The Department of Geosciences presents

Geology Open Night

 
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Spring 2006 Offerings

Open night lectures are usually on topics in the geosciences related to the current research of the faculty, staff and students at SUNY Stony Brook. These presentations are intended for:

  • those interested in new developments in the sciences

  • earth science high school students and teachers

  • undergraduate and graduate students in geosciences

  • professional geologists

In-service Credit is available for teachers attending the Geology Open Night lectures.


We will be having Geology Open Nights on

Friday

January 27, 2006
February 24, 2006
March 24, 2006
April 21, 2006

7:30 to 8:30 p.m. 
Earth and Space Sciences Building 
Lecture Hall (Room 001)
SUNY Stony Brook Campus

How do I get to the Earth and Space Sciences Building at SUNY Stony Brook?


 

You may also be interested in Astronomy Open Night lectures the first Friday of the month, The Worlds of Physics lectures the second Friday of the month and The Living World the third Friday of the month In-service credit is also available for teachers for attending these lectures.

A single point entry to all of the science open night lectures is available at this link

All of these lectures are in ESS 001 Lecture Hall


There will be Refreshments and Demonstrations after the Geology Open Night Presentations.

Admission is Free!!


Web pages describing earlier Geology Open Night presentations

Spring 1998Fall 1998, Spring 1999, Fall 1999, Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Spring 2001

Fall 2001, Spring 2002, Fall 2002, Spring 2003, Fall 2003Spring 2004, Fall 2004, Spring 2005, Fall 2005


 

Prof. Lianxing Wen

An "old continent" in the Earth's mantle

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday January 27, 2006

Prof. Donald Weidner

 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

 

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday February 24, 2006

Dr. Christiane Stidham

How Not to Predict Earthquakes

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday March 24, 2006

Prof. Henry Bokuniewicz

 

Beach Erosion along Long Island’s south shore

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday April 28, 2006

 


An "old continent" in the Earth's mantle

Prof. Lianxing Wen

As they travel through the Earth, earthquake waves open a window for us to look "directly" inside the Earth. As a result, the major discoveries related to the Earth's interior (crust, mantle, core) have come from seismology, the study of earthquake waves. Prof. Wen will discuss a recent discovery of a massive compositional anomaly (an "old continent") in the Earth's mantle. This compositional anomaly occupies an area twice as large as that of the United States and exhibits sharp vertical walls extending about 800 miles above the core-mantle boundary. Prof. Wen will also discuss the implications of this compositional anomaly to our understanding of the early differentiation processes of the Earth and its possible connections toother observations of gravity, volcanic chains and geochemistry at the Earth's surface.

Prof. Lianxing Wen is the recipient of the the 2003 James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and a fellow of the Union. The AGU Macelwane Medal recognizes significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist. Prof. Wen has servednumerous advisory panels for NASA, National Science Foundation, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and Earthscope. His research interests focus on seismology and geodynamics.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Prof. Donald Weidner

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday February 24, 2006

 

The plates move around the surface of the Earth at speeds of inches per year, earthquakes rip open the ground without breaking the Earth into pieces. Is a rock as hard as we imagine, or does it flow like putty under the stresses and temperatures at great depth? Quantitative studies of the plastic properties of rocks at extreme pressures and temperatures are being conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratories by students of Stony Brook and by scientists from around the world. The high intensity synchrotron light source provides a probe of materials that is capable of defining the forces that are required to plastically deform rocks. New methods, developed by Stony Brook researchers have opened the door to these studies with interesting and significant results. Flow studies have defined possible processes that are responsible for deep earthquakes, the studies have shed light on the strength of the asthenosphere (the weak zone just beneath the lithospheric plates) and the lateral variations in this strength. Dr. Weidner was quoted as saying “If I have to choose between a rock and a hard place, I’ll take the rock”.

