Spring Science Cafes Explore Tides, Rain, Changing Families in Portsmouth

Spring Science Cafes Explore Tides, Rain, Changing Families in Portsmouth

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

This spring, the changing nature of tides, families, and stormwater management will spark lively discussions at the Portsmouth Science Café. Hosted by UNH faculty member Cameron Wake at the Portsmouth Brewery's Jimmy LaPanza Lounge, the Portsmouth Science Café provides a unique opportunity for Seacoast residents to feed their minds with contemporary science in the relaxed atmosphere of a pub. The discussions, which are free and open to all, run from 6-8 p.m.; doors open at 5 p.m. for food and drinks.

March 5, 2014: The Tides They Are A-Changin'

UNH professors Larry Mayer and Diane Foster lead a discussion on sea changes—from ocean mapping in the Artic to beaches in a changing environment.

Mayer is director of UNH's Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering and the co-director of the NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center. He has been chief or co-chief scientist of numerous expeditions, including two legs of the ocean drilling program and seven cruises on the USCG Icebreaker Healy mapping unexplored regions of the Arctic seafloor in support of a potential U.S. submission for an extended continental shelf under the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Foster, associate professor of mechanical and ocean engineering, examines small-scale transport of sediment in response to waves and mean flows (from sand grains to shorelines).

April 9, 2014: Rain, Roofs and Roads: Hydro-Logical Thinking for a Clean Water Future

Stormwater is rain runoff that flows across roofs, roads or other hard surfaces. The runoff contributes to flooding and can carry pollutants, including road salt and nitrogen, into our rivers, lakes coastal waters. Jamie Houle and Alison Watts of the UNH Stormwater Center will discuss some of the steps communities and residents can (and are) taking to reduce stormwater runoff.

Watts is an assistant research professor in the UNH department of civil engineering. She has a strong interest in sustainable resource management and is currently working with municipal and watershed organizations to develop adaptive management strategies for water resources threatened by land use and climate change. Her research includes contaminant transport in storm water, statistical analysis of hydrologic data; ecological assessment of stormwater wetlands.

Houle is the program manager for the Stormwater Center. His responsibilities include directing and managing the Stormwater Center's growing body of research projects. Areas of expertise include the design and implementation of innovative stormwater control measures, including porous pavements and subsurface gravel wetland systems, low impact development (LID) and green infrastructure (GI) planning and implementation, operation and maintenance, and water resource monitoring.

April 23, 2014: Changing Families, Changing Communities: A Twenty Year Perspective

Sociologists Mil Duncan and Kristin Smith lead a discussion on the changing nature of families, from declining blue collar work to wives as bread winners and economic recession.

Cynthia "Mil" Duncan is founding director of the Carsey Institute at UNH, which she oversaw from 2004 to 2011. Currently, Duncan is the research director at AGree, an initiative bringing together diverse interests to transform food and agricultural policy in the United States. Widely recognized for her research on rural poverty and changing rural communities, Duncan was a sociologist at UNH for 11 years before leaving to become director of the Ford Foundation's Community and Resource Development Unit in 2000.

Smith is a family demographer at the Carsey Institute and research assistant professor of sociology at UNH. Her research interests focus on women's labor force participation and work and family policy. Smith has examined women's employment, earnings, and wives' contributions to overall family economic well-being; how families cope with economic turmoil due to either economic restructuring or recessions; the low-wage caregiving workforce; and workplace flexibility and policy.

The Portsmouth Science Café is sponsored by NH EPSCoR, the University of New Hampshire and the Portsmouth Brewery. For further questions or to be added to a mailing list regarding future events, contact Evelyn Jones at (603) 862-1804 or Evelyn.Jones@unh.edu.

NH EPSCoR is a program funded by the National Science Foundation to advance New Hampshire's competitiveness in science and engineering. It's critical for the state to broaden the capacity to conduct research; to support business, industry and society with a workforce educated in science, engineering and mathematics; and to improve communication between scientists and the public.

The Portsmouth Brewery is New Hampshire's original brewpub serving award-winning beers and creative cuisine featuring locally-sourced ingredients in the heart of Market Square since 1991. We serve all types and are proud to enable folks to do good while drinking well through a number of philanthropic activities.