SciSchmooze Weekly Science Events Newsletter from the Bay Area Science Festival
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SciSchmooze Weekly Events Newsletter

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Happy Valentine’s Day,
It has been quite a week in science.  I hope that you are sharing the science with someone important, maybe even a sweetheart!    For fun please share these with someone you have fun with…   Do polar bears have Valentines? and The Ladybug Love-In: A Valentine's Special
Now on the things shaking and making waves.  All of the Lego news got knocked out of the media this week by LIGO!  Surfing was big news at Mavericks but not nearly as big as in the galaxy.  Surf’s Up in the Galaxy: Detection of Gravity Waves! is a good intro to what all the excitement is about and how it was done.  Here’s a fun video Why discovering gravitational waves changes everything (video)  and an collection of explanations Explain it to me like I'm a kid: scientists try to make sense of gravitational waves.  It is a truly amazing accomplishment since it didn’t come from a need for a new theory… There’s no space for today’s young Einsteins
The news this week brought us from crashing black holes to our smartphones which do rely on quantum mechanics.  Soon you may be able to help earthquake research and prediction just by setting your phone down… Delivering earthquake warnings with smartphones
It’s impossible to see all of the presentations coming in the next week.  Here are a couple that may be worth considering if you are looking for something different…
  1. The Baylands and Climate Change   Tue  San Francisco  12:30
  2. Creative Collisions: Meetup Fair   Tue   San Jose   6:30
  3. Water and California: Where Do We Go From Here?   Wed   Sunnyvale   7:30
I’m always leery of bad science.  I’m not a scientist though so I need to constantly look for more info to support or discredit claims that we see all the time.  Here’s a good source for you to consider try…  In this time of political outrageousness it is always good to have a quick reference to Spotting Bad Science here’s a link that is helpful for checking out various dubious websites as well…  Snopes' Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors
I’m looking forwards to more colors in the sky as we get some more “precipitation”.  Here are a couple of places to get your eyes ready for some of the extra bonuses we can hope to get in addition to rain.  Move Over, ROY G. BIV: Rainbows Get a Makeover and Atmospheric Optics.
herbert a. masters III
ScienceSchmoozer and a shameless promoter of:
the SciSchmooze: 
“If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations, then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations.  If it is found to be contradicted by observation, well these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes.  But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.” -Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, English astronomer, physicist and mathematician (born 28 Dec 1882).

Upcoming Events
Click to see the next two weeks of events in your browser.

Monday, 02/15/2016
BIG BANG MACHINE - 02/15/2016 04:00 PM
Sonoma State University - What Physicists Do, Rohnert Park

A presentation of the PBS Nova episode "BIG BANG MACHINE" which chronicles the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider.

Tuesday, 02/16/2016
Potentially biogenic carbon preserved in a 4.1 billion year old zircon - 02/16/2016 12:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, Mountain View

Although our planet is approximately 4.5 billion years old (Ga), Earth's fossil record extends only to 3.5 Ga, the chemofossil record arguably to 3.8 Ga, and the rock record to 4.0 Ga.  However, detrital zircons from Jack Hills, Western Australia range in age up to nearly 4.4 Ga.  From a population of over 10,000 zircons from this locality, we identified one 4.10 Ga zircon that contains primary graphite inclusions in a crack-free region, and report carbon isotopic measurements on the graphite.  Evidence for carbon cycling or biologic activity can be derived from carbon isotopic studies, since a high ratio of 12C/13C is characteristic of biogenic carbon.  The 12C-rich isotopic signature of these graphite inclusions is consistent with a biogenic origin and may be evidence that a terrestrial biosphere had emerged by 4.1 Ga, or ~300 million years earlier than has been previously proposed.

Speaker: Elizabeth Bell, UCLA 

Bees in a Changing World: How Land Surface Phenology, Bee Community Distributions, and Pollinator-Plant Interactions are Impacted by Urbanization and - 02/16/2016 12:00 PM
Sonoma State University - Biology Colloquium, Rohnert Park

Speaker: Dr. Misha Leong, California Academy of Sciences

The Baylands and Climate Change - 02/16/2016 12:30 PM
SF Planning + Urban Research Assoc. (SPUR), San Francisco

Sufficient, healthy wetlands, marshes and tidal areas are essential to protecting the region's many homes and workplaces from future flooding, but our local baylands have been significantly diminished and are threatened by future sea level rise. A new report developed by hundreds of scientists, and led by the California Coastal Conservancy and the San Francisco Estuary Institute, identifies the necessary steps to build and maintain a healthy bay in a climate-changed future. Come hear what they learned.

Speakers: Matt Gerhart / State of California Coastal Conservancy; Letitia Grenier, San Francisco Estuary Institute

A Quantum Optical Spin Glass: Toward Neuromorphic Photonic Computing - RESCHEDULED - 02/16/2016 04:30 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center, Stanford

Speaker: Benjamin Lev, Stanford

Editor's Note: This lecture has been rescheduled for April 5.  A talk on the recent Gravitational Waves announcement will be given instead.

