2019 Speaker Information

Submitted by dahlonegascience on Sat, 03/03/2018 - 21:59

Guest Speaker


Russell Cutts is an archaeologist and paleo-anthropologist. He holds an M.A. (UGA’97) in Ecological Anthropology and Environmental Archaeology, was a museum director, and is a consultant to indigenous First Nations of North America. In 1999, he was made an Honorary Member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He is a co-founder of Earthskills Rendezvous’, Inc. 501(c)3, has presented for the American Museum of Science and Energy, The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park), WABE-National Public Radio, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia (among others) and continues to instruct widely for primitive technology events, universities and educational organizations. He is the author of Blackbird Dreams, WildFire – Fire Making Art, and (in-production) Native America Bites Back (with EBCI Paula M. Nelson and Chef John Matthew Wells).  He is a PhD Candidate at the University of Georgia studying the human origins of technology—specifically, the control of fire—and an Anthropology Lecturer for Oxford College of Emory University. 


Trina Ray started her career at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a bang.  Her first and still favorite experience was working on the Voyager Neptune Encounter in August of 1989.  Along the way she was the Titan Orbiter Science Team co-chair where she coordinated all the Titan science opportunities for the Cassini Mission.  She was the Deputy Science Planning and Sequencing Manager for Cassini, which is the group that integrates, implements, and executes the activity plans for all the instruments on Cassini.  Currently she is an Investigation Scientist for the ice penetrating radar instrument on NASA’s newest flagship mission “Europa Clipper” to explore Jupiter’s icy moon Europa in 2020. Trina received her B.S. in Physics from California State University, Northridge, and her M.S. in Astronomy from San Diego State University, where her research specialty was Planetary Nebulae. Trina has received numerous awards, including a NASA medal for Exceptional Service, and the prestigious Bruce Murray Award for excellence in education and public engagement. 


Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is a leading international expert in weather and climate and is the GA Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at UGA. Dr. Shepherd was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS), the nation’s largest and oldest professional/ science society in the atmospheric and related sciences and is also the host of The Weather Channel’s Award-Winning Sunday talk show Weather Geeks. Prior to UGA, Dr.  Shepherd   spent   12   years as a Research Meteorologist at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and is frequently sought as an expert on weather, climate, and remote sensing. His TedX Atlanta Talk on “Slaying Climate Zombies” is one of the most viewed climate lectures on YouTube. Dr. Shepherd received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in physical meteorology from FSU.  He co-authored a children’s book on weather and weather instruments called Dr. Fred’s Weather Watch. He is also the co-founder of the Alcova Elementary Weather Science Chat series that introduces K-5 students to world-class scientists. Dr. Shepherd is originally from Canton, Georgia. He and his wife, Ayana, have two children, Anderson and Arissa.


Dr. Marianne Shockley is an Academic Professional and Undergraduate Coordinator in the Entomology Department at the University of Georgia. She is a founding member of the North American Coalition for Insects Agriculture (NACIA), a trade organization for insects as food and feed. She currently advises and mentors Entomology and Applied Biotechnology undergraduates and teaches multiple entomology classes including Forensic Entomology, Insect Outreach and Insects in Culture, Entomology for Educators Distance Education Course, and Tropical Entomology in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.  Marianne Shockley received a B.A. in Biology from Georgia College and State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Entomology at UGA.  Her Ph.D. focused on researching and assessing science teaching and learning in higher education by introducing, integrating, and evaluating service-learning courses in entomology through stand-alone courses and as a component of existing courses by creating UGA Entomology's first and ongoing study abroad program.  She has traveled with students to Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.  


Kim Steadman received both her B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech.  After graduate school, Kim started her career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  While at JPL, she has worked on several different projects including the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn, the Mars Science Laboratory, and the Mars 2020 rover.  Currently Kim is a Tactical Uplink Lead for the Mars Science Laboratory and a Science System Engineer for the Mars 2020 Rover. As TUL on Curiosity, she is responsible for running the tactical planning shift.  It is her responsibility to ensure that the tactical plan meets science objectives (as specified by the science team), conforms to flight rules and operational guidelines, respects available spacecraft resources, and is possible to implement in the tactical planning shift.  As a Science System Engineer for the 2020 rover, Kim is helping to design the operations process for the rover once it lands on Mars. In 2015, Kim received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for her work on the Cassini Solstice Mission.


Professor John Wise uses numerical simulations to study the formation and evolution of galaxies and their black holes. He is one of the lead developers of the community driven, open source astrophysics code Enzo and has vast experience running state-of-the-art simulations on the world’s largest supercomputers. He received his B.S. in Physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2001. He then studied at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. in Physics in 2007. He went on to work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center just outside of Washington D.C.  as a NASA Post-doctoral Fellow. Then in 2009, he was awarded the Hubble Fellowship which he took to Princeton University before arriving at Georgia Tech, coming back home after ten years roaming the nation outside of Washington D.C.


Dr. Larry J. Young, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience and of the Silvio O. Conte Center for Oxytocin and Social Cognition at Emory Univ. in Atlanta. He is also a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory School of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatric Disorders at Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He has published over 200 peer reviewed publications, including in premier journals such as Science and Nature. He earned his B.S. in Biochemistry at UGA and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Young joined the Emory faculty in 1996. Dr. Young has most recently established a new Center for Social Neural Networks at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Dr. Young’s research seeks to understand how the brain functions to regulate social relationships.  Dr. Young is the author of The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction, which explores the latest discoveries of how brain chemistry influences all aspects of our relationships with others.