Public Lecture Series


A listing of our past lecture series events.

Filter Total Items: 187
February 19, 2009

PubTalk 2/2009 — A lecture by Martha A. Sandweiss on her latest book

Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line"

By Martha Sandweiss, Princeton University


  • After leading one of the four great surveys of the western U.S., Clarence King was appointed to be the first Director of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1879. For thirteen years he lived a double
January 29, 2009

PubTalk 1/2009 — Exploring Mars: Geology, Climate Change, Past Life

By Michael H. Carr, USGS Astrogeologist


  • Data from a recent polar lander, two still active rovers
    and three spacecraft in orbit are changing our
    perceptions about how Mars evolved. What do 
    these new data imply for the prospects of past and present life?
December 18, 2008

PubTalk 12/2008 — Gemstone Deposits of the United States

Commercial production - localities visited by mineral collectors

by Pete Modreski, USGS Gemstone Specialist


  • Gemstones found in the United States include sapphire, opal, tourmaline, aquamarine, turquoise, amethyst, peridot, and many others
  • More than a half-dozen states are known for their gemstones, including
November 13, 2008

PubTalk 11/2008 — Taking the Biological Pulse of Our Planet

The USA National Phenology Network

by Jake Weltzin, NPN Executive Director


  • Phenology, an emerging integrated science, is combining government, university, and public knowledge to study seasonal cycles in the biosphere
  • Recent findings in phenology are providing new insights into the timing of biological events
October 30, 2008

PubTalk 10/2008 — Prehistoric Packrat Piles

Archives of Climate Change

by Kenneth Cole, USGS Research Ecologist


  • Piles of ancient vegetation hoarded by packrats are providing clues to past events of rapid climate warming -- similar to those expected for the 21st century
  • Preserved material shows the effects of three sudden warming events that occurred over
September 25, 2008

PubTalk 9/2008 — Ready for the Next Big Bay Area Earthquake?

The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake was not the Bay Area's "Big One" but a repeat of the destructive 1868 Hayward earthquake may qualify!

by Tom Brocher, USGS Seismologist


  • The next large Hayward Fault earthquake will effect the entire San Francisco Bay Area - Are You Prepared?
  • The Hayward Fault is the most
August 28, 2008

PubTalk 8/2008 — How the Earth Copes with Our LUSTs

The amazing capabilities of subsurface life

by Barbara Bekins, USGS Research Hydrologist


LUST= Leaking Underground Storge Tank

  • By some estimates, the total carbon in subsurface bacteria is nearly as large as the carbon in all surface plants
  • Underground microorganisms are capable of biodegrading an array
July 24, 2008

PubTalk 7/2008 — A Moroccan Adventure

Searching for a blue-eyed turtle in the Sahara Desert

by USGS Herpetologist Jeffrey Lovich and visiting Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakech) Professor Mohammed Znari


  • See several ecoregions of central Morocco in a picturesque 1,000 mile journey
  • Take a virtual tour from the Atlantic coast through High Atlas
June 26, 2008

PubTalk 6/2008 — Cleanup on Aisle 9

The Long Lasting Legacy of Nuclear Waste

Dave Stonestrom, USGS Research Hydrologist


  • Radioactive wastes:
    • Where do they come from?
    • How do we get rid of them?
  • Once buried, do the wastes stay put?
  • What are the risks of off-site migration?
  • How does basic research inform
May 22, 2008

PubTalk 5/2008 — Global Warming

Western Style

Michael Dettinger, USGS Research Hydrologist


  • Increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases are linked to a rise in global temperture of almost 1.5° F
  • Is climate change already affecting Western lands and waters?
  • What changes predicted by climate models are still to come -- when will they be
April 24, 2008

PubTalk 4/2008 — The Hayward Fault in Google Earth

Visualizing Past, Present, and Future Earthquakes

USGS scientists David Schwartz, Heather Lackey, Luke Blair, and Scott Haefner take you on a virtual tour of the Bay Area's most urbanized fault


  • Explore the destructive 1868 Hayward earthquake and today's earthquake hazards using Google Earth
  • Nearly 2.4 million
March 27, 2008

PubTalk 3/2008 — Wetland Revival

Restoring San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds to Wetlands Habitat

A video production introduced and discussed by Steven E. Schwarzbach, Director, USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Nearly 15,000 acres of salt ponds in the southern San Francisco bay were purchased in 2003 for restoration by a partnership of Federal, State, and nonprofit