On the Measurement of Gravitational Waves from the Merger of two Black Holes - 02/16/2016 04:30 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center, Stanford

Speaker: Rana Adhikari, Caltech

The Design and Control of Exoskeletons for Rehabilitation - 02/16/2016 04:30 PM
Thornton Center, Stanford

Robots once were a dream of the future, but they now creep into all aspects of our lives, whether it be vacuuming our house or exploring distant planets. Rehabilitation and mobility are no different. Exoskeletons can provide the motion and support that a user cannot, supplementing or replacing their muscles to enable natural motion. These devices can be used for mobility or for rehabilitation, but both uses come with challenges. I will discuss the design and control of robotic exoskeletons and the challenges faced when designing these devices.

Creative Collisions: Meetup Fair - 02/16/2016 06:30 PM
The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose

Introducing a made-for-all one-of-a-kind event: the Meetup Fair, a gathering of meetup groups from across the Bay Area. Meetup Fair is an event of Creative Collisions, an evening series at The Tech generously sponsored by the Swanson Family. We'll have crafts and Quidditch. Singers and drummers. Business and art and tech and more, all rolled into one unique evening designed to connect you with your people.

Fremont in the Ice Age - 02/16/2016 07:00 PM
Fremont Main Library, Fremont

The Ice Age is defined in North American from the fossils found in Irvington.  New fossils found in the Warm Springs district bring more information of how the large mammals in Fremont disappeared.  Activities will include making headbands, footprints, and more.

Earth Under Water - 02/16/2016 07:00 PM
Saratoga Library, Saratoga

National Geographic explores the potential effects of sea level rise on our civilization over the next few centuries. "Earth Under Water" explains the science behind the prediction of sea level rise and shows what will happen if the levels rise with increasing speed. Then, we fast forward to the 23rd century to see how resourceful humans fight back and adapt using hyper engineering, vast dams, and even the construction of floating cities to cope with the after-effects.

Amillaria Gallica, The Honey Mushroom - 02/16/2016 07:00 PM
Mycological Society of San Francisco, San Francisco

Speaker: Stefano Catona

Speaking of Sex... - 02/16/2016 07:00 PM
Public Works, San Francisco

Join anthropologist David Puts as we explore the origins of human sexuality by looking at the evolution of sexual differences in the human voice.

The roar of the male lion may indeed scare away his rivals, but it might also attract female lions looking for a dominant mate. This is sexual selection in action! The lion with the mighty roar might have a few more opportunities to pass along his genes than the lion with the less impressive voice.

Scientists have found that studying the human voice is also a good way to gain insight into human sexual selection.  The human voice is highly differentiated between the sexes, and the differences are easily quantifiable. Thus it is an ideal model for understanding the evolutionary processes behind our sexual selection.

Why do human males often have deep voices? What does the human female voice signal to potential mates?

Speaker: David Puts

21+ Only

A Hard Rain's a-gonna Fall - 02/16/2016 08:00 PM
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers, San Francisco

Throughout the entire history of life on Earth, we have been at the mercy of the deadly impacts by rocks from space. Just ask the dinosaurs! On multiple occasions, devastating impacts from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) have probably wiped out life on Earth, requiring life here to start over again. However, these events are not relegated to Earth's distant past. Each year, Earth experiences multiple near misses by asteroids and, as in the case of the Chelyabinsk event of 2013, sometimes takes a direct hit. But now, for the first time in the entire history of life on Earth, we have the capability of doing something about it. In this talk, we will examine the threats posed to us by NEOs, explore strategies and technologies to mitigate these threats, and look at ways in which the amateur astronomy community can help save the world.

Speaker: Brian Day

Wednesday, 02/17/2016
Tackling Urban Challenges with Technology - 02/17/2016 12:00 PM
CITRIS at UC Berkeley, Berkeley

Speaker: Scott Mauvais is the Director, Technology & Civic Innovation at Microsoft and works with government and civic leaders, and the citizens they serve, to tackle urban challenges.

Future of Nearshore Processes along the California Coast - 02/17/2016 03:30 PM
Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, Tiburon

Speaker: Nirnimesh Kumar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Power, Accountability, and Human Rights in a Networked World - 02/17/2016 04:10 PM
South Hall, Berkeley

Will Facebook play a decisive role in the 2016 presidential primaries? Should Twitter be blamed for the rise of the Islamic State? Has the Chinese government successfully marginalized political dissent by controlling the companies that run Chinaâs Internet? The fast-evolving power relationships â and clashes â among governments, corporations, and other non-state actors across digital networks pose fundamental challenges to how we think about governance, accountability, security, and human rights. Without new approaches to governance and accountability by public as well as private actors, the Internet of the future will no longer be compatible with the defense and protection of human rights. Nor will its users â or governments â be any more secure.

