Science Cafe at GCRL

Science Cafe is a national program designed to allow those from all backgrounds to learn about timely scientific issues in a relaxed and social setting. The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory's Science Cafe events are held in the Dining Hall at GCRL's East Beach site. Science Cafe events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments are served. Come join the fun and learn at the same time.

Find Science Cafe events at other locations around the country.

Upcoming Science Cafes

2014

Leah Bray, Trainer/mentor and restoration ecologist for the Mississippi Habitat Stewards Program

Brad Young, Mississippi Wildlife Federation

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Mississippi Habitat Stewards Program

Leah Bray
Trainer/mentor and restoration ecologist for the Mississippi Habitat Stewards Program

Brad Young
Executive Director of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation

Mississippi Wildlife Federation has joined with South Mississippi’s public land managers to create a team of well-trained and dedicated volunteers to protect nature along the Coast.  The Mississippi Habitat Stewards Program is a-one-of-a kind restoration/conservation volunteer team working diligently to manage and sustain the health of our public lands.  Our natural areas need ongoing long-term care, but funding is limited.  In the three coast counties alone there are more than 100,000 acres of public lands to monitor and manage with limited staff and financial resources.  Habitat Stewards work with our conservation partners to make a significant difference for wildlife and wild places while connecting people with nature. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Coffee provided by Coffee Fusion, cookies provided by GCRL's Gunter Library

September 30, 2014 - Mississippi Audubon Coastal Bird Stewardship Program, presented by Sarah Pacyna and Amanda Odom. Details coming soon.

Additional topics are being developed for 2014. Contact Joyce Shaw if you have a suggestion.


Previous Science Cafes


Science Cafe, Little Monsters of the Gulf of Mexico: Adaptable Denizens of the Deep

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Little Monsters of the Gulf of Mexico:  Adaptable Denizens of the Deep

Dr. Walter James Conley

Animals that inhabit the deep sea face some of the most extreme challenges on the planet.  From the surface to great depth there is a rapid loss of sunlight and food, a decrease in temperature, dramatic increases in pressure, and highly variable levels of oxygen.  Animals survive in these conditions by remarkable adaptations in their bodies and behaviors. This presentation will explore these adaptations with a focus on the fauna of the Gulf of Mexico.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Coffee provided by Coffee Fusion, cookies provided by GCRL's Gunter Library



Alpacas - Science Cafe at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Presentation
[2 mb PowerPoint pdf]

Alpacas

Maryanne Anthony
GCRL Library Assistant, Fiber Artist and Alpaca Rancher

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Coffee provided by Coffee Fusion, cookies provided by GCRL's Gunter Library


Tarpon on the Mississippi Coast: Resurgence of a Legend?

Flyer

Tarpon on the Mississippi Coast: Resurgence of a Legend?

Jim Franks

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Coffee provided by Coffee Fusion, cookies provided by GCRL's Gunter Library


Striped Bass

Presentation
[17 mb PowerPoint pdf]

Striped Bass - Restoring a Coastal Mississippi Fishery

Larry Nicholson

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Coffee provided by Coffee Fusion, cookies provided by GCRL's Gunter Library


#

Presentation [pdf]

The History and Science of Bagpipes

William H. Muzzy
Mechanical Engineer, Piper, and Bagpipe Instructor
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Coffee provided by Coffee Fusion, cookies provided by GCRL's Gunter Library


 

An Evening with the Crab Lady, Harriet Perry, Science Cafe at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

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An Evening with the Crab Lady

Harriet Perry
GCRL Center for Fisheries Research and Development

Affectionately known in the research community as the Crab Lady, Harriet Perry is the retired former director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at GCRL. Harriet is currently examining potential impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on reproduction in female blue crabs in Mississippi. In this very special GCRL Science Café, Perry will discuss blue crab life history and the status of the blue crab in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Coffee provided by Coffee Fusion, cookies provided by GCRL's Gunter Library


Science Cafe at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Tim Lockley, Insects - They Live Among Us

Flyer

It's Halloween. Costumes are welcomed.