Prof. Weidner is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences and Director of the Mineral Physics Institute at Stony Brook University. His research interests focus on mineral physics and seismology. The ultimate goals are to combine these areas to help define the physical and chemical state as well as the dynamic processes of the Earth's mantle and crust. Prof. Weidner's research has included earthquake seismology, but currently focuses on using laboratory studies of Earth materials to define constraints on the state and evolution of the Earth.
 

 

How not to Predict Earthquakes

Dr. Christiane Stidham

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday March 24, 2006

Ever since the realization that earthquakes are a natural consequence of plate tectonics, much emphasis in geophysics and seismology has been focused on the goal of predicting earthquakes, but very little movement towards successful earthquake prediction has proven possible. While the effort continues, much seismological study now focuses instead on other ways of assessing earthquake threat. Wherever there are plate boundaries and faults, we can assume that earthquakes will occur in the future, even if we can not predict exactly when. The best way to prepare for that eventuality is therefore to improve our understanding of what will occur when those earthquakes come – where will the worst ground shaking occur? What will be the overall extent of the ground shaking? How long will the ground shaking last? More and more, we have the ability to use three-dimensional computer models of the Earth and computer simulations of earthquakes to answer these questions, and to take a look at possible future earthquake scenarios.

Dr. Christiane Stidham is a lecturer in the Geosciences Department at Stony Brook University. Her background is in both geology and geophysics, the product of a torturous graduate career. After a Berkeley dissertation on computer models of northern California earthquakes, she continued to a Harvard post-doc on computer models of southern California earthquakes (so as not to leave out the other California). The exciting prospect of using these techniques in other seismologically active areas, like Taiwan, is on the horizon.

 

 

 

Beach Erosion: 
The parade of problems, and solutions,
(and more problems) along Long Island’s south shore.

Prof. Henry Bokuniewicz

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday April 28, 2006

Erosion is a natural condition of ocean beaches but it becomes a problem when we believe we have to do something about it.  A tour along Long Island’s south shore shows that the nature and severity of shore erosion changes from place to place, as does our perception of the problem.  How we deal with erosion has also changed over time.  Coney Island is a recreational resource for millions, and represents a century of societal investment.  Fire Island includes natural wilderness but it is also our natural levee against coastal flooding for south shore communities.  Montauk is a historical and cultural resource but must it be sacrificed to supply sand to the beaches to the west?  Our response to shore erosion will vary from place to place and represents a commitment for posterity.    

 Dr. Bokuniewicz is a Professor of Oceanography at the University’s Marine Sciences Research Center.  He has worked on problems of shore erosion along Long Island’s ocean beaches for 30 years with many of the coastal communities, NY State, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service.  He runs, at East Hampton, one of the longest, continuously-active, beach monitoring program in the country.  You can see some of the current studies at: http://alpha1.msrc.sunysb.edu/~coast/.

In-service credit available for teachers

If your school requires that you have a sequence of educational opportunities in order to receive in-service credit, please advise them that during the Fall Semester we will be offering one-hour of in-service credit for each of the:

Three Geology Open Nights
Usually meets fourth or last Friday of month 

Four Astronomy Open Nights
Website for more information is: www.astro.sunysb.edu/openight/opennite.html
Meets first Friday of month

Four The Worlds of Physics - 
Web site for more information is: insti.physics.sunysb.edu/Physics/worlds.html
Meets second Friday of month

Three The Living World
Website for more information is: life.bio.sunysb.edu/marinebio/livingworld

 

Geology Open Night, Astronomy Open Night, The Worlds of Physics and the Living World meet in ESS 001 at 7:30 p.m.

We will offer up to 7.5 hours of in-service credit for the Long Island Geologists field trip in Fall

Information is available on the Long Island Geologists web site is: www.geo.sunysb.edu/lig/

A more printable description of in-service credit offerings can be found at this link.


There will be Refreshments and Demonstrations after the Presentations.

Admission is FREE!

Presentations are in Room 001 ESS Building SUNY Stony Brook

How do I get to the Earth and Space Sciences Building at SUNY Stony Brook?