Fortunately a nascent ecosystem of efforts are now experimenting with new ways to hold governments, companies, and other actors accountable when they exercise power across global networks. One such effort is the Ranking Digital Rights project, which sets forth a framework for measuring information and communication technology (ICT) companiesâ commitments, policies, and practices affecting usersâ freedom of expression and privacy.

In this lecture, Ranking Digital Rights director Rebecca MacKinnon discusses the projectâs Corporate Accountability Index as a concrete example how stakeholders around the globe are working to create new frameworks, mechanisms, and processes for holding power accountable and promoting the protection of human rights in a digitally networked world.

Evolution: Earth and Life Together - 02/17/2016 07:00 PM
Science Buzz Cafe, Sebastopol

Speaker: Carl Pilcher, PhD

Fungal Philosophies - Mythbuster, or Fungal Fables Debunked - 02/17/2016 07:00 PM
Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz

Danny Miller, our guest speaker from the Pacific Northwest will talk to us about an entertaining look at common mushroom myths and the truth about them.

Editor's Note: This event was originally listed at an incorrect venue.

Water and California: Where Do We Go From Here? - 02/17/2016 07:30 PM
LinkedIn, Sunnyvale

Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick will lead an engaging discussion of our region's most pressing water questions, issues, and solutions. Dr. Gleick is a renowned water expert whose research and writing address the critical connections between water and human health, the hydrologic impacts of climate change, sustainable water use, privatization and globalization, and international conflicts over water resources.

Nerd Nite #69: Sutro Baths, Psychedelic Data Science, and Blowing Up Bridges! - 02/17/2016 08:00 PM
Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco

Remember the legendary PSA with the egg and the frying pan? We'll find out what our brains REALLY look like when they're on drugs, and we'll also swim back in time to the saltwater pools of the Sutro Baths and thrill to some Texan bridge demolition porn. This is your brain on Nerd Nite. Any questions? Well, that's what the Q&A section is for, silly! With grilled cheese, librarians, and the Rickshaw bar staff to help you wet your whistle: Be there and be square!


"Sutro's Glass Palace" by John A. Martini

Like a majestic ocean liner or a grand hotel, the Victorian-era Sutro Baths dazzled visitors with over-the-top opulence. Today, only broken concrete ruins remain at Land's End, but still draw hundreds of visitors daily. Marvel at many never-before-seen photographs of Adolph Sutro's legendary glass palace.

John is a native San Franciscan and lifelong researcher into the history of California and the American West. He worked as a ranger for more than 25 years at national parks around the country, including the Marin Headlands and the Presidio. Now an independent consultant specializing in historical research, he appears regularly on PBS, History Channel, A&E Network, and National Geographic Channel.


"Psychedelic Data Science: Mapping the Drug Experience" by Jessica Nielson

Can you imagine what psychedelic experiences look like? Ever wondered if illegal drugs are actually better for you than legal ones? (Some of you may have even performed copious independent studies!) With the increase in data about the harmful effects of prescription drugs and the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, big-data machine learning technologies are helping us answer those questions. Come trip balls-ahem!-observe a psychedelic data visualization journey through various drug experiences.

Jessica is a UCSF neuroscientist focused on finding better treatments for complex neurological disorders. In her free time, she is an advocate of cognitive liberty and studying the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for mental health.


"The State of Texas Paid Me to Break a Bridge" by Bryce Neuman

Keen on saving money on inspections, TXDoT funded a research project to determine how "fracture-critical" their 10,000+ highway bridges really were. So a team from UT Austin's structures lab rebuilt a 120'-long, decommissioned bridge and set out to break it. Yep, they used explosives-but it still took three tries! Come hear about this four-year effort, the engineering basics of the bridge, how they pushed it to its limits, and the results that surprised even the state's (well, it's Texas, after all) experts.

Just coming out of his third fractional-life crisis (in the form of a 14-month trip to Asia), Bryce loves planning and building, earth and life sciences, the great outdoors, and plain-old riding his bike.

Thursday, 02/18/2016
Compact Object Mergers - 02/18/2016 11:00 AM
Kavli Institute Astrophysics Colloquium, Menlo Park

Binary compact object mergers are among the primary gravitational wave sources expected to be observed by the next generation of ground-based gravitational wave detectors. Mergers where one or both compact objects are neutron stars will further produce electromagnetic emission, and coincident observation of this together with gravitational wave emission could teach us much about the progenitor systems, test general relativity in the dynamical strong field regime, and help elucidate the nature of matter at nuclear density. I will begin by giving an overview of the state of the field. I will then discuss more recent work with collaborators focusing on mergers occurring while the orbit still has sizeable eccentricity, and where neutron stars are allowed to have rapid spins. Large eccentricity is expected for mergers that occur following dynamical capture or 3-body interactions in dense cluster environments, and observations imply millisecond pulsars are common in globular clusters. Though these events may be rarer than the traditional quasi-circular inspiral, they could exhibit strikingly different behavior, including zoom-whirl orbital dynamics, and large amounts of unbound material for cases where the neutron star is tidally disrupted. Neutron star spin also seems to provide an ingredient that can cause a hypermassive remnant formed in a binary neutron star merger to be susceptible to the so-called one-arm spiral instability.

