Discover how three extreme environments affect all of us at World of Discovery: Exploring Our Global Environment, a three-part series at the Delaware Museum of Natural History featuring scientists from the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment sharing their research. Topics include the inhospitable climate of Antarctica, how volcanoes are a window into the history of our planet, and the effects of nuclear weapons under the sea.

All talks are at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

Volcanoes as windows into Earth’s history
Thursday, November 7 | 7-8:30 p.m.

Postdoctoral researcher Kendra Lynn, based at a lab at the University of Delaware, uses chemical analysis of rocks and their minerals to reveal important information about geologic changes on our planet. Much of her work has focused on Kilauea, Hawaii’s long-active volcano, but now she applies similar techniques to learn about the Earth’s mantle by analyzing samples taken from the seafloor where tectonic plates are separating and magma is rising to the surface. Lynn’s talk will cover what scientists are learning about the geological history of the Earth and how they collect the samples they need, whether thousands of feet up a volcano or thousands of feet below the ocean surface.

Kendra Lynn earned her PhD from the University of Hawaii at Manoa before joining the Mantle Processes Group in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. She is also a research associate with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and regularly participates in Skype-a-Scientist to share her love for geology with K-12 classrooms across the country.

Bombs at Bikini—Exploring the Underwater Impacts of Nuclear Weapons Testing
Thursday, December 5 | 7-8:30 p.m.

From 1946 to 1958, the United States conducted dozens of nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, including detonating the first hydrogen bomb in 1952. The legacy of this testing has been considerable, historically, culturally and environmentally. Displaced residents have been unable to return due to lingering radionuclides, and the site was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) due to the impact the escalating power of nuclear testing had on the world.

University of Delaware oceanography professor Art Trembanis used a variety of technologies from the Robotic Discovery Laboratories of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment to map the seafloor surrounding Bikini Atoll earlier this year. His research provided detailed information on the many ships intentionally sunk in the testing and revealed the extent of the undersea crater left by one of the explosions. His talk will share some of what his team learned and how they did their work.

Art Trembanis is an associate professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware and directs the Coastal Sediments Hydrodynamics & Engineering Lab (CSHEL), which seeks to understand the morphodynamic processes of coastal systems. His research focuses on both the seabed and the shoreline and how they change, and the use and development of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for oceanographic observations. He earned his Ph.D. from the Virginia Institute of Marine Studies of the College of William and Mary.

Previous events in the series

Living and Working on the East Antarctic Plateau – a travelogue
Thursday, October 3 | 7-9 p.m.
UD Geography professor Dana Veron spent five weeks at a joint French-Italian research station in eastern Antarctica to study the inhospitable region’s climate. A better understanding and improved modeling of the area’s climate is important both to protect people living and working in Antarctica, which relies on constant shipments of supplies, and to inform scientists’ knowledge about global climate change and its impacts. Veron’s talk will share both the science she works on and her day-to-day experiences gathering data and living in one of the coldest, most desolate, and pristine places on Earth.

Dana Veron is an associate professor at the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and the director of the Environmental Science & Studies programs. In addition to teaching many undergraduate and graduate classes, Veron conducts research in climate modeling, cloud impacts on climate, polar climate, wind resource modeling and more. She earned her Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

World of Discovery: Exploring our Global Environment is presented by the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean & Environment and the Delaware Museum of Natural History.