‘Science on Saturday’ extends into Tracy

Science on Saturday

Science on Saturday extends into Tracy in March with topics on energy and the environment.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s popular outreach series, “Science on Saturday,” will continue its programming into March at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts in Tracy. Talks will be hosted March 4 and 11 and will revisit topics from 2022 related to energy and the environment. The talks will begin at 10 a.m.

  • March 4 - “The Future in Focus: Predicting Climate Change through Observation, Modeling and Artificial Intelligence” presented by LLNL scientists Aaron Donahue and Mark Zelinka and retired Alamo Elementary School principal Stan Hitomi.

Scientists use global climate models (GCMs) to investigate how the Earth might respond to human activities, such as reducing carbon emissions. These models can make predictions hundreds of years into the future, but their spatial resolution — how precise the predictions are for a small area — is limited. New GCMs, however, make use of growing computing resources by implementing artificial intelligence techniques to extract finer detail from historic atmospheric data. With high-resolution climate predictions, scientists can forecast global effects as nations work to mitigate climate change.

  • March 11 - “Small Algae, Big World: The Impact of Microalgae on Global Carbon Cycling and Sustainable Biofuels” presented by LLNL scientists Xavier Mayali and Ty Samo along with Tracy High School teacher Erin McKay.

Algae may be unassuming, but their lives are fascinating. Plants only process about half of photosynthetically fixed carbon on Earth; the rest is processed by algae. These organisms are responsible for the offshore oil resources that are extracted and used for energy. However, they can also produce toxins which endanger humans and the environment. The potential of algae to have such extraordinary large-scale effects can be traced to their own microbiome, which influences their function and behavior. This presentation will explain how algae and their microbiome determine how carbon is processed, and how microalgae could be harnessed to improve environmental health alongside the lives of people.

Science on Saturday is sponsored by LLNL's Science Education Program. The presentations are free to attend and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lecture recordings are available on the LLNL YouTube Channel and the University of California Television Network (UCTV)

For more information about Science on Saturday, visit the Science on Saturday web page or contact Joanna Albala at albala1 [at] (albala1[at]llnl[dot]gov) or (925) 422-6803.