Dr. Nathan Varley
March 22, 2018 - Tacking Wolves in Yellowstone: Lessons for Ecotourism and Conservation
Dr. Nathan Varley is a natural and cultural historian specializing in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. He has spent his life in Yellowstone working as a wildlife biologist and educator and has been “on the ground” with the gray wolves of Yellowstone Park since their reintroduction in 1995. He will share how Yellowstone’s wolves are doing now and how their presence is helping to restore the natural ecosystem of the landscape. He will also address the coexistence of wolves and ranchers outside the park, although controversy remains.
For more information visit
Dr. Steven Dow
April 12, 2018 - Stem Cell Therapy Today: Seperating Reality from Hype
Dr. Steven Dow, Professor of Immunology and Director of the Center for Immune and Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) at CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will provide an informal overview of stem cell therapy. He will discuss state-of-the-art technologies for regenerative medicine and share his insights about the field’s future in terms of new developments and clinical trials. He will explore what is currently being offered as “stem cell therapy” in U.S. clinics and what we can realistically expect from FDA approved, as well as unapproved, therapies.
For more information visit http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/academics/mip/research/Pages/steven-dow-laboratory-for-immunotherapy.aspx
Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
May 10, 2018 - That's Not God, That's Your Ego: Religion, Gender and Politics in 2018
Rev. Dr. Thistlethwaite, Professor of Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary, will discuss how, as she says, "religion has been weaponized in politics." But, she argues, diverse sources of resistance are emerging from a revitalized women's movement, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, LGBTQ activists, and humanist and religious progressives. The year 2018, like 1968, is a watershed moment for reviving and improving democracy for all Americans. The key to building and sustaining such work is to challenge those who are blinded by their conviction that God is on their side by standing up for the inherent dignity and worth of every human, as well as for the life of the planet.
For more information visit https://www.ctschicago.edu/people/susan-b-thistlethwaite/
Mr. Sunil Tamang
January 12, 2017 - Trans Himalayan Trek: Stories of My Journey and Rebuilding Syaphru Bensi
Trek for change – beginning on his 20th birthday Sunil Tamang roamed solo across Nepal’s Himalaya, walking for 128 days from east Nepal’s Kanchenjunga region, to Rara Lake in the west. He will share stories and photos from this trek. In addition, Sunil will also share his experience helping to rebuild the village of Syaphru Bensi after the 2015 earthquake.
For more information about Sunil visithttp://thenomadicnepali.com
Dr. Fran Bagenal
March 16, 2017 - Revealing Jupiter’s Interior – NASA's Juno Mission to Jupiter: What’s Inside the Giant Planet?
Juno is a NASA space probe that has been orbiting the planet Jupiter sinceJuly 14, 2016. Dr. Bagenal will share NASA’s findings and more. Juno’s principal goal is to help scientists understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Juno will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar system. Juno carries instruments that will probe Jupiter’s deep interior and measure the amount of its water — a key component of solar system evolution. Juno is the first spacecraft to fly over Jupiter’s aurora and will measure both the energetic particles raining down on the planet and the bright “northern & southern lights” they excite.
For more information visit http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/people/bagenalf
May 11, 2017 - Ghost Grizzlies: Does the Great Bear Still Haunt Colorado?
David Petersen takes us along on his quest for evidence of “the next ‘last’ Colorado grizzly,” we find ourselves enjoying a masterful mystery unfolding, character by adventure, page by riveting page. Although Ghost Grizzlies is set in Colorado, it stands as a timeless metaphor for every wild place and creature that finds itself under the gun of human encroachment still today.
For more information visit http://www.davidpetersenbooks.com
June 22, 2017 - A Ditch in Time: The City, the West, and Water
Tracing the origins and growth of the Denver Water Department, A Ditch in Time: The City, the West, and Water places this case study in the big picture of regional and national history. Written in a lively style and enriched with photographs and maps, this book raises questions of consequence about the complex relationship among cities, suburbs, and rural areas, the crucial role of engineering in shaping the West, the unexpectedly entrancing workings of governmental agencies and bureaucracies, and the varying roles of contention and cooperation, litigation and negotiation in the control of the West’s water.
