Locations and Times

Science Cafe Logo

Wednesday evenings, 7:15 pm
The New Jernabi Coffeehouse 
11 Maple Street
Potsdam, NY  13676

Tuesday evenings, 7:15 pm
The Rushton Conference Room
Best Western University Inn
Canton, NY 13617

Spring 2019 Series Schedule

Biodiversity and Agriculture: Threats and Opportunities
Canton: Tuesday, Feb 5
Potsdam: Wednesday, Feb 6

Over 40% of the Earth’s surface has been transformed to agriculture. Whether it’s oil palm and pineapple plantations in the tropics, or hayfields and pasture in the North Country, conventional agriculture reduces the amount of habitat available to native wildlife and plants. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Sustainable, biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices exist and are gaining acceptance and popularity worldwide. Kate Cleary, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at St. Lawrence University, will relate her experiences developing bird-friendly grazing practices in Guatemala and bat-friendly pineapple plantations in Costa Rica, and will present upcoming opportunities for citizens to participate in research on biodiversity and agriculture here in the North Country.

When Man Can Buy Sex
Canton: Tuesday, Feb 26
Potsdam: Wednesday, Feb 27 

What happens when men can legally buy sex, women can legally sell it, and both can do so in a safe and protected environment? In Germany, this has been the law of the land since 2002. Join Dr. Annegret Staiger (Clarkson University) as she discusses her ethnographic research in an upscale German mega brothel and her insights about the men who self-identify as sex clients.  Even though casual sex is socially accepted in Germany, sex clients often feel the need to hide it. Many counter intuitive questions arise: about the stigma of paying for sex, the vulnerability of sex clients, and the social control that operates in a sexually enlightened society.

Changing the Face of Small Wind
Canton: Tuesday, March 12
Potsdam: Wednesday, March 13 

Small wind turbines typically entail a significant capital investment for the home or farm user,because of the higher cost per unit energy ($/kWh) than other sources of energy. As both our dependency on electricity,and the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, continue to grow, so does the urgency to responsibly increase the use of this renewable energy source. Ken Visser, Associate Professor of Aeronautical Engineering (CU), will discuss small wind possibilities for individuals, and present some exciting results developed in his lab that will help to literally change the image of small wind for our future. A brief history leading up to the current technology will also be presented.

What Lurks Unseen
Canton: Tuesday, April 2
Potsdam: Wednesday, April 3

Ghosts, ghouls, spirits, and hauntings have increasingly infringed upon our modern cultural experience; has the elevated stress of modern society driven unrest among the undead, or might there be something more sinister at play? Humans live and interact with an impressive, often invisible, microbiome that can alter our everyday lives in surprising, and sometimes frightening, ways. Join Clarkson University Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering Shane Rogers for a look into the darker side of the environmental microbiome.

Stumped by Salamanders: Habitat Use and Reproduction of an All-Female Amphibian “Species”
Canton: Tuesday, April 16
Potsdam: Wednesday, April 17

Unisexual Salamanders are an all-female lineage that reproduce by “stealing” the sperm of a host species. Little is known about their ecology because they are difficult to identify and study, and a lack of information hinders their conservation. Join Dr. Kristine Hoffmann (SLU) as she describes her work with salamanders at four wetlands in Maine, using a combination of trapping, radio tracking, and genetic analysis.  Her results indicate that the communities were almost entirely female. But if there were no males how were they reproducing? The narrative of this study demonstrates how results can lead to more mysteries.


Social @Clarkson