Science On the Menu and On Tap

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Two series of talks this spring at UW Tacoma, Science@Lunch and Grit City Think & Drink, have a science focus.

This spring, science is cropping up everywhere at UW Tacoma. Have a yen to learn about rivers, fish and glaciers while you lunch? You can do that. How about sipping while surmising? You can do that, too.

The Science@Lunch series is actually the regularly offered environmental science seminar, TESC 200, a weekly chance for students and faculty to hear from local and national experts on a range of environmental science subjects. This quarter’s seminar organizer, Dr. Dan Shugar, continues the tradition of opening the Monday noon-time talks to the public. They are all free, on Mondays, from 12:30-1:25 p.m., in SCI 309 (the Science Building on the UW Tacoma campus – see map)

April 10 – “Precipitation in Washington State: A study in contrasts,” with Dr. Nick Bond, Washington State Climatologist and senior research scientist at the UW Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean.

April 17 - “A River that Reflects Pacific NW Values? The Columbia River in the 21st Century,” with Michael Garrity, Columbia Basin Mitigation Manager and Water Policy Lead, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

April 24 - “Fisheries Resources of the Puyallup River Basin: Status and Trends,” with Russ Ladley, Environmental Resource Protection Manager, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission/Puyallup Tribe of Indians.

May 1 – “Science, policy and collaborative partnerships in Puyallup River floodplains,” with Jacob Pederson, Puyallup Floodplain Reconnections Project Coordinator, Pierce County Public Works.

May 8 – UW Tacoma Science Faculty Roundtable

May 15 – “Pacific Herring: A Foundational Coastal Species,” with Dr. Tessa Francis, Lead Ecosystem Ecologist, UW Tacoma Puget Sound Institute.

May 22 – “Glaciers: Frozen Rivers Transporting Snow and Ice to Streams and Oceans,” with Dr. T.J. Fudge, postdoctoral researcher in UW’s Department of Earth & Space Sciences.

On the premise that two or more minds are better than one, Grit City Think & Drink brings thinkers together in a convivial all-ages pub atmosphere for intellectual exploration and social interaction. Sponsored by the UW Tacoma School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, the events are every second Tuesday of the month, 6:30-8 p.m., at The Swiss, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma. All ages are welcome.

April 11 - “Arsenic & Old Lakes,” with Dr. Jim Gawel, UW Tacoma associate professor of environmental chemistry and engineering. A smelter operating alongside Tacoma’s Puget Sound for almost 100 years contaminated dozens of small lakes in South Puget Sound with heavy metals, including arsenic and lead. Gawel will explain the mechanisms by which the contamination occurred, and the human health and ecological implications.

May 9 – “What Bugs ‘Mean’ to Each Other,” with Dr. Jeremy Davis, UW Tacoma lecturer whose PhD is in animal behavior. Studies suggest Insects learn by observation, eavesdrop on each other and pass on information by teaching. Davis will discuss the way insects rely on social learning, and will talk about how he connects his research interests to his teaching.

June 13 – “Is It Getting Hot in Here?” with Dr. Tom Koontz, associate professor in environmental policy. Koontz will discuss the human tendency to resist new information that does not conform to our beliefs. One example he will explore is global climate change: mounting evidence that it is happening and that it is human-caused is met with skepticism by some.

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / April 6, 2017
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or