Lecture Theatre 1, Eastern Institute of Technology, Taradale
Wednesday 19 August at 5.30pm
If you would like to attend, please email email@example.com with ‘Napier lecture’ in the subject line or phone 04-463 5791 by Friday 14 August.
Leading ecology experts from Victoria University of Wellington are visiting Napier this month to give a public lecture on two animal populations facing very different challenges.
Dr Nicky Nelson and Professor Phil Lester from Victoria’s School of Biological Sciences will discuss the population dynamics of tuatara and wasps at their talk at the Eastern Institute of Technology.
Tuatara are iconic New Zealand animals facing possible extinction as a result of climate change, with rising temperatures impacting on the sex-ratio of the species, leading to a greater number of males being born.
Dr Nicky Nelson, who is also a Principal Investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, will present a case study considering these impacts, the role of re-introduced tuatara populations, and what conservation actions can help save these national treasures, or taonga.
Professor Lester will discuss methods being developed to take the sting out of one of New Zealand’s most abundant, widely distributed and damaging pests—the common wasp.
It has been estimated that wasp numbers need to be reduced by up to 90 percent to effect an increase in the survival probability rates of our native animals. Professor Lester will discuss novel pest control projects he is leading as part of a National Science Challenge, including using mites, gene silencing and artificial pheromones.
Download flier here>
6 – 8 PM, Tuesday 25 August 2015
Century Cinema, MTG, Napier
In this International Year of Soils, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has arranged a public viewing of the innovative documentary, “Symphony of the Soil” by Deborah Koons Garcia.
“Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource.”
“The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time.”
The showing of the movie will be followed by pizza and a discussion forum.
Download printable flier here>
Gold coin donation, koha
Laura Wallace, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics
Tuesday 30 June 2015 at 7:30pm
National Aquarium of New Zealand, Marine Parade Napier
The Hikurangi subduction zone is where the Pacific Plate dives down or “subducts” beneath the eastern North Island. The boundary between the eastern North Island and the Pacific Plate is called the Hikurangi megathrust. In this pressentation, Laura Wallace will discuss “slow slip events”, which are an exciting new form of fault slip behavior observed on the Hikurangi megathrust beneath the Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Kapiti, and Manawatu regions.
Slow slip events beneath the North Island also have important implications for our understanding of the earthquake and tsunami hazard posed by the Hikurangi megathrust. The talk will also introduce a recent international scientific investigation of slow slip events and earthquakes offshore Gisborne that involved the deployment of 35 seafloor instruments belonging to the United States and Japan. The instruments were deployed between May 2014 and June 2015 to monitor seismicity and seafloor deformation related to slow slip beneath Poverty Bay.
Dr. Laura Wallace is a Research Scientist at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. Prior to joining the University of Texas, Laura was a research scientist at GNS Science in Lower Hutt for nearly a decade.
Laura is one of the scientists from the research vessel “The Roger Revelle” that is doing seismic work on our coast.
Laura uses a variety of methods to investigate deformation of the Earth’s crust at tectonic plate boundaries, with a particular focus on subduction zone plate boundaries. She undertakes research at various locations in the western Pacific, and she has spent much of her career trying to better understand earthquake processes on the Hikurangi subduction zone beneath the eastern North Island.
Much of her recent work has been focused on investigating “slow slip events”, a recently discovered form of fault slip behavior, which are now known to occur frequently on Hikurangi subduction zone.
Members and friends are inviited to this National Aquarium of New Zealand Lecture
Admission: Gold coin donation
Please direct any enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Jeffery Tallon FRSNZ, Victoria University
Tuesday, 28 July, 7pm, National Aquarium, Marine Parade, Napier
The age of fossil fuels is coming to an end. Global warming from their burning is undeniable. But when will tomorrow begin?
Will there be a long transition period, with a mish-mash of renewables, while we learn to harness the sun’s energy efficiently, as plants have been doing for 3.5 billion years? Is there even enough sunlight striking the Earth to supply the increasing energy demands of 6-9 billion humans? Nuclear energy may be the only realistic alternative for some countries but it’s not an option for a nuclear-averse country like New Zealand, with a small population and large land area split in two. Can our renewable energy sources satisfy the extra load of a wholesale conversion to electric vehicles? Or would it be simpler just to filter the CO2 out of vehicle and other emissions instead? What are the options likely to mean for more remote centres like Nelson, Napier, Whanganui, Tauranga, and oil and gas-producing New Plymouth?
Jeffery Tallon CNZM, FRSNZ, HonFIPENZ is Professor of Physics at Robinson Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington. He is internationally known for his research and discoveries in high-temperature superconductors (HTS), both fundamental and applied, leading eventually to commercialization through the company HTS-110 Ltd. His research has focused on the thermodynamics, magnetism, spectroscopy and electronic transport properties of superconductors.