For more information visit http://centerwest.org
Thursday, March 17 - Sled Dogs and the Iditarod: An Epic Adventure.
Lachlan makes his home in Buena Vista and has been a horse trainer for 25 years and a musher since 2001. “A lot of people ask me if the two disciplines conflict with each other. Not at all. In fact, both are mutually complimentary. Training dogs has helped me understand horses, and horses have helped me understand dogs.”
Lachlan has participated as an Iditarod racer many times and will discuss his race experiences and relationship with his animals. A career as a horsemanship instructor, colt starting, and most recently Iditarod.
After a sled dog tour in 2001, he began training sled dogs and has since that time run in 9 Iditarods, placing as high as 32nd.
Thursday, June 16 - Dreamland: the opiate epidemic in America.
Sam is a journalist, blogger, storyteller, writing workshop teacher, former LA Times reporter and, most recently, author of Dreamland (2015), a book about the opiate epidemic in America, focusing on abuse of prescription painkillers, primarily Oxycontin, and the spread of Mexican black-tar heroin in the U.S. "Dreamland" just received this years National Book Critics Circle award it is timely that we shall hear first hand about his research. He is also the author of
True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and the Bronx, and Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration.
National Books Critics Award Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His latest book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, for which he traveled across the United States.
Dreamland recounts twin stories of drug marketing in the 21st Century: A pharmaceutical corporation flogs its legal new opiate prescription painkiller as nonaddictive. Meanwhile, immigrants from a small town in Nayarit, Mexico devise a method for retailing black-tar heroin like pizza in the US, and take that system nationwide, riding a wave of addiction to prescription pills from coast to coast. The collision of those two forces has led to America's deadliest drug scourge in modern times.
Dr. Chris Impey
Thursday, September 22 - Humble Before the Void: Teaching Cosmology to Buddhist Monks.
Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. He has over 170 refereed publications on observational cosmology, galaxies, and quasars, and his research has been supported by $20 million in NASA and NSF grants.
He has won eleven teaching awards, and has taught two online classes with over 60,000 enrolled. Impey is a past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society and he has been an NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar, the Carnegie Council’s Arizona Professor of the Year, and most recently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. He’s written over 40 popular articles on cosmology and astrobiology, two introductory textbooks, a novel called Shadow World, and seven popular science books: The Living Cosmos, How It Ends, Talking About Life, How It Began, Dreams of Other Worlds, Humble Before the Void, and his most recent on the future of space travel, called Beyond.
His latest book shares his surprise, delight, and unbridled mirth that are not commonly encountered in the science classroom. But in the foothills of the Himalaya, at a program to teach cosmology to Buddhist monks, they were daily occurrences. Working with this unique audience spurred new ways of thinking about the universe and the art of teaching. This talk takes listeners on an adventure at the nexus of science, religion, philosophy, and culture.
Dr. Mark A. Brown
Thursday, March 12 - Exploring the Frontier of Cancer Research on a Quest for Cures.
The war against cancer is waged on a microscopic battlefield where our own renegade cells comprise the enemy within. Dr. Mark Brown delves into the mysteries of cancer cells and penetrates the very core of this ancient adversary to expose its weaknesses. He discusses the latest advances in a rapidly developing arsenal designed to breach those very weaknesses and destroy cancer one cell at a time. He includes an historical overview, an explanation of the molecular basis of cancer and, finally, a description of the latest research and therapeutic advances in the experimental and clinical management of cancer.
Dr. Brown is a Professor of Molecular Oncology in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Colorado State University, as well as holding joint faculty appointments in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, in the Epidemiology Section of the Colorado School of Public Health, and as an Honors Professor of Infectious Disease. His laboratories exploit molecular pathways to develop therapeutics for the clinical management of cancer.
Thursday, April 16 - Synergies in Seeking Self Consciousness: The Importance of Healing the Male and Female Archetype in Us All.
