Nerd Nite #4: Zombie Cockroaches, Trash, and Exploring the Abyss
Welcome to Nerd Nite Portland!
Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. Featuring short talks by several scientists, artists, experts of all types, and ordinary people with extraordinary skills, we aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Come drink along with us!
This Nerd Nite will feature the following three awesome talks:
• Trash Talk: PDX and What To Do With All That Waste, with Stan Jones
• This Is Your Brain…This Is Your Brain on Parasites, with Lisa Sardinia, PhD
• Exploring the Abyss: New Discoveries in the Ocean, with Stephen Hammond, PhD
Trash Talk: PDX and What To Do With All That Waste
Portland International Airport (PDX) is Oregon’s largest commercial airport and sees around 14 million passengers a year. Most, if not all of those passengers will need to dispose of something while they’re there…a coffee cup, a newspaper, that shampoo bottle you forgot was in your bag and security won’t let you take on the plane… not to mention all the shops and restaurants that need to get rid of trash as well. That adds up to a whole lot of waste. Stan Jones is the Environmental Compliance Manger for the Port of Portland, and he’s the guy who is in charge of handling all that waste; trying to reduce the total amount, coming up with easy recycling and composting methods for people in the airport, and disposing of what can’t be reused. Come find out what methods are used at PDX, find out about creative recycling, and see if you can stump Stan by seeing if there is anything that CAN’T be recycled.
This Is Your Brain…This Is Your Brain on Parasites
You know how sometimes when you’re having sex and your partner gets stung by a parasite and you both get dragged away to an underground lair and buried alive? Or the time you had a bunch of alien larvae gnaw their way out through your skin and force you to protect them until you starve to death? How about that louse that ate your tongue and then took your tongue’s place? Dr. Lisa Sardinia, associate professor of biology at Pacific University will tell us all about zombie cockroaches and suicidal crickets—how parasites alter the behavior of their hosts.
Exploring the Abyss: New Discoveries in the Ocean
Critical to life on Earth yet, virtually unexplored, the planet’s largest ecosystem – the ocean – holds many mysteries. The ocean has been the source of a number of new discoveries of animal life, environments, and extremophiles, and Dr. Stephen Hammond of Ocean Exploration Consulting and former Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Ocean Exploration and Research Program, will tell us just how much of the planet’s surface is still left to explore and what kinds of curious creatures live there.