Speaker: Frans Pretorius, Princeton

Coastal Paleontology Monitoring at Point Reyes - 02/18/2016 12:00 PM
Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Station

Speaker: Lillian Pearson, Geological Society of America Intern, Point Reyes National Seashore AssociationIntern, UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology

The Ecosystems of California Symposium - 02/18/2016 01:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

California is home to extraordinary biological diversity. Over 7,000 species of plants, birds, mammals, and reptiles inhabit the state's diverse regions, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. California also has a long history of human modification. The Central Valley has been radically changed from its natural state into one of the most agriculturally-rich and productive regions in the country. Its arid hillsides have been altered by grazing livestock and its coastal redwood forests are still recovering from a period of unmanaged and intensive logging during the early 20th century. Marine organism populations have been severely and negatively impacted by a history of unsustainable harvesting. As a result, a quarter of these species are currently at risk of extinction.

A new book, Ecosystems of California, tells the story of California's natural resources up to the present day and raises questions of what the future might bring. During this symposium, several of the book's authors will present an overview of the California landscape-its climate, topography, fire history, and water distribution-as a series of short talks, round table discussions, and audience question and answer periods. They will describe the elements that led to such a biodiverse state and the threats that this diversity faces now and in the future. This will be followed by a closer look at specific ecosystems, including terrestrial, aquatic, and marine, as well as managed ecosystems, including rangelands, forestry, agriculture, and cities.

How and Why We Control Invasives in the Park - 02/18/2016 02:00 PM
Tennessee Valley Nursery, Mill Valley

Join Liz Ponzini (Manager, Tennessee Valley Nursery), for this informative and interesting class on something we should all be aware of: the threats posed to the parks by invasive plants. Learn results of research within the park showing negative effects to habitat value when non-native invasive plants are introduced; as well as, how we prioritize and control the most detrimental species and results of that work. Class will start with a presentation, followed by a hike to observe restoration areas.

Water Detectives - 02/18/2016 04:00 PM
Bascom Library and Community Center, San Jose

In Matamoros, Mexico, a severe water shortage led to a one-of-a-kind solution: The city put local children in charge of changing adults' attitudes and habits. Thousands of schoolchildren were enlisted as "water detectives." Educated about resource conservation, they were encouraged to discuss proper water usage with adults and were authorized to give "tickets" to transgressors seen to be wasting water. The municipality followed up by fixing leaks and visiting homes. The result? Matamoros lowered its water consumption by nearly 20 percent in just one year!

Bleeding Edge FPGA and Digital Design: New Challenges At High Gigabit Rates - 02/18/2016 04:00 PM
Sonoma State Dept. of Engineering Science, Rohnert Park

Speaker: Chuck Corley, National Instruments

Bio-Inspired Sensors for Wearable Electronics and Prosthetics - 02/18/2016 05:00 PM
PARC Forum, Palo Alto

Electronics have become increasingly integrated in our daily lives through the invention of devices such as cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and wearable fitness trackers. As this trend continues and electronics are integrated on the body or in the body, the mechanical properties of electronics become a central issue. This talk will discuss the current state of and our future vision for the applications of compliant electronics, including wearable electronics and biomimetic skin for prosthetic devices.

Speaker: Alex Chortos, Stanford

The 49ers Champion Levi's® Stadium: The First LEED Gold New Stadium and Venue - 02/18/2016 06:00 PM
Commonwealth Club, San Francisco

Achieving the LEED gold certification for the 49ers new home field is the first such championship achievement for a new stadium. Its builders hope it will serve as a model for sports leadership in environmental design and construction worldwide. Join us to learn about the sustainable management, design, function and construction of the Levi's Stadium-home to the 49ers and host of Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED] gold rating is determined by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Speakers: Jim Mercurio, General Management, Levi's Stadium; Pat Rogan, 49ers Stadium Management Company

Noise Pop Nightlife - 02/18/2016 06:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

Kick off Noise Pop 2016with sound inspired science and live performances by indie rockers Gardens & Villa and opening act Charlie Hilton (of the band Blouse).

The Vinyl Room
(African Hall)
6:00 - 10:00pm, Take vinyl safari through crates of vintage records and take a peek at some great album and poster art in Amoeba Music's mobile record store. Vintage not your style? Roll through some fresh Bay Area indie record collections with BARF (Bay Area Record Fair).

Spin Art Science Swamp
6:00 - 10:00pm, Feeling artsy? Try your hand at spin art inspired by records with Julia Jane Moore.

Sounds Science
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm, Learn  about the molecular mechanisms of hearing with Shih-Wei from UC Berkeley's Molecular biology department and become immersed in recorded nature sounds from Nature Sound Society.