Part of our Local Expert Series Rock started her formal training by taking more STANDING IN THE LIGHT® classes and has since dedicated herself to this path. She now helps others find their answers as a Spiritual Counselor and Teacher/Facilitator using the STANDING IN THE LIGHT® program. Rock has also became an Eminent Reiki™ Master Teacher/Practitioner and a founding member of The Eminent Reiki Council, which governs the Eminent Reiki™ teachings channeled by The Reiki Masters. Lori has taught STANDING IN THE LIGHT® Classes and Eminent Reiki™ Classes across the United States since 2006.
Prior to starting her spiritual counselor practice, Rock worked in public accounting and corporate America, has lived internationally, and loves to travel and scuba dive. These varying experiences allow her to blend the masculine and feminine energies necessary to be a balanced Spiritual Counselor and Energy Practitioner.
Dr. Steve Poos-Benson
Thursday, June 25 - Shifting Culture: Creating Civility in Life & Work.
Over a thirty-year career as pastor, spiritual guide and life coach, Dr. Steve Poos-Benson has developed insights that light a spark and a desire to embrace all that the world offers. His work as Senior Pastor of Columbine United Church builds bridges of understanding between people of all faith backgrounds.
In April 1999, Steve was at the center of a watershed moment in U.S. history - the shootings at Columbine High School. A first responder to the scene, the shootings defined his life for the next decade. He not only worked with families whose children had been killed or wounded, but also ministered to the family of one of the shooters. Time Magazine interviewed him to assess the progress of healing in the community, and he addressed the nation as part of the five- and ten-year anniversary ceremonies. Recently, Steve led the nationally-aired memorial service for Claire Davis, the young woman who was murdered at Arapahoe High School.
In the years following the shootings at Columbine, many people have sought his help to heal and regain a sense of purpose. The principles he shares enable individuals to redirect their lives according to their divine purpose. In the wake of trauma, he encourages people to see that their lives are far from over and can move in new and creative ways.
Steve earned his BA from Whitworth University, his Masters of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from McCormick Theological Seminary. He can be followed via Facebook, Twitter, weekly messages on YouTube, and his blog, Cowboy Jesus
Dr. Mark I. Wallace
Thursday, August 27 - On the Wings of a Dove: Christianity, Animism, and the Reenchantment of the World.
Mark Wallace, Ph.D. graduate of The University of Chicago, is Professor of Religion and member of the Interpretation Theory Program and the Environmental Studies Program at Swarthmore College, Penn.. His teaching, research and books focus on the intersections between Christian theology, critical theory, and environmental studies, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He is a member of the Constructive Theology Workgroup and co-founder of the Chester Swarthmore Learning Institute, a gathering of urban and religious leaders committed to empowering their local communities.
Dr. Wallace contends that Christianity has been misunderstood as a religion that says God alone is holy and that in consequence the natural world is devoid of sacred power. By using Biblical and historical sources, he strives to show that Christianity sees all things – people, animals, trees, rocks, rivers, land, and the atmosphere itself – as saturated with God’s presence and, therefore, in keeping with the traditional religions of first peoples, is best understood as an animist religion in which God’s Spirit is in everything. He makes this point through a visual focus on the bird-God in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit, who appears at Jesus’ baptism, concluding that the way to save Earth today is by re-discovering the planet as a sacred place.
Dr. Martin LaForest
Thursday, March 6 - How Extremely Tiny is Becoming Extremely Huge.
Dr. Martin Laforest is senior manager, Scientific Outreach at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. His job is to bring science out of the lab and into people’s lives. He leads IQC’s strategic outreach programs, including the prestigious Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing, as well as the Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students.
Laforest’s talk is “How Extremely Tiny is Becoming Extremely Huge,” and if you don’t have a nodding acquaintance with the word “quantum,” you will after his presentation. His talk will give an overview of the basic concepts, and state-of-the-art Quantum Information Science and Technology, and its applications to computing, communication and sensing.
