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Nerd Nite #65 - A Tale of Two Lakes: Eutrophy in Western Lake Erie and Oligotrophy in Lake Michigan

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 4:24pm

In Western Lake Erie, massive mats of blue-green algae blossom every summer, stirring up memories of the 2014 Toledo Water Crisis with every reappearance. Meanwhile, in Lake Michigan, there are nearly as many invasive mussels in the lake as there are gallons of water. Each mussel is the size of a thumbnail and, under the right conditions, their combined force can filter the entire volume of water in Lake Michigan in less than a week. The resulting crystal clear waters are great for beachgoers but extremely problematic for the lake ecosystem. In this talk, Christine discusses some of the causes of eutrophy (too much vegetation) in Western Lake Erie and oligotrophy (too little vegetation) in Lake Michigan and how lake-wide management strategies for one problem can exacerbate another.

About Christine:

Christine Kitchens is a research technician at the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research at the University of Michigan. She graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from North Carolina State University and an M.S. in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan. While she performs a variety of tasks at the cooperative institute, she primarily spends her days helping monitor and understand harmful algal blooms in Western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. When she does manage to find some free time, she spends it running around doing more volunteering with the Huron River Watershed Council and other various local environmental organizations, playing video/board games, and basically being a massive nerd in all facets of life.

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Nerd Nite #65 - Cats: A Look Into the Feisty Feline

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 4:16pm

This talk takes a look into the domestication of cats, cultural influences, and a few cat anatomy characteristics. There is also interactive trivia on different cat breeds.

About Jessica Amey:

Jessica loves cats.

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The Iditarod Sled Dog Race Experience

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 12:43pm

Kim Darst from Husky Haven Sled Dogs shares her experience competing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska.  Husky Haven Sled Dogs was established in 1999 with two Samoyeds and a dream to run the Iditarod. In 2009 that dream came true, and they were the first team from New Jersey to qualify, enter, and run the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Learn about what it takes to train for the Iditarod!

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Living Off the Land: Pete Griffin, the Storytelling Ranger

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 1:44pm

Pete Griffin, speaker, storyteller, naturalist, and retired Forest Service Ranger joined us to deliver personal stories, photos, and short videos about living off the land in Alaska. 

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Farms and Open Space: Preserving Rural Washtenaw County

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 10:36am

A panel of experts from Washtenaw County government agencies and nonprofits discuss what we can do to preserve farmland, forests, open space, and natural areas in Washtenaw County. They will highlight what efforts are already under way, and how we can expand efforts to help local farmers and conservationists.

This panel includes members from the Mindful Eating Team of the Ann Arbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation, the Park Planning and Natural Areas Planning Department of Washtenaw County, members of the Legacy Land Conservancy, local farmers, and Argus Farm Stop.

This event is in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ann Arbor.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for January 2019: Martin interviews Thor Hanson, author of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees.

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 1:44pm

Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, Thor Hanson (the award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers) takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.

As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.

Martin's interview with Thor Hanson was recorded on August 13, 2018.

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Nerd Nite #56 - The Film Cat-alogue: A Hiss-tory of Felines in Meow-vies

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 12:19pm

This illustrated lecture provides an overview of the history of cats in movies, including their character types, their narrative functions, the notion of the “feline gaze,” and, of course, cuteness ratings on a scale from 1 to ZOMG KITTEH!!!

About Jen Proctor:

Jen is a filmmaker and Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at UM-Dearborn. In her spare time, Jen studies abnormal feline behavior.

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A2Energy Power Hour

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 6:15pm

This fun and informative event explains how your house can be made more energy efficient and whether solar power might be an option. 

Presenters include:

-MI Saves: to explain their contractor network and financing options.
-Washtenaw County Staff: to describe their free programs for low-income home owners

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Author Event | Jennifer Pharr Davis

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 5:36pm

Author Jennifer Pharr Davis visited the Library to discuss her incredible accomplishments in the world of endurance hiking, backpacking, and trail running, and her latest book, The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and Resilience.

Jennifer Pharr Davis founded Blue Ridge Hiking Company with the belief that "the trail is there for everyone at every phase of life" and with the goal of getting people–especially women and children–outdoors on their own terms. Pharr Davis is an ambassador for the American Hiking Society, she was featured as one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year in 2012 and her record-setting Appalachian Trail hike in 2011 was named "Performance of the Year" by Ultrarunning Magazine. Jennifer Pharr Davis has hiked with her husband and young daughter in all fifty states and she is currently hiking the Continental Divide Trail in sections through the Rocky Mountains.

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Nerd Nite #52: Is It Cold In Here or Is It Just Me?

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 8:17pm

Maris Wicks — Is It Cold In Here or Is It Just Me?
Everything you ever wanted to know about Antarctica, and probably some stuff you didn’t (like that time I pooped in a bucket).

About Maris:
Comic book artist and writer with an insatiable appetite for science. Especially science in strange places