Spring lectures for each of the concurrent Science Café series have been scheduled. Sponsored by the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, and the UA College of Science, "Follow the Water" will be the theme for the Downtown Science Café series in the spring. With Tucson being a desert, many are already aware that the rapidly growing population has strained water resources here and throughout the American West. UA researchers are world leaders in water science and policy, studying water from many perspectives – how it moves through landscapes, how it refills underground aquifers and how methods of human water use affect water consumption and the environment around us. These scientists, along with policy analysts, are ultimately helping to answer the big question: how can we use water sustainably so that all of us can continue to live in this beautiful place?
Other lectures include conversations about feral honey bees on Tumamoc Hill and hw fungi hide within desert plants and the importance mountain snow. To learn more, visit the Science Café site in the spring.
Connecting University of Arizona scientists with members of the general community for conversations about scientific research in intimate, casual settings is the idea behind the Science Café series.
A program of the UA College of Science, the Science Café series is an important educational and outreach effort aimed at breaking down barriers between the scientific community, the University and general public.
"The whole idea is to bring science to the people in terms that is easily digestible but also helps them understand the value of what UA is doing," said Erin Deely, the senior program coordinator for the College of Science.
One of the main goals of the Cafés is to encourage people to further develop their understanding about science while encouraging lifelong learning around scientific exploration, Deely said.
One way that happens is through the one-on-one conversations that take place at the Cafés.
"This makes you a better citizen and helps you understand your world better," she said. "If the public is empowered with knowing what is happening here maybe they will be more supportive of the research in many ways."
There are three concurrent Science Café series: the Downtown Science Café, the College of Science Lectures at Saddlebrook and the Tumamoc Hill Lecture Series, which does not have any December events planned. Also, during the spring, the Downtown Science Café series will be called "Follow the Water" and focus on water research around campus.
Forthcoming events, all of which are held 6-7:30 p.m. include:
Dec. 12: Rodrigo F. Rentería Valencia, a scholar of the Carson Scholars Program at the UA, will present "The Shadow on the Mountain: The Seri People and Bighorn Sheep Hunting on Tiburon Island." The event will be held at Borderlands Brewing, 119 E. Toole Ave.
Dec 17: Todd Vanderah, head of the pharmacology and anesthesiology department, will present "No Chronic Pain, All Gain: Developing Non-Addictive Pain Relievers." The event will be held at Magpie's Gourmet Pizza, 605 N. Fourth Ave.
Dec. 19: George Davis, a Regents Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geosciences, will present "The Sky Islands, Geologically Speaking," discussing the mountain ranges that surround Southern Arizona, which rises above the desert basins much like islands do in the ocean. The event will be held in Oro Valley at the Mountain View Country Club, 38759 S. Mountain View Blvd.
In the same way that numerous other programs across the campus are working to create more and stronger collaborations and partnerships between the UA and other communities, the Science Café series works to be responsive to community interests, Deely said.
"Our numbers are increasing in terms of folks attending," she said. "It’s clear there is a demand and there is a desire for learning about science in general."