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Spring Seminar Series: From Experts to Nonexperts

The College of Natural and Health Sciences invites the local and UNC community to attend our seminar series. Every month, we invite our resident experts to teach the cutting edge research that our college is working on. 

2024 Schedule:

  •  January 16th: Intense Lasers, Singing Atoms, and Space Telescopes: An Exploration of Time
    • Jan Chaloupka- Professor, Physics and Astronomy
    • Multipurpose Room, Campus Commons 2-3:15 PM 
      • Nearly one hundred years ago, American engineer and inventor Harold Edgerton developed techniques to freeze motion with stroboscopic flashes, creating some of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century. At the same time, astronomer Edwin Hubble was laying the groundwork for our understanding of an expanding universe. These seemingly disparate scientific endeavors are connected by our exploration of time, from the very short, to the inconceivably long. Today, scientists use intense laser pulses to rip apart atoms, and in doing so, create the shortest flashes of light ever made. And the James Webb space telescope, launched in 2021, peers ever deeper into the cosmos, looking billions of years into the past. In this talk, we will examine this incredible scale of time, and in particular I will discuss the work that led to the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics for the development of attosecond science. I will also describe the connection of my own research here at UNC to the advancement of ultrafast physics, and will probably tell a story or two about my old friend and collaborator (and now Nobel prize winner!) Pierre Agostini.
  • February 20th: Hearing Health from a Public Health Perspective
    • Hannah Glick- Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders
    • Multipurpose Room, Campus Commons 2-3:15 PM 
      • 40 million adults in the United States have hearing loss. Next to high blood pressure and arthritis, hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in adults. Hearing health is also a growing public health concern because there is evidence linking untreated hearing loss to negative health outcomes. For example, the risk of dementia is 2-3X higher in adults with hearing loss compared to adults without hearing loss. This presentation describes current research on the impact of early hearing treatment on cognitive health and wellbeing in adults, as well as current barriers preventing access and affordability of hearing healthcare services.
  • March 19th: Female Bird Songs
    • Lauryn Benedict- Professor & Associate Director, Biological Sciences
    • Multipurpose Room, Campus Commons 2-3:15 PM 
      • Female Bird Song – a case study for why definitions matter in science. In addition to being a source of joy to listeners, bird song offers an important model system for researchers studying the production, perception, and evolution of complex vocal communication signals including language. Bird song research, however, is surprisingly narrowly focused on a few model species and, in particular, on the males of those species. Although more than 60% of songbird females sing, they are very rarely studied. In my talk I will explore why that is, looking in particular at how discipline history and definitions have driven that trend. I’ll also talk about recent research on singing female birds and highlight what the field stands to gain by recognizing and studying female vocalizations.

  • April 16th: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration for a Cooler Earth
    • Sharon Bywater-Reyes, Chelsie Romulo, Cindy Shellito, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
    • Ross 2090 2-3:15 PM  
      • Climate change will impact every aspect of our lives in the next three decades. Warmer summers and winters will impact everything from how we manage our water to what we plant in our gardens. In this seminar, we will consider how Northern Colorado climate has changed in the past 50 years, and what we can expect in the next 50. The solutions to the challenges we face involve transforming how we live and work in our communities. They involve finding ways to collaborate across all disciplines, and all sectors of society. We will discuss what it takes to build resilience to these changes as a community and share examples of projects that involve collaborating to build climate resilience. We believe that building a sustainable future begins with open, heart-felt collaboration, both within academia and beyond.

Virtual Option

Sessions will be recorded and uploaded.