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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

9-30-08

Contacts:

Karen Zunkel, Program for Women in Science and Engineering, (515) 294-4317, kzunkel@iastate.edu

Pat Miller, Lectures Program, (515) 294-9935, pamiller@iastate.edu

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

ISU speaker series features women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

AMES, Iowa -- Four upcoming lectures at Iowa State University begin a lecture series that will highlight prominent women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The scholars and researchers will speak on topics ranging from biofuels to virtual reality.

The new series, "The Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Speaker Series," calls attention to the work of visiting women scholars at Iowa State. The scholars have been invited to present public lectures on topics of interest to the Iowa State community, in addition to meeting with faculty, staff and students within their disciplines. The series was established by the Women's Leadership Consortium, in cooperation with the Committee on Lectures and the Lectures Program.

"Research advances of women are having an impact on the world," said Karen Zunkel, director of Iowa State's Program for Women in Science and Engineering. "And we're pleased to bring leading national and international researchers, like these four speakers, to enrich Iowa State's campus. These four women represent the beginning of a series that will bring in additional researchers throughout the year."

The STEM Speaker Series lectures are described below. All are free and open to the public.

"The Impact of Groundwater Seepage on Coastal Ecosystems"
Adina Paytan
7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Memorial Union South Ballroom

Adina Paytan, assistant professor of geological and environmental sciences at Stanford University, is a detective who searches for sources of beach pollution. She travels widely to different shorelines, measuring and detecting chronic coastal pollution. Her theory is that ground water discharge into our coastal waters may be as important as urban runoff. In terms of both economics and ecology, Paytan says it is important to know the source of coastal water pollution to ensure adequate conservation of our coastlines. These areas not only contain favorite swimming beaches, but also house coral reefs, sandy beach ecosystems, marine nurseries, and unique habitats such as mangroves and salt marshes. The Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences is a co-sponsor.

"Environmental Impacts of Ethanol Production: The Good, the Bad, and the Alternatives"
Felicia Wu
8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, Memorial Union Gallery

Felicia Wu is an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health and adjunct professor in the Center for Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include economics, risk analysis, risk communication and policy analysis applied to the areas of indoor air, food safety and biotechnology. Wu has received the National Institutes of Health Early Career Award. Her presentation is the annual Sigma Xi Lecture.

"Centering the Human in Virtual and Augmented Reality: The Role of Psychophysics"
Roberta Klatzky
Noon Friday, Oct. 31, Howe Hall, Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium

Roberta Klatzky is a professor of psychology and on the faculty of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests are in human perception and cognition, with special emphasis on spatial cognition and haptic perception--recognizing objects through touch. Her work has application to navigational aids for the blind, exploratory robotics, teleoperation and virtual environments. Her lecture is part of the Human Computer Interaction Lecture Series.

"One for All and All for One: The Rhetoric of Climate Change and Sustainability"
Tarla R. Peterson
8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, Memorial Union Campanile Room

Tarla Rai Peterson holds the Boone and Crockett Chair in Wildlife Conservation and Policy at Texas A&M University. She is the editor of the book, "Green Talk in the White House: The Rhetorical Presidency Encounters Ecology." Her research focuses on the intersections between communication, environmental policy and democracy. She will discuss the rhetorical strategies of 1Sky, a coalition dedicated to building a national movement for a set of comprehensive policies addressing climate change. Her lecture is part of the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Series "Sustaining the Earth."

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Quick look

STEM Speaker Series

"The Impact of Groundwater Seepage on Coastal Ecosystems"
Adina Paytan
7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9
MU South Ballroom

"Environmental Impacts of Ethanol Production: The Good, the Bad, and the Alternatives"
Felicia Wu
8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16
MU Gallery

"Centering the Human in Virtual and Augmented Reality: The Role of Psychophysics"
Roberta Klatzky
Noon Friday, Oct. 31
Howe Hall, Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium

"One for All and All for One: The Rhetoric of Climate Change and Sustainability"
Tarla R. Peterson
8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6
MU Campanile Room

Quote

"Research advances of women are having an impact on the world. And we're pleased to bring leading national and international researchers, like these four speakers, to enrich Iowa State's campus. These four women represent the beginning of a series that will bring in additional researchers throughout the year."

Karen Zunkel, director
Program for Women in Science and Engineering