PUBLISHED: 11:45 AM on Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Two UAS profs headline Science for Alaska Lecture Series

  Not just a caveman: Prof. Daniel Montieth, UAS.
Two University of Alaska Southeast professors were selected for the Science for Alaska Lecture series, which begins on Feb. 7 at 7:30 PM in Centennial Hall and continues every Monday in February. Assistant Professor of Anthropology Daniel Montieth will present Alaska's Caves: Unlocking the Secrets of Our Past (Feb.14), and Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of Marine Biology Brendan Kelly will present Arctic Sea Ice: Diminishing Habitat for Seals and Walruses (Feb.28).

Professor of aeronomy Dirk Lummerzheim of the Geophysical Institute on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus kicks off the series on Feb. 7th with The Sounds of the Aurora and Other Persistent Mysteries. Swishing sounds that vary with the movement of aurora, and crackling, similar to the sound static electricity makes, are two commonly reported sounds associated with the aurora. Although scientists can't rule out that these sounds exist; it is a phenomenon that is still a mystery to scientists.EUAS Professor of Anthropology Daniel Montieth has been one of the key researchers whose discoveries have shown that the caves of Alaska are an integral piece of present day ecosystems and are also incredible depositories of knowledge about the past. Scientists are making new discoveries in the caves that are revising modern understanding of the human history, geology, and biology of Alaska. Professor Montieth's presentation takes place Feb. 14 at 7:30 PM.

The Search for Water and Life on Mars (Feb. 21) takes a look at new information about the Martian terrain that suggests the Red Planet's surface once had water. High levels of a mineral associated with liquid water on Earth were discovered on Mars last year. This important find suggests the possibility of ancient lakebeds or seas on the planet's surface and increases the odds that Mars once harbored life. The lecture will be presented by Geology and Geophysics Professor Buck Sharpton. Sharpton also holds the title of Presidents Professor University of Alaska Fairbanks' Planetary Science Group and the Geophysical Institute's Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Program.

Seals, sea lions, walruses and the majority of Alaskan sea live depend of sea ice as a habitat. Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of Marine Biology Brendan Kelly takes a look at Earth's climate change, diminishing arctic sea ice; and explains how his research looks at the varying impact on the animals. Dr. Kelly will describe over two decades of research on arctic seals and walruses using technologies that include snowmobiles, icebreaking ships, ultrasonic tracking devices, underwater video cameras, and trained Labrador retrievers on Feb. 28.

The lectures are free and for all ages. The presentations last for about one hour and conclud with a Q&A period.