Get in the Groove
(Coral Reef)
6:00 - 10:00pm, Dive under water and get your groove on with a DJ set by Damon Eliza Palermo.

Noise Pop Piazza
8:00pm & 9:00pm, Catch live performances from opening act, Charlie Hilton (of the band Blouse) performing pop-infused tracks off her new solo debut. At 9:00pm, catch the main act, Gardens & Villa as they serenade science lovers with their SoCal inspired pop.

Music presented by Noise Pop

Watching the Universe Grow Up: Snapshots Through Time Using Radio Waves - 02/18/2016 06:00 PM
Scarlet City Espresso Bar, Emeryville

How did the first generation of stars and galaxies form in our Universe? Astronomers don't know, but they have ideas-which are hard to confirm.

Join Adrian Liu for a  "sneak preview" of what will come in the next few years, as a new technique known as "21cm cosmology" revolutionizes our understanding of how our present Universe-with its majestic astronomical patterns-came to be.

Protecting the Waterbirds of S.F. Bay - 02/18/2016 06:30 PM
Golden Gate Audobon Society, Berkeley

Thousands of migrating ducks, grebes, coots, and loons arrive in California each winter. While they seem plentiful, nearly one-third of waterbird populations are declining, including Surf Scoters and Lesser Scaups. Audubon California recently launched a Waterbird Program at its Richardson Bay center in Tiburon. Learn how Audubon is using Richardson Bay to protect waterbirds, and how it plans to scale up these conservation actions to S.F. Bay and the Pacific Flyway.

Speaker: Kerry Wilcox, Richardson Bay Audubon Center

The Fight for Water - 02/18/2016 07:00 PM
Santa Clara City Library, Santa Clara

This historical documentary, set during the 2009 California Water Crisis, follows the stories of two Central Valley farmers. They discuss how water restrictions and environmental regulations have threatened their way of life, their American dream and their community. The crisis point was an environmental ruling to protect an endangered fish species that shut off their water supply and led to the layoff of thousands of migrant farm workers. This led to a water march across the heart of the California Central Valley by farmers, farm workers and a coalition of Latinos to demand that their water supply be turned back on.

Fungal Philosophies - Mythbusters, or Fungal Fables Debunked - 02/18/2016 07:30 PM
Bay Area Mycological Society, Berkeley

February's speaker is Danny Miller. His enlightening and entertaining presentation is titled, "Mushroom Mythbusters - Fungal Fables Debunked." Danny, with his sharp wit and keen sense of humor, will share his insights, delights, and observations with you and correct some of the misconceptions about fungi that you may have.

Danny first became interested in mushrooms in 2007 after seeing many strange and colorful creatures in the forest while hiking off-trail, and finally decided he had to find out what the heck they were. The more he learned, the more interesting they became, and his interest just hasn't stopped. Now Danny is on the Puget Sound Mycological Society Board of Trustees, is our Librarian and Education Chair, and is on the ID Committee. He is also a member of the Pacific Northwest Key Council and, with Ian Gibson, is a co-author of MatchMaker, the free PNW mushroom identification program for your personal computer. His major interest is in fungal taxonomy. When not exploring the woods and looking for mushrooms, Danny has directed and acted on the SecondStory Repertory stage, and has also worked with their Split 2nd Improv group. He has also served on the SecondStory Repertory Board of Directors since 2004.

Everything Matters: Sodium - 02/18/2016 08:00 PM
Exploratorium, San Francisco

Come be in your elements with Exploratorium host and scientific raconteur Ron Hipshman. Follow tales of intrigue and invention, join in dynamic demonstrations, and uncover fascinating connections between individual elements and our collective human experience.

Part of "After Dark" (6:00 PM - 10:00 PM)

Friday, 02/19/2016
The Continuing Process of Crop Domestication: Consequences for Genetic Conservation and Climate Change Mitigation - 02/19/2016 12:30 PM
Bolivar House, Stanford

Crop domestication is generally a selection process for adaptation to selection by farmers and consumers. It was one of the key elements of the Neolithic Revolution(s), which took place some 10,000 years ago and led to the advent of civilizations on different continents. Three groups of factors drive domestication and subsequent evolutionary steps among crops: intrinsic biological processes, environmental factors, and - unique to crop evolution - human socio-economic and cultural factors. Crop evolution continues to shape genetic diversity today and is a key to adaptation of crops to global climate change.

