Upcoming Events

Coleman Planetarium @ UNG: Harry Potter Astronomy (Aug 30 and Sept 6 - NO Reservations)

Submitted by dahlonegascience on Thu, 08/31/2017 - 13:27

On August 30 and September 6 only, the UNG Coleman Planetarium will have two showings of Harry Potter Astronomy at 7 and 8 pm. 

Join us to explore how J.K. Rowling used constellations, star names, and astronomy to add depth to the characters and enchanting classes of Hogwarts.

These shows are FREE to the public.  Our regular shows are every Friday night at 8 pm, doors open at 7:30 pm.  Reservations not accepted.  For more information see: https://ung.edu/planetarium/index.php

Monday September 9, 6:30 p.m.: How do Scientists Know Climate Change is Real and What are they Doing About It?

Submitted by dahlonegascience on Sat, 04/06/2019 - 14:49

Scientists from Biology to Mathematics are looking more and more into phenomena that indicate the climate is changing. In this talk, we will engage in a few questions around climate science. For instance, what do scientists in different field’s study that indicates to them that climate change is happening? For the most part, the focus will be centered around what mathematicians do. Also, how do scientists (in particular mathematicians) eliminate other possibilities? Toward the end of the talk, the focus will shift to the electronic devices scientists are attempting to build in order to help prevent the climate from changing.

Our speaker, Dr. Jeffrey Landgren, is currently a member of the UNG Mathematics faculty. His research interests lie primarily a field called Partial Differential Equations and the application to fluid flow. This means, he often look at types of equations that describe liquids/gases and how they move in and around objects. Many mathematicians look at these as they relate to airflow over an airplane or water flowing through a dam. Most of his time has been spent on two projects involving these types of equations. The first project pertains to the movement of electrons in batteries, capacitors, and solar cells and how sound can enhance these electronic devices. The second project focuses on injecting more precision into the equations that illustrate the flow of sea ice in the Arctic. For his last trick, he once hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2009.

Monday October 21, 6:30 p.m.: From the Cradle to the Grave: the Violent Lives of Galaxies

Submitted by dahlonegascience on Wed, 09/04/2019 - 00:46

The very continued existence of our own home Galaxy, the Milky Way, represents an unsolved puzzle for our understanding of the universe. We believe that the galaxies we see in the universe are built up hierarchically, that is galaxies start small and merge together with other galaxies over and over until they become the large galaxies we observe today. Each of these mergers between galaxies is a violent process, tearing apart delicate structures like the Milky Way's spiral arms and radically altering the appearances of the galaxies involved. As a result, our theory of galaxy formation predicts that galaxies like the Milky Way should not survive their violent lives intact. However, one possible solution to this puzzle is that galaxy structure could actually regrow after mergers, as long as galaxies are still able to form new stars. With recent observations from galaxy surveys, we have found new evidence for this regrowth process in action and, more generally, a way to estimate the cosmic balance between violent and ordered processes in the universe.

Dr. Amanda Moffett is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UNG (Gainesville campus). Amanda completed her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014 with dissertation research focused on constraining galaxy evolution models with large-scale galaxy survey observations. Amanda then served as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Western Australia and a Stevenson Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Now at UNG, Amanda continues to investigate the physical processes governing galaxy formation and evolution as a collaborator on multiple large galaxy survey projects. 

Monday November 4, 6:30 p.m.: Zombie Ants! Social Insects as Solitary Vehicles

Submitted by dahlonegascience on Wed, 09/04/2019 - 20:16

Ants are highly social organisms that live within complex colony dynamics. Rarely can parasites and diseases take advantage of such a society. However, in the case of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis s.l. the fungus takes advantage of foraging behaviors and can become a chronic disease to an ant colony. This parasite-host interaction is found all over the globe including the United States. Do you think you could find some zombies during your next hike?

Dr. Emilia Solá Gracia is a Lecturer in the Biology Department at UNG Dahlonega. She began her academic career at the University of Rochester in NY. While in Rochester she explored her interests in research and studying animals by doing two REU programs ( working with fish and crayfish) and studying Nasonia wasps. She also lept at the opportunity to care for naked mole rats used for aging research. After graduating from U of R, Dr. Solá Gracia obtained her Ph.D. from Penn State University. Her thesis research focused on how fungal parasites affected social behaviors in ant workers. The main focus of her observations was on social exchanges and how workers managed their deceased. After attaining her Ph.D. she became a Teaching/Research postdoc at Penn State, where she started to solidify her interest in helping students succeed. Now she is working at UNG excited to continue her mission of helping students become more open-minded towards science. She is still interested in working with ants, she is currently working on her experiments, and she also hopes to find the zombie ants in Georgia. 

Monday December 9, 6:30 p.m.: A Brief History of the Manhattan Project and Early Nuclear Weapons

Submitted by dahlonegascience on Wed, 09/04/2019 - 20:07

The original development and deployment of nuclear weapons by the United States was one of the largest, if not the largest, scientific endeavors in the history of humankind.  This project not only involved some very difficult chemistry, physics and engineering challenges, but also a significant amount of politics and espionage.  A brief history of the Manhattan Project will be presented that includes historical perspective and the science behind nuclear weapons.  The first three nuclear weapons to be detonated will be discussed in detail.  Modern weapon design will also be briefly discussed.

Dr. John Leyba received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in 1986 and obtained his Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990. He held the positions of Senior Scientist, Senior Scientist A, and Principal Scientist with Westinghouse Savannah River Company at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site between 1990 and 2000. In addition, he was the Radiochemistry Group Leader for Rust Federal Services’ Clemson Technical Center located in Anderson, SC. He also held an appointment as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering and Science at Clemson University. From 2000 to 2002, Dr. Leyba was the Denver Area Director of Operations for Canberra Industries, helping with the decommissioning efforts of the Department of Energy’s Rocky Flats site.  Dr. Leyba joined the faculty of Newman University in Wichita, KS in 2002. He left Newman in 2014 as a Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics. Dr. Leyba joined the faculty of the University of North Georgia in 2014 as a Professor of Chemistry and Head of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. He served in this capacity until July of 2018. In January of 2018, Dr. Leyba became the Associate Dean of the College of Science & Mathematics at UNG. In February of 2019, Dr. Leyba became the Interim Dean of the College of Science & Mathematics at UNG. Dr. Leyba’s research interests involve fast chemical separations and detection of radioactive materials. Dr. Leyba has authored multiple books and lab manuals, 30 peer-reviewed publications, 24 professional presentations, and 22 technical reports. In addition, Dr. Leyba was on the team that discovered Mendelevium-253, a new isotope of element 101. Finally, Dr. Leyba has a passion for science in general and specifically for space-related discoveries. Dr. Leyba has personally met four of the twelve moon walkers.