“This paleo-centric series promises a smörgåsbord of some of the biggest and smallest beasties from the fossil record. Paleontologists Randy Irmis, Neil Kelley, Paula Noble, and Luis Chiappe will take you on a tour of their work in the deserts of the world and the finds they have uncovered.”
Each event is free, but we do accept donations at the door. We will have beer, wine, fun and the newest in scientific discoveries. Doors open at 5pm and each talk begins at 7pm! Each talk is limited to the first 100 people. Please RSVP early!
The dates and talks are as follows:
Speaker: Dr. Paula Noble
Topic: Draughts and Diatoms
Thursday, April 18
Thursday, April 18 – “Draughts and Diatoms- meet these artful microfossils, explore their tiny glass houses, and discover their long standing affair with beer making”
About this Event
“What is smaller than a sand grain, builds an elaborate glass skeleton, and can be found in virtually every moist environment on earth? Diatoms of course! From volcanic hot springs to Antarctic dry lakes, as oceanic opportunists to desert lake dominators, this group of golden algae leaves behind an intricate fossil record that can help us reconstruct ancient environments. Ranging back to the Jurassic period, diatoms have grown in their importance in the biosphere so that today they produce over 20% of the oxygen we breathe. Diatoms are cool to look at, and darn useful. Not only can ancient species assemblages help reconstruct the past, diatomite deposits can be mined for many industrial purposes including paint, abrasives, and importantly filtration (yes beer!).
Dr. Paula Noble is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada Reno where she teaches classes in geology, paleontology, and paleolimnology and advises students in both the Geology and Hydrological Sciences graduate programs. She received her bachelor’s degree in Paleontology from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Geology from UT Austin. Her main research focuses on the combined use of microfossils and sediment chemistry to answer questions about the age of rocks, the evolution and extinction of fossil marine plankton, as well as understanding past climate, anthropogenic impacts, and natural disturbances in mountain lakes. Her field projects are situated in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin, as well as the Canadian Arctic, central Italy, northern France, eastern Australia, and Turkey. In addition to microfossils, she has recently begun working on late Triassic ichthyosaurs in Shoshone and Pilot Mountains of Nevada with her students and collaborators, Drs. Neil Kelley, Randy Irmis, and Paige dePolo.
This paleo-centric series promises a smörgåsbord of some of the biggest and smallest beasties from the fossil record. Paleontologists Randy, Neil, and Paula (and Luis?) will take you on a tour of their work in the deserts of the world and the finds they have uncovered.”
Speaker: Dr. Luis Chiappe
Topic: Birding in the Age of Dinosaurs
Friday, April 26
Friday, April 26 – “Birding in the Age of Dinosaurs”
About this Event
“Thousands of spectacular fossil birds—many containing plumage, gut contents, and other rarely preserved features—have been recently unearthed from rocks of the Age of Dinosaurs in China. Dr. Chiappe will review this magnificent ancient aviary and explain how these fossils clarify our understanding of early evolution of birds. Luis Chiappe is an Argentine paleontologist born in Buenos Aires who is best known for his discovery of the first sauropod nesting sites in the badlands of Patagonia in 1997. He is currently the Vice President of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and director of the museum’s Dinosaur Institute.
As Senior Vice President for Research & Collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA), Dr. Chiappe oversees the academic programs of more than 25 PhD scientists and the vast biological, geological, and cultural collections of NHMLA. A vertebrate paleontologist and the Director of NHMLA’s Dinosaur Institute, Dr. Chiappe has conducted extensive research on the evolution of dinosaurs, from their reproductive behavior to their evolutionary connection with birds. He is considered to be one of the world’s authorities on the subject. Chiappe’s commitment to public communication is reflected in the Museum’s Jane G. Pisano Dinosaur Hall, an award-winning permanent exhibition that he curated about the nature of science and the lives of dinosaurs, as well as in his many popular books and articles. Chiappe¹s research has been published in more than 180 scholarly articles. He is the author of Walking on Eggs, Glorified Dinosaurs, and Birds of Stone. He is also a J. S. Guggenheim Fellow, a Humboldt Awardee, and a professor at the University of Southern California.
He is world-renowned for his research on the origin and early evolution birds, and the curator of the award winning Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.