainly takes place, but these sciences also have an inherent tendency toward rapid and dramatic discoveries and reinterpretations which can dramatically change a given field of study. This talk will touch on some of the recent discoveries and concept changes which have occurred in the field of paleontology over the past year.

Dan is a paleontologist who retired from Ward’s Natural Science a few years ago where he was the head of Geology and Paleontology. Since his retirement, he has had more time to pursue research which is focused primarily on the Silurian and Devonian coral faunas of NYS. He has also been very involved in public outreach in a wide variety of venues and settings including being a volunteer at Penn Dixie for 6 years (as of the 2020 season).

To participate you’ll need to Register Here and download Zoom. We’ll email a link to the talk shortly before 7 pm.