Portsmouth Science Café Spring 2014 Series

Past Science Cafes: Spring 2014

March 5, 2014

"The Tides They Are A-Changin’"

A discussion ranging from ocean mapping in the Artic to beaches in a changing environment with Larry Mayer and Diane Foster.

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Larry Mayer is director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire and the co-director of the NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center.  Dr. Mayer been chief or co-chief scientist of numerous expeditions including two legs of the Ocean Drilling Program and seven cruises on the USCG Icebreaker Healy mapping unexplored regions of the Arctic seafloor in support of a potential U.S. submission for an extended continental shelf under the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Diane Foster is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.  Dr. Foster and her students examine small-scale transport of sediment in response to waves and mean flows (from sand grains to shorelines).

April 9, 2014

"Rain, roofs and roads:  hydro-logical thinking for a clean water future"

Stormwater is rain runoff that flows across roofs, roads or other hard surfaces. The runoff contributes to flooding and can carry pollutants including road salt and nitrogen into our rivers, lakes coastal waters. Jamie Houle and Alison Watts discussed some of the steps communities and residents can (and are) taking to reduce stormwater runoff.

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Alison Watts is an Assistant Research Professor in the UNH Department of Civil Engineering.  Her research includes a study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) transport from seal coated surfaces, research on the movement and transformation of PAHs in wetlands; nutrient removal mechanisms; statistical analysis of hydrologic data; ecological assessment of stormwater wetlands, and the use of stormwater wetlands to treat deicing runoff from airports.

James Houle is the Program Manager for the Stormwater Center. His responsibilities include directing and managing the Stormwater Center's growing body of research projects.  Areas of expertise include the design and implementation of innovative stormwater control measures including porous pavements and subsurface gravel wetland systems, low impact development (LID) and green infrastructure (GI) planning and implementation, operation and maintenance, and water resource monitoring.

April 23, 2014

"Changing Families, Changing Communities: A Twenty Year Perspective"

A discussion ranging from declining blue collar work to wives as bread winners and economic recession with Mil Duncan and Kristin Smith.

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Cynthia "Mil" Duncan is founding director of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, which she oversaw from 2004 to 2011. Currently, Mil is the research director at AGree, an initiative bringing together diverse interests to transform food and agricultural policy in the United States.  Widely recognized for her research on rural poverty and changing rural communities, Mil was a sociologist at UNH for 11 years before leaving to become director of the Ford Foundation’s Community and Resource Development Unit in 2000.

Kristin Smith is a family demographer at the Carsey Institute and research assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire.  Her research interests focus on women’s labor force participation and work and family policy. Smith has examined women’s employment, earnings, and wives’ contributions to overall family economic well-being; how families cope with economic turmoil due to either economic restructuring or recessions; the low-wage caregiving workforce; and workplace flexibility and policy.