2005 Austin ESW Distinguished Lecture Series
All lectures ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC will be held at the
Texas Department of Transportation Auditorium (details below).
Raffle tickets for a meteorite sample will be on sale at the lectures for $1.00. A drawing for the winner will be held in October.
Thursday, July 7, 2005

Roving the Plains of Mars and Mapping the Moons of Saturn

John M. Curchin

United States Geological Survey (USGS) and
Saturn VIMS Team Supporting Member


We will explore the latest mission results from NASA's Mars exploration rovers (MERs) and the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn. The MERs have vastly exceeded their primary mission goals, and are demonstrating the enormous value of robotic geologists on the surface of Mars. The Saturn results will be presented from the perspective of one particular instrument, the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, and will concentrate on Saturn's diverse retinue of moons.

About the Distinguished Lecturer

John Curchin has been fascinated by planets (including earth!) his whole life. This led to degrees in geology from Colgate University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he discovered the allure of oil exploration. After a five year stint in the oil patch, the more relaxed life of an academic, combined with unlimited rock hounding, drew him to Colorado, where he has been teaching geology and physics at local community colleges for the past 20 years.

Taking advantage of all that Colorado has to offer, he continued his education in the Planetary Science Department at the University of Colorado in the late 1990s. This led to a position with the mineralogy division of the USGS in Lakewood, Colorado, which has a small planetary group supported by NASA. Mission data from numerous spacecraft are downloaded directly to the USGS 'speclab', where he can't believe he has the good fortune to look at, analyze, and interpret spectra from other worlds to his heart's content. This has led to a number of discoveries, some of which were published in the May 5, 2005, issue of the British journal, Nature. Currently, he studies the wildly diverse moons of saturn, which should keep him busy for years to come.

Thursday, August 11, 2005
The ABC's of Austin–Aquifers, Bats, and Caves

Julie Jenkins
Texas Cave Management Association

Jennee Galland
Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District

Over 50,000 people in the Austin area depend on the Edwards Aquifer as their sole source of water. Join us as we investigate the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer, the powerhouse behind Austin s beloved Barton Springs. Come learn about the geology, hydrology, and karst topography that make the aquifer so productive and sensitive. In addition, we will explore bats and cave invertebrates that call the karst home. After the presentation and questions, come visit a live bat or try on some cave gear! This presentation is designed for all ages.

About the Distinguished Lecturers

Jennee Galland currently serves as the Environmental Educator for the Barton Springs/ Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Theatre and Environmental Science and has worked as an Environmental Educator for entities such as the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The Conservation District was created in 1987 by the 70th Texas Legislature with the directive to conserve, protect, and enhance the groundwater resources of the Barton Springs segment of the aquifer. For more information on the District, upcoming activities, and the aquifer, please visit www.bseacd.org.

Julie Jenkins is an Environmental Educator specializing in the water and karst of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. She has over 18 years experience in working in and under the central Texas caves and karst, having worked with such entities as the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, City of Austin's Earth Camp program (field science for low income elementary schools in Austin), the City of Austin's Watershed Protection Dept., and Bat Conservation International. She is Vice President of the Texas Cave Management Association, Member of Texas Speleological Association, Life Member of National Speleological Society, and owner of Texas Cave Company, a caving education organization.

All lectures ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC will be held at the Texas Department of Transportation Auditorium

7:00–8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:00 p.m.)

Texas Department of Transportation Auditorium, 200 Riverside Drive, Austin, Texas. The auditorium is located at 200 Riverside Drive on the north side, one block east of South Congress Avenue across the street from Thundercloud Subs (click here for a map). Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the Texas Department of Transportation parking lots surrounding the building. Please use the public entrance on the west side of the building that faces the private driveway to the Austin American-Statesman parking lot.

For more information, please e-mail Sigrid Clift or call 512-471-0320