Two landmark theories that emerged in the 20th century forever changed our world: quantum mechanics and information theory. The first altered our perception of reality; the second enabled the information age of today. Quantum Information Science and Technology bridge these theories with probing, deep questions about information and reality, and by developing the transformative technologies of tomorrow.
Dr. Laforest holds a PhD in physics, experimental quantum information, from the University of Waterloo. He is a passionate advocate for communicating science and shares his passion as speaker and lecturer with audiences around the world. For more information on Dr. Martin Laforest, go to iqc.uwaterloo.ca
Professor John Dominic Crossan, Ph.D.
Thursday, May 1 - Divine Violence in the Christian Bible.
Collegiate Peaks Forum is honored once again to list Dr. John Dominic Crossan on the season’s upcoming program. In the last 45 years he has written 27 books on the historical Jesus, the apostle Paul, and earliest Christianity. Five of his books have been national religious bestsellers for a combined total of 24 months.
His topic will review that across the Christian Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, God appears as One of non-violent distributive justice but also as One of violent retributive justice. How are those twin aspects reconciled in the lives of those created in God’s “image and likeness” (Gen. 1:26-27)?
In related comments about violence, Crossan has spoken on religious fundamentalism. “Religious fundamentalism is probably the most dangerous thing in the world at the moment,” he says, because “there is a genocidal germ in fundamentalism.” Crossan says a basic tenet of fundamentalism is that if you don’t take the Bible literally, you are not a Christian, and that sets up a potentially dangerous adversarial challenge between differing views.
John Dominic Crossan was born in Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1934 and educated in Ireland, United States, Rome, and Jerusalem. He was a member of the thirteenth-century Roman Catholic religious order, the Servites, and an ordained priest until 1969. He joined DePaul University, Chicago, in 1969, and remained there until 1995. He is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Religious Studies at DePaul University and spends his time in research, writing, and teaching seminars.
Crossan’s research focuses on the historical Jesus, anthropology of the Ancient Mediterranean and the New Testament worlds, and on the application of postmodern hermeneutical approaches to the Bible. He holds a Doctor of Divinity degree from St. Patrick’s College in Ireland and Doctor of Humanities degree from Stetson University in Florida.
Thursday, August 14 - Museum of Future Inventions: Unleashing the Future Inside All of Us.
Futurist speaker Thomas Frey’s presentation to the Collegiate Peaks Forum audience, will answer the question, “How does the future get created?”
Frey believes people make decisions today based on their interpretation of what the future holds. “That’s why we say ‘the future creates the present.’ The images people hold in their heads about the future determine their actions today. So if we change people’s visions of the future, we change the way they make decisions today.”
The Museum of Future Inventions is a project being developed by the DaVinci Institute. The DaVinci Institute is focused on answering the question, “What are the big things that still need to be invented?” Frey says by understanding our relationship with the future, and taking a peek at eight big things that still need to be invented, we quickly begin to imagine a whole new way of unleashing the future inside all of us.
Thomas Frey is executive director and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute in Louisville, Colorado. He works closely with his board of visionaries to develop original research studies, which enables him to speak on unusual topics, translating trends into unique opportunities. He pushes the envelope of understanding, creating fascinating images of the world to come.
He is often a key note speaker for business events, and is author of the 2011 book, Communicating with the Future. “The greatest value in understanding the future comes from spotting the major cultural, demographic, societal, and economic shifts early and translating them in to viable business strategies,” he tells business people.
Before launching the DaVinci Institute in 1997, Frey spent 15 years at IBM as an engineer and designer, where he received over 270 awards for his engineering work.
Frey has been featured in hundreds of articles for both national and international publications, among them the New York Times, Huffington Post, Times of India, USA Today, US News and World Report, The Futurist Magazine, and ColoradoBiz Magazine.
Dr. Joseph John-Warren Sertich
Thursday, October 16 - The Changing Landscape of Dinosaurs: New Discoveries from Around the World.
According to Dr. Sertich, the age of dinosaurs coincided with one of the most turbulent times in Earth’s history. It was a time that witnessed the breakup of the continents, dramatic shifts in sea levels, and a greenhouse global climate.
