Borderlands Brewing Co. Science Café

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Series Title: Water, Water Everywhere - But Will it Always be? 

The Science Cafe Series at Borderlands Brewing in Downtown Tucson features graduate students in the Carson Scholars program at the UA Institute of the Environment. Their research focuses on environmentally related science and solutions.

Borderlands Brewing Company


PhD Candidate graduate student speakers are selected from the Carson Scholars Program, sponsored by the UA Institute of the Environment.


Fall 2019 Science Café Presenters:

Thursday, September 12 at 6:00PM

Memories of the Monsoon: What Molecular Fossils can Reveal About our Desert Rains

Amy HudsonPresenter: Dervla Megan Kumar, Ph.D. Student, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona

With winter rain and snow in the Southwest predicted to decline as temperatures rise, our summer monsoons are becoming increasingly important for sustaining the region’s water resources. Yet how climate change will impact the monsoon is largely uncertain. In this talk Dervla will discuss a unique approach to addressing this mystery that uses clues contained within molecular “fossils.” This helps us to reconstruct ancient monsoons from a time when average global temperatures and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were at the same levels we expect to experience in the coming decades so we can better understand the monsoon’s future.




Thursday, October 10th 2019 at 6:00PM

Texting the Climate: How Farmers in Southern Africa are Meeting the Future

Amy HudsonPresenter: Andy Zimmer, Ph.D. Student, Department of Geography and Development, University of Arizona

Across the world, we face the impacts of climate change, but adaptation is tough. Small-scale farmers in Southern Africa are exceptionally vulnerable, facing challenges from both weather and pests. Using text messaging as a communication tool, we connect with thousands of farmers and are therefore able to map and monitor the challenges they face and the decisions they make. Understanding how farmers can best prepare themselves for risk allows us to work towards meeting the challenges of the future.




Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 6:00PM

What Can Tropical Pacific Corals Tell Us About Climate Change?

Genevieve ComeauPresenter: Emma ReedPh.D. Student, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona

 Tropical Pacific islands may seem like remote paradises, but they are at the forefront of climate change: they face rising   seas, shifting patterns of drought, and coral reef death. Corals are the ocean’s history books, forming layers that record   changes in climate as they grow. These corals tell stories about the past that can teach us about future climate—not only   in the tropical Pacific, but here in Tucson as well.





Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 6:00PM

Fixing Conservation with Duct Tape: A Story of Science, Zoos, and Snakes

Presenter: Brian Blais, Ph.D. Student, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona

Many semi-arid and desert animals rely on water for important parts of their lives. Some species, such as gartersnakes, could be impacted if normal water processes are altered. Zoo-based conservation, such as species reintroduction, is one avenue to help curtail species declines. This talk will highlight a brief history of a threatened, semi-aquatic gartersnake and collaborative work between field biologists and The Phoenix Zoo conservation team to better understand gartersnake biology in order to replenish declining populations. Finally, you will hear about ways you can get involved to document direct and indirect changes to water resources.




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