Science Lecture Series 2024 at UCR Palm Desert

Science Lecture Series

The College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences is proud to present the annual Science Lecture Series. Since its inception, CNAS scientists have shared their knowledge and research with students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. Each Science Lecture Series topic tackles some of the most pressing issues we face as a local, national, and global community.

The Science Lecture Series is free and open to the public, but registration for each lecture is required. Light refreshments will be served, while supplies last.

Information about the upcoming 2025 Science Lecture Series will be posted here in the months ahead. Stay tuned for more information!


Science Lecture Series 2024 Recordings

The Escalating Climate Catastrophe

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Robert J. Allen
Full Professor of Climatology
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
University of California, Riverside
Website: Allen Climate Dynamics Center AC/DC

About Dr. Allen's Lecture
Since the dawn of the industrial age, our planet has warmed. Recent warming is widespread, rapid and intensifying. The ten hottest years on record have all occurred in the last decade. This past year (2023) was the hottest year by far at 1.34°C to 1.48°C warmer than the preindustrial average and among the warmest years in at least 100,000 years. At present rates of greenhouse gas emissions, it will only be a few years before the 2015 Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal is surpassed. In this talk, Dr. Allen discusses how and why our climate is changing and what we need to do to avert the climate catastrophe.

About Dr. Allen
Dr. Allen’s educational background includes BS and MS degrees from Cornell University and a PhD in Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics from Yale University. Dr. Allen is a climate scientist who uses state-of-the-art Earth system models, as well as a wide range of observations, to improve our understanding of the climate system. This includes natural climate variability and the processes involved, as well as how climate is changing, what is driving that change, and how to adapt to and mitigate such changes. Dr. Allen has published over 60 peer-reviewed climate research papers and he has received funding from national and international science funding agencies and private industry. He has participated in several international climate modeling efforts including the Aerosols and Chemistry Model Intercomparison Project, the Regional Aerosol Model Intercomparison Project and the Composition Air Quality Climate Interactions Initiative.  He is also a contributing author to the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including chapters on Short-lived Climate Forcers and Water Cycle Changes. Dr. Allen currently serves as a research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.


Gravitational Waves: Unraveling the Mysteries of our Universe

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Barry C. Barish
Nobel Laureate in Physics (2017)
Distinguished Professor
Department Physics and Astronomy 
University of California, Riverside

University of California, Riverside
900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92517

Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Reception: 5-6 p.m.
Lecture: 6-7 p.m.

About Dr. Barish's Lecture
In 1916, Albert Einstein conjectured that gravitational waves exist. They were discovered a century later by LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. Now, less than a decade after discovery, gravitational waves are becoming a powerful new tool to explore and understand our universe. The discoveries, some puzzles and future possibilities will all be explored in this lecture.

About Dr. Barish
Barry Barish, Distinguished Professor of Physics at UCR, was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves," along with American physicists Rainer Weiss and Kip S. Thorne.   The existence of gravitational waves had been originally suggested by Albert Einstein is 1915. Barish and collaborators observed them coming from the collision of two black holes in the distant universe 100 years later, using their precision instrument called LIGO.  Barish has received numerous other awards, including election to the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society in London, and has received many honorary degrees. This past fall, he was awarded the “National Medal of Science,” by President Biden, the highest award given to American Scientists.  

For more details, see Wikipedia  



From Dirt to Data: Precision Insights for Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Elia Scudiero
Research Agronomist 
Department of Environmental Sciences
University of California, Riverside
Website: Elia Scudiero's Lab

UCR Palm Desert Center 
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Reception: 5-6 p.m.
Lecture: 6-7 p.m.

About Dr. Scudiero's Lecture
Water scarcity and environmental degradation associated with intensive agriculture are threatening the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of food production in water-scarce farmlands in the US and globally. Although limited, water resources in California and many other US farmlands are often used non-parsimoniously and inefficiently. Therefore, improvements to current irrigation practices must be made to help sustain agricultural systems in the long term. Short-scale changes in soil properties often result in remarkable within-field crop yield variability. Geophysical measurements and GIS-based models to characterize trends and drivers of soil variability are needed for informed agricultural and natural resource management.

This talk will feature research on the use of field measurements, near-ground and remote sensing, and spatiotemporal multi-scale (field to the regional scale) data analysis for i) mapping and monitoring soil properties across scales, ii) understanding soil-plant interactions, and iii) enable precision agronomic management. 

About Dr. Scudiero
Elia Scudiero is an Associate Research Agronomist with the Environmental Sciences Department at the University of California, Riverside with a joint appointment at the USDA ARS US Salinity Laboratory, also in Riverside. Before moving to Riverside, Elia was awarded his Ph.D. in Crop Science from the University of Padua, Italy, in 2013. Elia’s Digital Agronomy Lab uses high-resolution near-ground and remote sensing to study agricultural systems across scales. This research supports sustainable site-specific agriculture management practices in California and globally.

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