Geological work in far-flung locales around the world including Antarctica, Madagascar, and Kenya is beginning to unravel how dinosaurs and other animals coped through the end of the Cretaceous Period with the Earth’s dynamic landscape. Recent discoveries from Madagascar and southern Utah offer a more precise view of the interactions between dinosaur ecosystems and fluctuating sea-levels, and provide a window into one of the most diverse and fantastic assemblages of dinosaurs ever uncovered.
Joe Sertich is curator of Vertebrate Paleontology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
Dr. Brandi Denison
June 21, 2018 - Ute Land Religion: Remebering She-towitch and Chipeta
Dr. Brandi Denison, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion at University of North Florida, explores the intersection of land, race, and religion as well as gender, violence, memory, and theories of religion. She will share her research on She-towitch and Chipeta, Ute women who became the center of white Coloradans’ romantic ideals of Indians. They valued Ute reverence of nature and She-towitch and Chipeta emerged as representations of Indian moral and spiritual goodness. Their legends recalled the Pocahontas narrative, saving white people from the perceived brutality of Indian men. Additionally, in Euro-American discourse, women were more closely tied to natural religious expression.
For more information visit
Dr. Christian Shorey
July 26, 2018 - A Brief History of Climate Science
Dr. Christian Shorey is Assistant Department Head of Geology and Geologic Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. His research focuses on paleoclimatology, the study of ancient climates. While climate science has been a politically controversial topic recently, its origins are divorced from such politics, going back several centuries. By exploring the story of the scientists and science involved in climate science, a clearer picture of what we know and how we know it will be revealed.
For more information visit https://geology.mines.edu/project/christian-shorey/
Dr. Ethan Greene
September 13, 2018 - Avalanche Science: the Cold Facts
Dr. Ethan Greene has been the Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) since 2005. He studied meteorology at the University of Utah and atmospheric science, specifically snowdrift formation, at Colorado State University. He has also examined and researched the microstructure of snow and its metamorphism in Colorado and Switzerland, earning a PhD in Geosciences. Dr. Greene has published various scholarly articles on snow, weather.
For more information visit http://avalanche.state.co.us/about-us/caic-and-focaic-staff/
Camilla H. Fox, MA
July 27, 2017 - Wild Things: Coexisting with North America’s Native Carnivores
Learn about why native carnivores matter, and how they keep ecosystems healthy. America’s war against predators is costly, brutal, and often ineffective. Highlighting Project Coyote’s national programs aimed at stopping the mistreatment and mismanagement of carnivores through education, science and advocacy, Camilla will show that educated coexistence is the way forward.
Camilla H. Fox is the founder and Executive Director of Project Coyote http://www.projectcoyote.org - a national coalition of scientists and educators promoting compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science, and advocacy.
Dr. Margee Kerr
September 21, 2017 - The Upside of Fear: How and Why We Enjoy Thrills and Chills
Fear is a universal human experience, but do we really understand it? If we’re so terrified of monsters and serial killers, why do we flock to the theaters to see them? Why do people avoid thinking about death, but jump out of planes and swim with sharks? This lecture will not only cover the science of fear, but explain why some of us love the thrill of a rollercoaster while others detest it. Dr. Kerr will explain fear from a physiological, psychological, and sociological perspective to show how fear is not all bad, and can even be good for us.
For more information visit Dr. Kerr’s website http://www.margeekerr.com/
Dr. Nolan Doesken
October 19, 2017 - Colorado’s Changing Climate: Update & Outlook for the Arkansas River Basin
Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Climatologist, will discuss how scientists observe and monitor climate—primarily temperature and precipitation. Colorado has data going back to 1890 (125 years) to help scientists understand where we’ve been and help predict where we are going. With a focus on Arkansas River Basin data, this lecture is sure to be enlightening for those interested in the weather. Discover our states long term monitoring and climate trends particularly focused on floods and drought.
Thursday, April 7 - Is it in you? The role of optimism in healing and strengthening children and the adults who love them.
