Noon Balloon Lecture Series - Fall 2009

The weekly NOON BALLOON lecture series provides undergraduates in the Earth and environmental sciences, and anyone else who is interested, a look at the breadth of research being conducted in these fields. Lecturers are research scientists/faculty and graduate students who will talk about their current research and how it ultimately contributes to the understanding of our planet.

Fall 2009 Schedule

Tuesdays 12:15-1:00pm in Room 417 Schermerhorn Hall

You are welcome to bring your lunch.

 Oct 13 Göran EkströmDetecting Landslides with Seismology
 Oct 20

Maya TolstoyExploring Mid-ocean Ridges Near and Far

Summary:  Two thirds of the planet's surface is formed at Mid-Ocean Ridges, but because they are deep beneath the ocean they are difficult to study. With improved technology for long-term seafloor monitoring we are beginning to understand the character of seafloor eruptions and the hydrothermal venting that they help fuel.

 Oct 27

Paul OlsenChaos and Stability in the Solar System as Recorded by Climate on Earth

Summary:  How we can use the geological record of climate to understand the evolution of the Solar System?

 Nov 3 University Holiday.
 Nov 10

Elizabeth Pierce - 40Ar / 39Ar Dating of Ice-rafted Detritus Across East Antarctica

Summary: 40Ar / 39Ar dating of ice-rafted detritus around East Antarctica.   In order to look at the sedimentary provenance of ice-rafted material, I am putting age constraints on material that is being shed from East Antarctica by dating minerals such as hornblende and biotite found in marine sediment cores. I can then apply this knowledge to down-core records to look at iceberg delivery to other locations.

 Nov 17

Sanpisa Sritrairat - The Big Impact of Little People: Past Environment and Climate of the Hudson Estuary

Summary: It has been 400 years since Henry Hudson led the European discovery of the Hudson River, but the Hudson has been the heart of New York region since long before then.  What was it like before European settlement?  How has the environment along the estuary changed over the past millennium?  How do scientists uncover the past ecosystem and understand the climate of the estuary?

 Nov 24

Peter Kelemen - CO2 Capture and Storage Via In Situ Carbonation in Peridotite

Summary: Inspired by natural, geological examples in which CO2 from the atmosphere and from ground water combines with magnesium and calcium from exposed mantle peridotite to form solid carbonate minerals, my colleagues and I are developing ways to accelerate this process. Our goal is to achieve CO2 uptake rates of billions of tons per year, a significant amount given current human emissions of around 30 billion tons of CO2 per year, primarily as a result of fossil fuel use.

 Dec 1

Roger AndersonCon Edison/Boeing/Columbia/NYCEDC Smart Grid Project: An update on progress towards electric economy

Summary:  The Con Edison/Boeing/Columbia/NYCEDC Smart Grid Project aims to build an automated, scalable, secure, interoperable smart electric grid prototype for New York City and suburbs that increases reliability and energy efficiency, and is cost effective, scalable and cyber-secure. In addition, the system will enable greater use of renewable energy, distributed generation and storage, electric vehicle charging and consumer participation in the energy mix.

 Dec 8

Debra TillingerGlobal Context and Local Observations of the Indonesian Throughflow

Summary:  The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) is the only oceanic pathway through the lattice of islands that separate the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Through its role in the global conveyor belt circulation, it has a strong influence on climate. However, the complex geography of the region makes it difficult to observe directly. New results link limited observations to regional characteristics, allowing for an improved understanding of the ITF, its variability, and its interactions with El Nino-Southern Oscillation and other climate phenomena.