Speaker: Paul Gepts, UC Davis

Searching for the First Stars Through Nuclear Reactions - 02/19/2016 07:30 PM
Tri-Valley Stargazers, Livermore

Over the years, the interplay between nuclear physics, computational astrophysics, and observational astronomy has been critical to our understanding of the cosmos. Nuclear data and astrophysical models continue to provide key input to help explain and guide astronomical observations. Once recent example involves the search for the first generation of stars in the galaxy, which is predicted to have a rather unique chemical abundance signature compared to later generations of stars whose composition has been enriched with heavy metals. The predicted chemical abundance patterns depend sensitively on available nuclear data among other factors. One important nuclear reaction is the fusion of two carbon nuclei into a magnesium nucleus and a free neutron. In the past, many astrophysical models simply ignored this reaction because the available rate estimates were so uncertain. Now, however, a precise measurment of this reaction at astrophysical conditions has finally been provided using a laboratory accelerator. With the new measurement, it is found that this reaction is critical to the production of elements with odd atomic numbers (e.g. sodium, Z=11) in the first stars while also important to heavy-element synthesis in later stellar generations.

Speaker: Brian Michael Bucher, Lawrence Livermore Labs

The Evolution of Planetary Landscapes from Callisto to Helene - 02/19/2016 07:30 PM
Peninsula Astronomical Society, Los Altos Hills

Landform evolution modelling has become an important tool in interpreting the landscapes of the icy satellites of the solar system.  In this talk, I will discuss the methods that are applied to this purpose and describe its application to several interesting icy satellite bodies, including Titan, Triton, Callisto and Helene.  The talk will conclude with a preview of landform evolution modelling results applied to Pluto.

Speaker: Orkan Umurhan, NASA

ClimateMusic Project Concert - 02/19/2016 08:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland

Join us in the Planetarium for a performance by The ClimateMusic Project, a science & arts collaborative that uses music to teach people about climate change in a fresh and engaging way. The collaborative is made up of leading climate scientists and versatile artists who pull from terabytes of climate data and the most advanced climate models to create music that reflects the story of our climate, past, present, and future.  Following the performance, you will have the opportunity to engage the scientists, composer, and musicians in a live discussion and Q&A session.

Saturday, 02/20/2016
Birding for Beginners at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park - 02/20/2016 09:00 AM
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland

Millions of people around the world enjoy bird watching, but it can be intimidating if you're a rookie! Naturalist Tony Iwane will lead beginners through the basics of bird identification. The restored wetland of Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is a beautiful backdrop for observing the antics of avian visitors as they migrate along the Pacific Flyway. We had a great time birding here last October.

We'll go on a short, easy walk through the park and learn how to identify birds and about each bird's special adaptations. Bring your own binoculars or borrow ours for free.

Ages 12 and up.

WWII in the Shadow of Mt. Tam - 02/20/2016 10:00 AM
Bay Model Visitors Center, Sausalito

From 1942–1945 Sausalito was home to a bustling wartime shipyard called Marinship. Innovations, ingenuity and inspiration all played a part in the day to day routine. Join Ranger Joanne on a 2-mile walking tour of the area surrounding the Bay Model to experience what life in the shipyards was like. Dress in layers, wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water, hat and sunscreen. Rain cancels.

A Rare Ecosystem: Livermore's Alkali Habitat - 02/20/2016 10:00 AM
Robert Livermore Community Center, Livermore

Livermore is home to a rare ecosystem, an alkali wetland. Only two other places on Earth have a similar soil composition. Rare and endanged flora and fauna are found here, including the Livermore tarplant (Deinandra bacigalupii). Learn about the geology behind the alkaki sink, the plants and animals supported by the ecosystem. 

Tour of water purification system - 02/20/2016 10:00 AM
Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center, San Jose

Join the Santa Clara Valley Water District for a free public tour of the largest advanced water purification center in Northern California. See how treated wastewater is purified to produce water that is safe enough to meet California's strict water quality standards using advanced technologies of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light disinfection. Learn about the beneficial uses of purified water and its potential for providing a safe, reliable, and locally-controlled water supply that is resilient against drought and climate change. You must register online at to secure a tour spot at the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center in San Jose. Space is limited. Please register by Feb. 17 as tour times are first come, first serve.

Tours at 10:00 AM, 12 Noon, and 2:00 PM

Aquarium of the Bay and BayMobile - 02/20/2016 11:30 AM
Bay Model Visitors Center, Sausalito

Aquarium of the Bay has teamed up with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bay Model Visitor Center to create the Bay Model Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that benefits the Bay Model and its educational programs by bringing the Bay, its animals, and their habitats to you!

Join us at the Bay Model for these special conservation programs that are fun for the whole family!

SCIENCE: And Our Climate - 02/20/2016 11:30 AM
Bay Model Visitors Center, Sausalito

We hear about it all the time: climate change. But what is it and what does it really do? Aquarium of the Bay will collaborate with the staff of Bay Model to show the science behind the headlines. You'll be able to explore with us through hands-on experiments as you walk through the Bay Model.  

At 1:30pm there will be a special Sea Level Rise program with Ranger Linda. You'll even see the sea level rise at the Model!

Frogs & Turtles of Mt. Tam - 02/20/2016 02:00 PM
Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco

Come learn about the native foothill yellow-legged frogs, Rana boylii, and western pond turtles, Actinemys marmorata, that call the Mt Tamalpais watershed home. March through June is the best time to see these creatures and to learn about wildlife biology and conservation.

