Feb. 2, 2022

Lawrence Livermore’s popular lecture series delves into ‘Energy and the Environment’

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL’s) popular lecture series, "Science on Saturday," is once again going virtual for 2022 with the theme “Energy and the Environment.”

The series, targeted to middle and high school students, runs Saturdays at 10 a.m., Feb. 5 through Feb. 26. Each Saturday will feature a different lecture presented by leading LLNL researchers, joined by a master high school science teacher.

Visit the web for the complete schedule of lectures and information on how to attend.

  • Feb. 5 – “Too Much Trash in the Air: How Can We Clean It Up?,” presented by LLNL scientists Roger Aines and Sarah Baker with Capuchino High School teacher Thi Ngo. This presentation will discuss what it means in our daily lives to stop emitting CO2, and why it will require time to complete this transformation. The talk will highlight the primary options available to “clean up the air,” including improving how we manage forests and soils, as well as building machines to harvest carbon from plants or directly from the air. Click here for more information.
  • Feb. 12 – “Small Algae, Big World: The Impact of Microalgae on Global Carbon Cycling and Sustainable Biofuels,” presented by LLNL researchers Xavier Mayali and Ty Samo along with Erin McKay, a biology teacher at Tracy High School. This presentation will introduce the audience to the fascinating world of microalgae and discuss some of the research on this topic that is happening at LLNL. In particular, the presentation will introduce the concept that the algal microbiome (yes, algae have their own microbiome too) has a strong influence on the fate of algal-produced carbon, and harnessing the power of microalgae and their microbiomes has the potential to change our world for the better. Click here for more information.
  • Feb. 19 – “Bringing Star Power to Earth: Harnessing Nuclear Fusion,” presented by LLNL scientists Derek Mariscal and Dave Schlossberg with Granada High School teacher Tom Shefler. The National Ignition Facility is the world’s largest and most energetic laser system and was built to create extreme states of matter similar to those found in stellar and planetary interiors. Here scientists, engineers and technicians work on the grand challenge of recreating the engines of stars on Earth by harnessing fusion. This presentation will provide an overview of the fusion science conducted at the National Ignition Facility, including experiments, simulations and the application of machine learning to better understand the physics of these highly complex physical phenomena. Click here for more information. 
  • Feb. 26 – “The Future in Focus: Predicting Climate Change through Observations, Modeling and Artificial Intelligence,” presented by LLNL researchers Gemma Anderson, Aaron Donahue and Mark Zelinka along with retired Alamo Elementary School teacher Stan Hitomi. This presentation will describe the science underpinning our understanding of climate change in the context of Earth’s geologic history, the role of humans in driving the unprecedented changes currently being observed, what we know about the future trajectory of warming and where the key uncertainties lie. The talk will highlight cutting-edge work in modeling the Earth’s climate and work at the frontier of climate science through the use of artificial intelligence. Click here for more information.

Science on Saturday is sponsored by LLNL's Science Education Program. Past Science on Saturday presentations can be viewed at the University of California Television network or on the LLNL YouTube channel.

For more information about Science on Saturday, click here or contact albala1 [at] llnl.gov (Joanna Albala) at (925) 422-6803.