Steve is the Founder and Chief Playmaker of the Life is Good Playmakers, a 501(c)(3) public charity. He has devoted his career to the service of our most vulnerable children. A pioneer in utilizing exuberant, joyful play to promote resiliency in children and their caregivers, and a leader in the field of psychological trauma response, Gross is committed to the healthy development of children facing the most challenging circumstances.
This presentation will explore playfulness as a basic, adaptive human trait and how it can be nurtured in practice to foster the healthy social and emotional development of children and families whose lives have been deeply impacted by both acute and/or chronic trauma. content.lifeisgood.com/kidsfoundation
Dr. Tom Stohlgren
Thursday, July 14 - How A Few Irresponsible Adults Caused Thousands of Animal Extinctions.
Tom is a CSU Professor & Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, where he has held an Affiliate Faculty position since 1991. He is recognized as one of the top ten most productive scientists in the world in the field of biological invasions. Tom will discuss
“Extinctions & Invasions,” the biological variety.
From 30,000 years ago to today, it hasn’t been climate change, human population growth, or air and water pollution causing the extinctions of cute, fuzzy, and feathery animals we loved – it’s been a relatively small number of totally irresponsible adults.
To be honest, some big, slow, and dumb animals were hunted to extinction too, but I still blame a few adults. Join Tom Stohlgren, a funny, irreverent scientist who wears Hawaiian shirts every day, as he takes the mystery out this extinction “who-done-it.”
He blames a few irresponsible explorers, trained killers, vacationers, pet owners, and shoppers for the global decline in biodiversity! However, Tom sees hope for the future, because of a few forward-thinking adults who establish nature reserves; the Lorax; and bright, young people, who Tom calls the NGOSs (Next Generation of Scientists).
Dr. Jane Buikstra
Thursday, October 20 - Mummies & Mummy Science in the Andes.
Jane is a Professor of Bioarchaeology and Regents Professor at Arizona State University where she is the Founding Director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research. Dr. Buikstra is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and past president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the American Anthropological Association. She is currently president of the Center for American Archeology. Her lecture will focus on mummies with a discussion of seven case studies that explore knowledge gained from the study of ancient South American mummies. She’ll begin with the earliest prepared mummies in the world, the Chinchorro, and end with Inka examples.
Professor Buikstra's publications include numerous books and articles, among them Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal Remains (with Douglas Ubelaker) and The Bioarchaeology of Tuberculosis (with Charlotte Roberts). Her current research projects include investigating the evolutionary history of ancient tuberculosis in the Americas, based on archaeologically- recovered pathogen DNA.
Dr. Buikstra has received numerous recognitions, including the Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the T. Dale Stewart Lifetime Achievement Award from the Physical Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Excellence from the Society for American Archaeology.
Dr. Mark A. Brown
Friday, March 13 - A Cultural History of Infectious Disease.
Throughout civilization, pathogens have had enormous impacts on historical outcomes. They have resulted in the falls of dynasties, the collapse of empires, and have even affected our art, literary works and social customs. In many cases, such cultural evidence can be used in combination with fossil and written records to trace the origins of what were once unknown diseases. Dr. Brown explores a cultural history of infectious diseases, and in doing so examines the mysteries of ancient plagues and discusses their influence on past civilizations, using art and literature of various cultures to follow pestilence on its path to the modern world.
Dr. Brown serves as a scientific consultant for the pharmaceutical industry, is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Oncology, and is a member of the Oncology Expert Panel for the European Society for Translational Medicine. Extensively published, Dr. Brown obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Texas in Austin, his M.S. in Biochemistry from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and his B.S. in Resource Management from Colorado State University.
Dr. Peter Gray
Thursday, May 28 - Why Free Play is Essential to Children's Healthy Psychological and Social Development.
Peter Gray, Ph.D., is a research professor of psychology at Boston College with extensive academic credentials. His research and publications span a wide range of fields, including neuroendocrinology, animal behavior, developmental psychology, anthropology and education. Dr. Gray's areas of academic specialization are evolutionary psychology, especially as applied to exploration and play, developmental psychology and learning, general psychology, and behavioral psychology.
