Public Lecture Series


A listing of our past lecture series events.

Filter Total Items: 187
February 28, 2008

PubTalk 2/2008 — Alaska's Rivers of Ice

USGS scientist Bruce Molnia, discusses the impact of changing climate and conditions on Earth's glaciers

By Bruce Molnia, Geologist

See excerpts from this full-length film feature showing:

  • How and where glaciers form
  • How scientists study glaciers and climate
  • The processes of glacial erosion and
January 31, 2008

PubTalk 1/2008 — The Indonesian Mud Crisis

Long-lived mud "eruption" inundates housing and infrastructure

By Thomas J. Casadevall, Geologist

In May, 2006 hot, dark mud appeared from a fissure covering more than 10 square kilometers, displacing more than 30,000 people. The ongoing mud extrusion has also damaged or broken important transportation and communication infrastructure,

December 13, 2007

PubTalk 12/2007 — Exploring Antarctica's Frozen Frontier

The USGS Antarctic Program from the 1957 International
Geophysical Year to the 2007 International Polar Year

By Jerry Mullins, Coordinator, USGS Antarctic, Arctic and Canadian Programs
and John Behrendt, USGS Geophysicist Emeritus



  • Learn about USGS surveying and mapping of "The Frozen Continent"
November 15, 2007

PubTalk 11/2007 — Disasters, Dust, .... and Danger?

Using geoscience to help understand whether health risks lurk in particles produced by disasters

By Geoff Plumlee, Research Geochemist 


  • Valley Fever outbreak following the 1994 Northridge, California earthquake
  • World Trace Center collapse
  • Hurricane Katrina flooding
  • 1996 Marinduque,
October 25, 2007

PubTalk 10/2007 — Fire As An Ecosystem Process

Past, Present, And Future

By Jon E. Keeley, Research Ecologist 


  • Plants have evolved over hundreds of millions of years with fire.
  • Are human-induced changes threatening naturally fire-prone ecosystems?
  • How has human suppression of fire affected different ecosystems?
  • Will predicted climate
September 27, 2007

PubTalk 9/2007 — A Tale of Two Kelp Forests

Sea Otters and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Aleutians and the Commander Islands

By Tim Tinker, Research Biologist, University of California, Santa Cruz 

Sea otter populations in the central and western Aleutian Islands have declined by 75-95% over the past 15-20 years, while populations in the nearby Russian Commander Islands have remained

August 30, 2007

PubTalk 8/2007 — Dark Holes in Muir's "Range of Light"

Insights from southern Sierra Nevada caves and karst

By John C. Tinsley, Geologist

  • Water long ago carved many caves in carbonate rocks of the Sierra Nevada
  • As the Sierra (John Muir's "Range of Light") was uplifted, successively deeper caves were drained and decorated during the past 5 million years
  • Vertical
July 26, 2007

PubTalk 7/2007 — Plate Tectonics in Action

Exploring the Earth with the new edition of This Dynamic Planet map and Web site

By Robert Tilling, Volcanologist, and Stephen Kirby, Earthquake Geophysicist

  • Improved digital data on the distribution of Earth's volcanoes, earthquakes, and meteorite impact craters
  • Special maps of polar regions, showing
June 28, 2007

PubTalk 6/2007 — Adventures in Southwest Geology

Exploring the colorful southern Colorado Plateau in 3-D

By Philip Stoffer, Geologist

Take a colorful tour with the help of 3-D photography through some of the region's highlights:

  • A plethora of parklands- Petrified Forest, Chaco Canyon, Wupatki, Grand Canyon
  • High desert climate changes, past, present, and
May 31, 2007

PubTalk 5/2007 — Alchemy in the Abyss

Probing the mysteries of deep-ocean minerals

By James R. Hein, Marine Geologist

  • Since President Reagan in 1983 extended U.S. mineral rights 200 nautical miles offshore, interest in deep-sea mining has increased
  • Massive sulfide deposits form rapidly at very hot ephemeral smokers. and .white smokers.
  • Slow-
April 26, 2007

PubTalk 4/2007 — Shock Waves

How the 1906 earthquake shook up California and science

A presentation of the award-winning USGS Video Shock Waves introduced by David Schwartz, Earthquake Geologist 

  • The 46-minute film Shock Waves includes dramatic historical footage, colorful animations, and interviews with earthquake experts
  • Shock Waves received
March 22, 2007

PubTalk 3/2007 — Impact!

Piecing together the story of a giant meteorite crater beneath the Atlantic coast

By David S. Powars, Geologist, and R.D. Catchings, Geophysicist

  • Buried under Chesapeake Bay is a very well preserved impact structure 56 miles across and more than 2 miles deep
  • Following clues from drill holes and seismic imagery, careful