Educating the public about the threats to the native species, observing visitor use and interaction of recreationists, collecting population data and removing introduced predators are ways in which the Marin Municipal Water District protects the populations. With the help of volunteer community scientists, humans and animals alike benefit from our conservation efforts.

See weblink for map to location.

Low Tide Walk - 02/20/2016 02:30 PM
Fiddlers Cove, Pescadaro

Join us for a series of coastal adventures.  We will be taking advantage of the multiple low tides this season with a sequence of Low Tide Walks.  We will return to a few of our favorite stomps as well as venturing to some new spots.  When the tide is low we have the opportunity to find amazing sea life such as crabs, sea stars, eels and even octopus!

Spaces are limited and fill quickly.

Sunday, 02/21/2016
No Wetsuit Required: Adventures of a Fish Veterinarian - 02/21/2016 01:00 PM
Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab, Santa Cruz

Come and hear "tails" of adventure from under the waves! Dr. Jessie Sanders, of Aquatic Veterinary Services of Northern California, will share some of the excitement of her career as an aquatic veterinarian. From electric eel shocks, to giving a sand tiger shark a physical, to getting a piranha to hold still of an X­ray, there's something for everyone. And you won't even get wet!

Speaker: Dr. Jessie Sanders, Aquatic Veterinary Services of Northern California

Movie screening and discussion on artificial intelligence - 02/21/2016 01:30 PM
Civic Center Library, Livermore

Join us for a free screening of a PG-13 movie about the friendship between a robot caretaker and an aging, cantankerous ex-cat burglar named Frank.  For more information about the film, see website.  Refreshments will be served. 

After the movie, join us for a fascinating presentation and discussion about A.I. (artificial intelligence) with local startup founder, and i-GATE member, Chris Riley! 

The movie screening starts at 1:30 pm, and the A.I. discussion starts at 3:00 pm or after the movie.   

The West Without Water: A History of Droughts and Floods in California - 02/21/2016 02:00 PM
Cupertino Community Hall, Cupertino

In this illustrated talk authors Dr. Lynn Ingram, Professor in the Departments of Earth and Planetary Science and Geography at U.C. Berkeley, and Frances Malamud-Roam, Senior Environmental Planner-Natural Sciences Caltrans District 4, will present evidence for "megafloods" and "megadroughts" that recurred over the past several thousand years. These extreme events in California, mirrored by events throughout the West, were of much longer duration and severity than any experienced over the past century and are virtually unknown in the living memory of modern residents of the West.

