Where and When

The Canton events will be held Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. in The Rushton Conference Room in the Best Western University Inn at 90 E. Main Street, Canton. The Potsdam events are held on Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. in the Potsdam Civic Center Community Room at 2 Park St.

Would you like to be added to the Science Café email list? Please send your request or any questions to sciencecafe@clarkson.edu.

Any program changes or updates will be available at clarkson.edu/sciencecafe.

Dinosaurs, Asteroids, and Climate Change

Canton: Tuesday, September 20
Potsdam: Wednesday, September 21

The dinosaur-killing asteroid hit the surface of the Earth about 66 million years ago and resulted in a cascade of natural disasters, including widespread wildfires, tsunami, an impact winter and a hypothesized period of sustained global warming. Using stable isotopic signatures preserved in microscopic fish fossils, we were able to test the global warming hypothesis and provide the first empirical evidence of warming following the asteroid impact. Join Associate Professor Page Quinton (Earth and Environmental Sciences, SUNY Potsdam) to learn about how geologists study past climates and how this information can be used to understand the causes and consequences of modern climate change.

The Green Rush: The Business of Cannabis

Canton: Tuesday, October 4
Potsdam: Wednesday, October 5

One would think that there would be nothing left to discuss regarding a plant first cultivated 12,000 years ago in Central Asia. Despite being consumed in practically every culture, cannabis has a long and harrowed history with health-related issues, abuse and racial injustice, and now it offers us a new business model ... CannaBusiness. Navigating the laws (federal and state), sociopolitical conversations and twists and turns of moving from the black to the grey market, the cannabis industry is predicted to generate $1.25 billion in tax revenues over the next six years in the state of New York alone. Join Associate Professor Christa Haifley (Business Administration, SUNY Potsdam) for an engaging evening of discussion on this budding new industry.

Protecting Drones from Themselves and Others

Canton: Tuesday, October 18
Potsdam: Wednesday, October 19

Autonomous drones and rovers perform critical tasks for government agencies and emergency services that range from fighting forest fires to exploring distant planets. Computer hacks and software bugs can disrupt vehicle operation by causing crashes or hindering successful completion of missions (e.g., a sample is not collected or a camera is misaligned). How can an autonomous vehicle fend for itself when such malfunctions occur? Join Assistant Professor Kevin Angstadt (Computer Science, St. Lawrence University) as he discusses drone technology and explores automatic techniques to help them recover from hacks and malfunctions.

Sustainability and Policy: An Economist's Perspective

Canton: Tuesday, November 1
Potsdam: Wednesday, November 2

Led by the urge for private economic gains (the “invisible hand”), human activities have been a central cause of local and global environmental changes. Environmental policies are the “visible hand” that directs human activities in a way that minimizes social economic losses while promoting the equitable distribution of these losses. Join Assistant Professor Qingran Li (Economics and Financial Studies, Clarkson) as she talks about an economist’s perspective of sustainability and how economic research can inform the design of environmental policy.


Cutting-Edge Investigations

Canton: Tuesday, November 15
Potsdam: Wednesday, November 16

In 1930, a legal precedent was set for the use of toolmarks in U.S. courts, declaring that “the edge on one blade differs as greatly from the edge of another as the lines on one human hand differ from the lines on another” (Washington, 1930). But how unique are these features when interpreted from toolmark evidence in bone? Saws are one of the most common tools encountered in forensic anthropological investigations, particularly in cases involving dismemberment. Investigators must understand how saws create marks, determine what these marks relay about a blade’s characteristics and then assess how accurate these features are in identifying a saw or group of saws. Join Assistant Professor Alicia Grosso (Physical Therapy, Clarkson) as she reviews how microscopic saw-mark analysis helps forensic anthropologists identify potential saw blades in forensic investigations.

The Science Café Intercollegiate Committee

Daniel ben Avraham, Clarkson University
Alex Schreiber, St. Lawrence University
Kristine Potter, SUNY Canton
Jessica Rogers, SUNY Potsdam
Beth McCarran, Clarkson University

Fall 2021 Recorded Presentations

Professor Suresh Dhaniyala on September 22: Airborne Disease and Aerosol: An Intimate Connection
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Professor Bethany Garretson on October 6: The Power of Storytelling
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Professor Ernesto Moralez on October 27:
Addressing Health Disparities in the 21st Century: Thinking Further Upstream
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Ms. Karen Easter on November 10: Crisis Intervention in the North Country
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Professor Alexander Schreiber on December 1: Unraveling the Mysteries of
Frog Metamorphosis
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Professor Susan Powers on December 6: COP26 - A week in Glasgow: A View from the Inside
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Spring 2021 Recorded Presentations

Professor Laurel Kuxhaus on January 27: A Bioengineer Goes to Capitol Hill

Professors Liz Brown and Kelly Peterson on February 10: Forensic Science - From the Crime Scene to the Courtroom

PhD Student Alicia Lamb on February 24: Primates and Poop - Non-invasive Data Collection in Wild Animals

Professor Matt Higham on March 10: Statistical Challenges with Ecological Data or Ecological Challenges to Statistical Models?

Professor Jim Fryer on April 7: The “What” and “Why” of Goal Pursuit

Fall 2020 Recorded Presentations

Professor Damien Samways on September 23: The Pharmacology of a Public Health Emergency 
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Professor Beatrice Hernout on October 7: How Is Wildlife Affected by Environmental Pollution? 
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Professor Adam Fox on October 21: New Hope for Solving Problems of Human Behavior 
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Professor Michelle Yoo on November 3: Phylogenomics, Biodiversity, and Medicinal Plants 
Please enjoy the recorded presentation

Professor Alan Christian on November 18: The Complex Reproductive Biology of North American Freshwater Mussles 
Please enjoy the recorded presentation