Most of his recent work has to do with the value of free, unsupervised play for children’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. He has expanded on these ideas in his book Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. He is also author of a highly regarded college textbook, Psychology (Worth Publishers), now in its 7th edition, and writes a regular blog for Psychology Today magazine.
Dr. Fran Bagenal
Thursday, July 23 - The New Horizons Mission To Pluto; Recent Flyby July 14th.
Dr. Fran Bagenal, born and raised in England, came to the US for graduate study at MIT in 1976 after being inspired by NASA’s missions to Mars and the prospect of the Voyager mission. In 1981 her PhD thesis involved analysis of data from the Voyager Plasma Science experiment in Jupiter’s giant magnetosphere. She returned to England to spend 1982-1987 as a post-doctoral researcher in space physics at Imperial College, London. Voyager flybys of Uranus and Neptune brought her back to the US, where she joined the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1989. She currently serves as professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and faculty associate of the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics.
In addition to the Voyager mission, Dr. Bagenal has been on the science teams of the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Deep Space 1 mission to Comet Borrelly; edited Jupiter: Planet, Satellites and Magnetosphere (Cambridge University Press, 2004); and heads the plasma teams on the first two New Frontiers missions: New Horizons that will flyby Pluto on July 14, 2015 after a nine-year flight and Juno that will go into orbit over the poles of Jupiter in 2016.
Dr. Richard T. Reynolds
Thursday, October 8 - Goshawks, Forests, Fire & Humans: A fascinating Interconnectivity.
Dr. Richard Reynolds, research wildlife biologist, has worked at Rocky Mountain Research Station in various assignments in Fort Collins, Colorado, Laramie, Wyoming, and Flagstaff, Arizona, since 1979. His main research focuses on increasing our understanding of the effects of forest management on animal populations with a special focus on predators, such as the northern goshawk, Cooper’s hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, flammulated owl, and spotted owl, their food webs, and the relationship between their lifetime demographic performance and the composition and structure of their habitats.
Dr. Reynold's will discuss that not only does implementation of goshawk management recommendations that were devised after extensive study restore the evolutionary environment, that is, the mix of different habitats that the plants and animals in the food web were adapted to, but implementation also restores the ecological processes and functions that characterized these forests before intensive management, including their resistance and resilience to increasingly common catastrophic fires, insects, and diseases. Keeping these forests safe from catastrophic losses allows surviving forests to better respond to climate change by providing for adaptive transitions and/or migrations to new conditions.
Research conducted by Dr. Reynolds and the RMRS shows that management objectives that emulate the evolutionary environments of a forest are likely to be a sound approach for sustaining local biodiversity, food webs, and unique apex predators.
Dr. Karl Karlstrom Dr. Rebecca Flowers
Friday, April 11 - The Age of Grand Canyon: A Century of Debate.
The question of the Grand Canyon’s age may not be the most crucial concern on your mind. However, that issue has focused the professional attentions of Dr. Rebecca M. Flowers of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Dr. Karl Karlstrom at the University of New Mexico. They represent two competing views, old canyon (Flowers) vs young canyon (Karlstrom), and the controversy brings to light new technology and raises fascinating questions about what was happening and when in the Grand Canyon’s long-ago past.
In their presentation, “The Age of Grand Canyon: A Century of Debate,” each Doctor will deliver facts to support their position. They will then engage in a debate on the pros and cons of the issue. They have sparred before on this issue and promise to give an energetic, enlightened debate on the Grand Canyon’s youth or old age, highlighted by good humored disagreements about what facts and figures mean that are provided by the latest technology.
Dr. Karlstrom, professor of Geology, has been at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque since 1991 and has been a full professor since 1994. His main research involves structural geology and tectonics, including evolution of tectonic styles in the Precambrian, processes of continental accretion, assembly, and stabilization, tectonic evolution of the southwestern U.S. from the Precambrian to the Quaternary, and mantle-to-surface tectonic interconnections. His work in the Grand Canyon spans three decades and has involved rocks ranging from the basement rocks (1.8 billion years old) to the youngest rocks, and ongoing incision rates in the Grand Canyon.
