Tuesday, January 3, 2012

10 Random Thoughts from the High Arctic

When: Tuesday, January 24 at 6:00 PM
Where: Harvey's meeting room
Topic: 10 Random Thoughts from the High Arctic
Speaker: Dr. Walter Diehl
Photo by Dr. W. Diehl

The high arctic comprises some of the most extreme features of any ecosystem on earth. Even during the summer, air temperatures rarely exceed 45°F, and the surface water temperatures peak at 31-32°F. Days with no sunlight or days with no darkness far outnumber days with both light and dark. Days with relatively even periods of light/dark are rare and confined to less than two months per year. The marine community is both diverse and productive, whereas both terrestrial diversity and terrestrial productivity are quite low. On land or sea, ice rules – glaciers rule the land; pack ice rules the sea. Yet the high arctic is also home to one the planet’s most spectacular predators, the polar bear. This program will recount some of the thoughts and present some of the photographs from Walter & Susie Diehl’s recent trip to Svalbard on board the National Geographic Explorer to see this threatened animal.

About the speaker: Walter Diehl is a Professor of Biological Sciences and Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences at Mississippi State University. His research in evolutionary biology focuses on identifying signatures of natural selection in whole genome DNA sequences, the functional consequences thereof, and the role that these genes play in speciation. Walter is an avid amateur travel photographer, and he and his wife Susie enjoy travelling, occasionally to unusual places.

Harvey's meeting room on HWY12
Tuesday, January 24 at 6:00 PM

Cafe Scientifique is a free event. Although we hold the event at restaurants, you are not required to dine or purchase anything in order to attend the event. Come along, and bring friends.

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