2: More Gaps Than Record in Reconstructing Earth’s History – Science: A Candle In The Dark


[audio http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~mkatti/valleycafesci-podcast/ScienceCandle-02.mp3]

Science: A Candle In The Dark
Episode 2
24 February 2015
Host: Dr. Madhusudan Katti
Guest: Dr. Mara Brady
Commentary: Dr. Paul Crosbie

Topic: Earth sciences and the insights we have gained into the history of our planet including the evolution of life leading up to our own species. In a wide ranging discussion, Dr. Brady talks about the tools used to study the age of rocks and of the earth itself, about the history of the earth sciences, especially over the past century, and how we geology can provide a broader perspective on larger scales of space and time to help us understand our current challenges such as climate change. She then discusses the challenges of conducting research and teaching about the earth in a political climate where even presidential candidates and elected representatives in government deny the value of science and dismiss earth sciences as not a hard science. The interview with Dr, Brady is followed by a commentary by Dr. Crosbie on a rediscovered fossil of a beaked whale that got stranded in East Africa and how it now helps us reconstruct our own evolutionary story.

Extreme Weather And Climate Change

California looks thirstily at the skies to end this prolonged drought. Meanwhile, our valley continues to feel the oppressive weight of the high pressure ridge sitting on top of us, keeping that moisture away and holding in place the increasingly foul air we are forced to breathe. If you look around the world, however, these California’s woes are far from being the worst examples of extreme weather that seems to be all too common these days. If you worry about these apparent weather anomalies and what portents they hold about the changing climate of our planet, join us this February 2nd when local solar energy expert Tom Cotter will discuss Extreme Weather and Climate Change.

Montana thunderstorm

Experience Al Gore’s updated multimedia slide show that was featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth“. The science is settled. Dirty Energy is creating Dirty Weather in California and beyond. Learn how locals are joining the global effort to fix our climate crisis.

Here’s a recent conversation with Al Gore reflecting on how things have changed in the 7 years since his documentary:


Fresno, California-based Tom Cotter is a Solar Expert and Clean Energy Advocate at RGS Energy. Tom’s career and volunteer work is dedicated to building a stronger economy, healthier families and a more secure future. Among numerous organizations, he serves as a board member at three non-profits and is an educator, habit coach, ordained minister and public speaker. As a Climate Leader in the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Tom educates people through free multimedia presentations about the impacts and solutions of climate change. Previous career roles include serving as Regional Sales Manager at both Sunrun and Real Goods Solar (where he was also a Solar Power Consultant), as an Adjunct Faculty member with Fresno Pacific University and Founder & Partner of Prodigal Clothing, LLC. Tom also worked as a Pastor with Clovis Christian Church for 10 years, beginning in 1996.

When: Monday, 2 February 2015, 7:00 PM

Where:  Peeve’s Public House
, 1243 Fulton Mall, Fresno, CA 93721

Contact:  559-278-2460 (cafe inquiries) / 559-573-5735 (Pub)

Here’s the full poster for this event – please feel free to download, print, and share with your friends and family:

Dive into the ocean to discover and learn from deep sea Foraminifera, on Jan 7, 2013

Happy New Year, fellow Cafénistas!

Join us on January 7th for an expedition into the deep seas! Dr. Mathieu Richaud, of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at CSU—Fresno will tell us about research into the bottom of the sea where oceanographers take core sediment samples and bring up the myriad and endlessly fascinating little microorganisms called the Foraminifera. What can these deep sea sediment samples and the tiny Foraminifers buried within them tell us about such closer-to-surface phenomena as Sea Level Change, El Niño, and Ocean Acidification? A lot, it seems, as Dr. Richaud will show us in his presentation.

We will continue to meet at the Cafe Via, near Herndon and Blackstone, where dinner will be served from 6:00 PM onwards, with the talk to begin at 7:00 PM.

A poster with full details is available below, for download and sharing. Please join us, and bring a friend or two along!