Monday, 02/22/2016
National Engineers Week: Tower Construction - 02/22/2016 03:30 PM
Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
Climate Refugees - 02/22/2016 04:00 PM
Rose Garden Branch Library, San Jose
THE HUNT FOR NEW PLANETS - 02/22/2016 04:00 PM
Sonoma State University - What Physicists Do, Rohnert Park
Will Renewable Energy Markets Continue to Grow? - 02/22/2016 04:30 PM
Stanford University Energy Seminar, Stanford
The Fight for Water - 02/22/2016 06:30 PM
Sunnyvalle Public Library, Sunnyvalle
TensorFlow: Machine Learning for Everyone - 02/22/2016 06:30 PM
eBay Whitman Campus, San Jose
Calling the Cosmos: How to Talk with Extraterrestrials - SOLD OUT - 02/22/2016 07:30 PM
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
Tuesday, 02/23/2016
The Breakthrough Initiative - Listen and Megastructures at KIC 8463 - 02/23/2016 12:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, Mountain View
California Naturalist Program and Citizen Science - 02/23/2016 12:00 PM
Sonoma State University - Biology Colloquium, Rohnert Park
National Engineers Week: Drone Design - 02/23/2016 03:30 PM
Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
Contemporary Climate Change as Seen Through Measurements - 02/23/2016 04:10 PM
Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Berkeley
The Genesis of General Relativity and its Formative Years - 02/23/2016 04:30 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center, Stanford
Earth Under Water - 02/23/2016 05:00 PM
Tully Community Branch Library, San Jose
There Once Was An Island - 02/23/2016 05:00 PM
Bascom Library and Community Center, San Jose
The Future of Urban Transport - 02/23/2016 06:30 PM
IEEE Santa Clara Valley Consumer Electronics, Santa Clara
The Future of Urban Transport - 02/23/2016 06:30 PM
IEEE Santa Clara Valley Consumer Electronics, Santa Clara
Golden Gate Cetacean Research Organization: The Porpoises and Dolphins of the SF Bay Area - 02/23/2016 07:00 PM
Bay Model Visitors Center, Sausalito
A Cancer in the Family: Take Control of Your Genetic Inheritance - 02/23/2016 07:00 PM
Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto
An Ethical Philosophy of Land Use: How to Care for Our Only World - 02/23/2016 08:00 PM
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, Mountain View
Wednesday, 02/24/2016
CITRIS Research Exchange: Web of Systems - 02/24/2016 12:00 PM
CITRIS at UC Berkeley, Berkeley
National Engineers Week: Flight Simulation - 02/24/2016 03:30 PM
Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
Pace of Change: Silicon Valley and the West Wing - 02/24/2016 04:10 PM
South Hall, Berkeley
Why We Have Effective Agreements to Protect the Ozone Layer But Not to Stabilize Climate - 02/24/2016 04:10 PM
Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Berkeley
The San Francisco Foundation: Building Climate Equity and Community Resilience - 02/24/2016 06:00 PM
Commonwealth Club, San Francisco
The Fight for Water - 02/24/2016 06:00 PM
Gilroy Library, Gilroy
Not on the Test Lecture Series: Kimberly Bryant of Black Girls Code - 02/24/2016 06:30 PM
Berkeley City College Auditorium, Berkeley
The Electric Vehicle Option Today - 02/24/2016 06:30 PM
Commonwealth Club, San Francisco
Physics Caberet: The Latest Science in the News! - 02/24/2016 07:00 PM
Science Buzz Cafe, Sebastopol
Rock Identification - 02/24/2016 07:00 PM
Hillview Community Center, Los Altos
What's Getting into Your Lungs?: The Effects of Smoke, Ozone, Allergens & More - 02/24/2016 07:30 PM
Marin Science Seminar, San Rafael
It all comes together at the ends: telomeres, telomerase, and human disease - 02/24/2016 07:30 PM
Science on Tap, Santa Cruz
Thursday, 02/25/2016
National Engineers Week: Mars Lander - 02/25/2016 03:30 PM
Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
Protein Folding - On and Off the Ribosome - 02/25/2016 04:00 PM
Stanford University, Stanford
Water Detectives - 02/25/2016 04:00 PM
Saratoga Library, Saratoga
Dark and Stormy Nightlife - 02/25/2016 06:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
Osteoporosis: Prevention and Treatment - 02/25/2016 07:00 PM
Stanford Hospital Health Library, Palo Alto
The Gold Rush and the 1906 Earthquake: How they combined to create the breakthrough discovery of modern seismic science - 02/25/2016 07:00 PM
USGS Evening Public Lecture Series, Menlo Park
Forgetting Names: Should I Be Worried? - 02/25/2016 07:00 PM
Cafe Scientifique Stanford Blood Center, Palo Alto
Full-Spectrum Science with Ron Hipschman: The Last Doubling - 02/25/2016 08:00 PM
Exploratorium, San Francisco
Friday, 02/26/2016
Fungi of Tule - 02/26/2016 03:30 PM
Tule Ponds at Tyson Lagoon, Fremont
National Engineers Week: Water Rockets - 02/26/2016 03:30 PM
Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
Water Detectives - 02/26/2016 03:30 PM
Tully Community Branch Library, San Jose
Water Detectives - 02/26/2016 03:30 PM
Alum Rock Branch Library, San Jose
Berkeley Innovators Series: Leila Takayama, Google X - 02/26/2016 04:00 PM
CITRIS at UC Berkeley, Berkeley
Earth Under Water - 02/26/2016 04:30 PM
Tully Community Branch Library, San Jose
Saturday, 02/27/2016
Guided Nature Walk - 02/27/2016 09:30 AM
Bouverie Preserve, Glen Ellen
34th Annual San Francisco Middle School Science Fair on Display Awards Ceremony - 02/27/2016 10:00 AM
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
Science Saturday: Worms, Slugs & Bugs - 02/27/2016 11:00 AM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Pacific Grove
Trekking the Model - 02/27/2016 01:30 PM
Bay Model Visitors Center, Sausalito
Roboticist Kevin Roche presents ThinBot, the cocktail serving robot, and other cool machines - 02/27/2016 02:00 PM
Civic Center Library, Livermore
The Fight for Water - 02/27/2016 04:00 PM
Alum Rock Branch Library, San Jose
Family STEM Overnigher - 02/27/2016 06:00 PM
The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose
Science Fiction or Science Fact? - 02/27/2016 07:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland
Sunday, 02/28/2016
HOUSEPLANTS 101: Indoor Tropicals with Brian the Orchid Guy - 02/28/2016 10:00 AM
UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
Marine Mammal Parents and Pups - 02/28/2016 10:00 AM
Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito
Monday, 02/29/2016
The Optical-Infrared Extinction Curve and its Variation in the Milky Way - 02/29/2016 11:00 AM
Kavli Institute Astrophysics Colloquium, Stanford
The Fight for Water - 02/29/2016 04:00 PM
Rose Garden Branch Library, San Jose
Sonoma State University - What Physicists Do, Rohnert Park
Water-Energy Nexus with New Materials Technology - 02/29/2016 04:30 PM
Stanford University Energy Seminar, Stanford
Nerd Night East Bay #39: Vowel Shift, Bee Habitats, Jugger - 02/29/2016 07:00 PM
Club 21, Oakland
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