Professor Tallon’s other research interests include nanotechnology, organic/inorganic hybrid materials and physics at high pressure. He has received many awards for his work, including the Rutherford Medal, the Dan Walls Medal for Physics and, with Professor Bob Buckley, the inaugural New Zealand Prime Minister’s Science Medal for commercialization of fundamental science. He is the 2015/16 IEEE Distinguished Lecturer in Applied Superconductivity. Dr Tallon has been a frequent Visiting Professor at Cambridge University and a Visiting Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge.
Download printable flier here>
The MacDiarmid Institute is supporting regional development with this series of free public talks, organised in association with the Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Thursday 19 March 2015, 5.30pm. Napier BFT Plant, 55 Waitangi Road Awatoto, Napier.
The Hawke’s Bay Branch of IPENZ invites members of IPENZ and the Hawkes Bay Branch of RSNZ to join them for a site visit to observe the Napier Biological Trickling Filter (BFT) plant now in operation.
Ten years in the planning, the Biological Trickling Filter (BTF) plant was built alongside the existing milliscreening plant at Awatoto. The wastewater treatment upgrade provides a secondary treatment process that includes grit removal followed by biological treatment. The design allows for further treatment stages to be added in future if required.
Use Main Treatment Gate for access and parking (Gate 2).
Safety Requirements: High Visibility Jacket, sensible shoes are required for access to the site. Please bring these items for your visit.
RSVP: Please confirm your visit to John Warren email@example.com (06 845 4623)
Professor Martin Manning at the Holt Planetarium, Chambers St, Napier
Thursday 12 February at 7:30 pm
Prof. Martin Manning represented New Zealand on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He spent five years in Colorado managing the recent IPCC assessment of the physical science of climate change and was a member of the IPCC that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is now responsible for establishing an interdisciplinary New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute hosted by Victoria University.
Prof. Manning delivered an excellent presentation questioning traditional science approaches based strongly on hypothesis testing. He noted that scientists working in the physical and natural sciences are often told that they should propose a hypothesis and test it thoroughly.
This relates to classic works by statistician Ronald Fisher in the first half of the twentieth century that moved away from subjective forms of inference and focussed on explicitly formulating and testing hypotheses.However, another leading statistician, George Box, showed that some forms of subjective judgement will always be involved. Then German climate scientist, Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, noted that “hypotheses about global change are the less falsifiable the more they are relevant to humanity”.
An example: A new and very detailed model for the Antarctic ice sheets now explains why sea level was 20m higher in the past and implies that it could increase by as much as 2m in the next 100 years. But do we really want to test that model by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and what would it mean for the Hawke’s Bay coastline and flood plains? If not, at what point does, or did, further testing of climate models become unnecessary to scientifically justify radical changes in our use of fossil fuels?
Prof. Manning was in Hawke’s Bay to present at “Future Directions of Rationalism and Humanism“, a three day conference for New Zealand Rationalists, Humanists, Skeptics.
A Conference for New Zealand Rationalists, Humanists, Skeptics and you
February 13 to 15, 2015
Duart House, Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay
- Future Issues for Young People in New Zealand – Russell Wills,
New Zealand Children’s Commissioner
- The Precariat – The New Dangerous Class
Guy Standing, Professor University of London
- What does a Rational Approach to Climate Change mean for New Zealand?
Martin Manning, Professor Victoria University
The conference will include presentations from the three free-thought organizations – NZ Rationalists and Humanists, Humanist Society of NZ and NZ Skeptics. There will be opportunities for around-the-table discussions by attendees and Q and As.
Link to Conference Site here>
Download pdf here>
Download MS Word Registration Form here>
The Branch has, in conjunction with our local Community Radio Station, Radio Kidnappers, been interviewing a number of local scientists about their lives, careers and the science in which they have been involved.
Scientists on Air play on the second Monday of the month at 9:30 am. Replays of aired programmes can be found on the Radio Kidnappers’ Internet Radio site. Search for “Scientists on Air”. See also our Scientists on Air page.
Among those interviewed to date are the Branch’s past-President, Dr Jeff Reid and our long standing Treasurer, Dr Jennifer Hartley.
Hawke’s Bay has a much larger history of science than many people realise. Our own Branch began over a century ago as a forum for scientific discussion and dissertation. Much more recently the region hosted a branch of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Technical Research (MAF Tech) which were replaced by the current Crown Research Institutes.
Our public science institutions now include Plant and Food Research, Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and more. We also have a number of private research and development companies, many not recognised locally because their main business in off-shore.
A story of discovery
GNS Science Geologist, Greg Browne
Greg Browne at the National Aquarium, Wednesday 5 November
Dinosaur Footprints – a story of discovery is on display at the National Aquarium until 11 January 2015.
GNS Science Geologist Greg Browne talked of his fascinating discovery of the first dinosaur footprints to be found in New Zealand. Which way were the dinosaurs were heading and how were the footprints preserved?
Download a flier here>