2017 Science Colloquium Lecture Series

Science Colloquium Series is a semester long lecture series that offers everyone in the Linfield community the opportunity to learn about science across the traditional science disciplines of biology, chemistry, math, physics, and computer science. *Made possible in part by generous gifts from the Hearst Foundations. Sponsored by Linfield Physics Department.

All talks in Graf 100, 4:10pm-5:10pm except as noted. Open to the public.

Sept 13 David Altman, Willamette University, Biophysics
Regulation of the motor protein myosin in the cell

Generation of force is critical for many processes in the cell. Central to these are molecular motors, biomolecules capable of creating directed motion. My lab studies myosins, a molecular motor family with members implicated in processes including muscle contraction, trafficking of cargo in the cell, and cell motility. Specifically, we seek to understand how the complex cellular environment regulates these motors. To this end, we study both purified myosins outside the cell as well as myosin motors within their cellular niche. This approach requires us to probe myosin activity at a variety of sizes and in systems of varying complexity. For example, we study both the small-scale motions (one-billionth of a meter) of individual motors, as well as the relatively large motions (one-thousandth of a meter) of ensembles of myosins in muscle fibers. In this talk, I will describe some of these studies and discuss how our results are beginning to reveal important factors in the regulation of myosins in the cell.

Sept 27 David Tyler, University of Oregon, Chemistry
Paper, Plastic, or Cotton Tote Bag? What Life Cycle Assessments Tell Us About the Sustainability of Everyday Items.

We are confronted with choices every day that impact our environment: Paper, plastic, or reusable tote bag? Disposable plastic cup or reusable ceramic mug? Biodiesel, gasohol, or gasoline? Prius or Hummer? How do we really know what’s best for the environment? This talk will focus on how we evaluate the environmental impacts of various materials and products and some of the fundamental principles of green chemistry and sustainability as well. Warning: your intuition about environmental impacts is not always right!

Oct 4 Andrew Black, Linfield College, Department of Biology
A random assortment of teleost behavior, genetics, and genomics, oh my!

Oct 18 (7pm, Murdock 105) Engineering panel discussion with Linfield physics alumni Werner Arntz (PE, Fergusen surveying and engineering), Taylor Streng (mechanical engineer, Lam Research), Arun Bajracharya (mechanical engineering technician, Amfit Inc.)

Oct 25 Andrew Baggett, Linfield College, Department of Chemistry

Nov 2 (noon, Thursday, Murdock 105) Cori Feist, OHSU, Genetic Counselor

Nov 8- Murdock talks- Linfield student talks about their research projects

Past Events

Thursday Mar 10th |4:15pm| *Graf 100

Susie Crate, Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University
"The Role of Interdisciplinarity in Change Research"
Lecture and discussion of the author's ethnographic work in Siberia, focusing on the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to understanding societal change.  In Siberia, rapid change is underway, due to the twin pressures of climate change and modernization.  Audience members are invited to read Crate's publication, here: http://bit.ly/24z02A7 (click on ‘view it’**).  As with all Science Colloquia, the lecture and discussion will be understandable to all, whether or not you have had specific training/coursework or a chance to read this work.
***Please note: the Sibirica article (http://bit.ly/24z02A7) IS longish; people short on time could focus on the DISCUSSION and CONCLUSION sections (just 7 pages).  Her key general point is that “The practice of ethnography by anthropologists is based on long-term familiarity with the local, an appreciation and understanding of emic perspectives, and a variety of qualitative ways of knowing that privy the researcher in those human aspects.” (p. 68) 
***Friends of the college: If you do not have a Catnet login, email jheath@linfield.edu for a copy of the article.

Thursday March 3rd
|4:15pm| *Graf 100
Roger Diehl, JPL
"Alien Landscapes: Discoveries from Mars, the Moons of Saturn, and Pluto"
The solar system provides a dazzling array of landscapes that have been captured in recent images from Mars, the moons of Saturn, and Pluto. Dr. Roger Diehl, a volunteer with the NASA Solar System Ambassador Program, will present the latest discoveries from these locations. See images of Martian sand dunes, the methane lakes of Titan, the water ice geysers of Enceladus, and the nitrogen glaciers of Pluto. Also hear about the possibilities of a massive planet located in the far outer solar system beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Biography:In 2014, Dr. Roger Diehl retired after 39 years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. During this time at JPL, he made contributions to many missions in the disciplines of mission design and systems engineering. His discovery of the VEEGA trajectory enabled the Galileo spacecraft to be launched to Jupiter after the Challenger accident had ruled out other options. Dr. Diehl also was the Cassini Mission Design Manager, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Payload Operations Manager, and Project Systems Engineer for two projects.

Tuesday March 1st
|7pm| *Ice Auditorium
"Beneath the waves," film festival and panel discussion.
Several short films including "Postcards from the Oregon Coast," "A plastic future: the Midway Story," and "A little ditty about Florida Bay."

Thursday Feburary 25th|
4:15pm| *Graf 100
Jonathan Cohen, Imagine Energy LLC
"Energy Solutions for a Changing World"
Biography: Jonathan Cohen is the founder, a principal and the sales manager for Imagine Energy, LLC in Portland, Oregon.  He founded the company in 2003 and has established a new market for energy consulting and contracting in the residential and small commercial sector.  Jonathan offers knowledge in building science and energy efficiency, solar PV, solar thermal, wind energy, heat pumps (including geothermal), and other energy technologies. Jonathan has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and M.S. studies in the same. He has served as a test engineer at Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park, CA and the National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, CO.   He has also been an instructor at Oregon institute of Technology's renewable energy engineering program, and served on the board of Efficiency First, an industry group to advance home performance contracting.  He also operates The Society Hotel and lives in North Portland with wife Jessie and 3 children.

Thursday, February 18th
|4:15pm| *Graf 100
Dr. William Fleeger, Linfield College
"Our Annual Crisis: Is U.S Wildfire Policy Sustainable?"
:Currently, 2015 was one of the worst fire seasons on record.  Nationally, over 9 million acres burned and seven lives and over a thousand structures were lost. Suppression costs exceeded $2 billion dollars.   But last year’s fire season is not unique.   According to the National Wildfire Leadership Council, the last two decades have seen a significant escalation of extreme fire behavior, structure and property losses, increased costs, risks to communities and deteriorating conditions on the land.  These trends suggest a need to rethink our response to this annual threat to communities and wildlands in the United States.  This presentation focuses on the historical development and evolution of wildfire policy in the U.S. and the barriers and opportunities for managing the complex and changing wildfire environment.
Biography:William (Bill) Fleeger Ph.D. is a Visiting Senior Scholar in Environmental Policy and Sustainability at Linfield College.  His research has focused on wildfire policy and federal agency and community collaboration in the development of community wildfire protection plans in the American west.  He is a native of southern Oregon and worked for nine years (occasionally as a wildland firefighter) with the U.S. Forest Service