Dr. Rebecca M. Flowers, assistant professor of Geology, is a tenure-track faculty member in Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research broadly focuses on understanding the processes that shape evolution of continents, particularly how deeper crustal and mantle dynamic processes are linked with elevation change, erosion histories, and landscape evolution at the surface of the Earth. She has active research projects in the western and mid-continent U.S., southern Africa, New Zealand, and Canada. In particular, she has established a new (U-Th)/He (thermochronologic constraints on the evolution) lab at CU.
Dr. Matthew J. Brown
Thursday, July 17 - The Relationship Between Science and Human Values.
Many people see scientific inquiry as the paradigm of objective, rational activity, free from our biases, values, human interests, or social context. But looking at the historical record, science has often been deeply affected by values. “This may seem like an unfortunate source of bias that should be eliminated entirely from science. To the contrary, human values and social factors play an ineliminable role in scientific practices, and when their role is properly managed, they can be a force for improving the value of science rather than destroying its integrity,” Dr. Brown says. He believes that we need ethics, social responsibility and transparency rather than impartiality and value neutrality. “The ideal of science as pure, inhuman and value free is neither reachable nor desirable.”
His talk will contrast the pragmatic function of science—the ability to solve problems and generate practical results—with the value function of science: the construction of a world-view and way of life. Drawing this distinction allows us to better understand how certain parts of science work, the role of science in our culture, and the relationship between science and human values.
Matthew J. Brown is director of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas, and assistant professor in philosophy and historical studies, also at UT Dallas. He is also affiliated with the programs of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Arts and Technology and Emerging Media and Communication at UT Dallas. His research primarily explores the way that the sciences interact with our values, practices and culture. He argues that ethical reflection and social responsibility need to be intrinsic parts of the scientific process.
Brown received his BS from the School of Physics at Georgia Tech, and his MA and PhD in Philosophy from the University of California San Diego. He and his collaborators at the Center for Values received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study ethics in engineering with an eye to improving ethics education for engineering students.
He is a popular speaker in the field of science and ethics and a proliferate writer of book reviews and contributor to collections of material in the same fields.
Dr. Jonathan King
Thursday, September 25 - MLK in My Living Room: How a Southern Civil
Rights Movement Changed the World.
“MLK in My Living Room: How a Southern Civil Rights Movement Changed the World,” describes Jonathan King’s memory of his and his family’s interaction with MLK during the segregation-tense 1960s in Georgia. Such close-up memories of civil rights leader MLK, Jr., as Dr. Jonathan King has, are unusual. No, Jonathan King and Martin Luther King are not related.
King will tell personal accounts, use historical video and audio, and an explanation of the history leading up to and after the 1960s Civil Rights movement. “MLK in the Living Room” is a depiction of significant events that preceded the civil rights struggle in Albany, Georgia, and focuses on how a small group of activist leaders were able to work collaboratively to overturn an unjust system of segregation that had been in effect since the Reconstruction era.
Dr. Jonathan King was recently named interim vice president for Leadville’s Colorado Mountain College Campus. King has a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Texas; an MA in educational leadership from Harvard University; an MS from the International University of Japan in Niigata, Japan; and a BA in business administration from Morehouse College.
Dr. Sertich continued
He received his BS in geology and biological sciences from Colorado State University in 2004; an MS in geology from the University of Utah in 2006; and a Ph.D. in anatomical sciences at Stony Brook University in 2011.
Sertich’s research focuses on Late Cretaceous dinosaurs and other archosaurs, and their ecosystems. His field-based research is split between the Gondwanan continents of the southern hemisphere and western North America. He is one of the primary researchers on the Mahajanja Basin Project exploring the late Cretaceous in Madagascar and has expanded the search for dinosaurs to older deposits across the island. In North America, he is currently working on projects in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah and in Cretaceous deposits across the Rocky Mountain west.