 

Insects - They Live Among Us

Tim Lockley
Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce

They number in the quintillions.  For every one of us there are two hundred million of them. They're everywhere - in the air, under the ground, in the water, on us, and in us. They've killed more of us than all of other factors combined. They've been on this planet longer than us. They were here long before the dinosaurs and lived to feed on their rotting remains after the cataclysm occurred.  They've survived everything that we and Mother Nature have thrown at them and they will be here long after our species has disappeared. They, not us, are the dominant life form.  The insects. Scary, eh?

Wednesday, October 30 , 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Coffee provided by Coffee Fusion, cookies provided by GCRL's Gunter Library


Science Cafe at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Betty Sue O'Brian, Wild and Wonderful - Local Edible Plants and Herbs

Flyer

Presentation [pdf]

Wild and Wonderful - Local Edible Plants and Herbs

Betty Sue O’Brian
Herbalist and Naturopath

This presentation will cover many choices of edible plants that may be wild crafted or cultivated here in the Deep South.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Dining Hall
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion


A Short, Bright, Flash - Science and History of Modern Lighthouses

flyer

Book by Dr. Levitt

A Short, Bright, Flash
Science and History of Modern Lighthouses

Dr. Theresa Levitt
Associate Professor of History, University of Mississippi

Join us for a discussion of the revolutionary lighthouse lens that changed navigation and geopolitics. Augustin Fresnel (1788–1827) shocked the scientific elite with his unique understanding of the physics of light. The lens he invented was a brilliant feat of engineering that made lighthouses blaze many times brighter, farther, and more efficiently.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in GCRL Dining Hall  
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion


Science Cafe - Oil Spill Research

Flyer

 

Spill Science
Citizen Scientists Sharing Deepwater Horizon Research

Dr. Jessica Kastler
Marine Science Educator, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Join Dr. Kastler and the COAST Team of volunteers to learn about the latest research on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill at the Science Cafe. And come to the three-hour event on June 1, 2013 at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education for a more in-depth presentation.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in GCRL Dining Hall  
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion

 

Science Cafe at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Finding and Understanding Secretive Marsh Birds

Flyer [pdf]

 

Finding and Understanding Secretive Marsh Birds

Dr. Mark Woodrey
Research Biologist, Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center and Research Coordinator at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

MONDAY, April 29, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in Caylor Building classroom 104  
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion

Note that this session is being held on Monday night in Caylor 104 rather than the normal Tuesday night in the dining hall.

 

Science Cafe at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Kathy Shelton, Frogs and Toads of South Mississippi

Flyer [pdf]

Presentation [9 mb pdf]

Frogs and Toads of South Mississippi

Kathy Shelton
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion

Kathy Shelton is the South Mississippi Conservation Biologist for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, working through the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

Time's fun when you're having flies.
Kermit the Frog

Science Cafe at GCRL, Mike Murphy and Tom Morhman

Flyer [pdf]

 


Getting to Know You: Meeting Our Nearshore
Neighbors South of 90

Mike Murphy and Tom Mohrman
The Nature Conservancy

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion

The Mississippi Gulf Coast has always turned to the bounty of the Gulf of Mexico for its livelihood and culture. Most of this bounty is dependent on a few key coastal habitats, including oyster reefs and sea grass. These priceless habitats face numerous challenges today, including storms, coastal development and oil spills. Tonight’s program describes these areas: their history and current status and the once in a lifetime opportunity we may have to preserve and restore them.


Science Cafe at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory; Mike Doyle; Starry, Starry Night

Flyer [pdf]

 


Starry, Starry Night

Mike Doyle
Park Ranger, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion

Celestial Phenomenona:
For thousands of years, humans have developed stories to make sense of the night sky. Join us to discuss diverse interpretations. Attendees are encouraged to bring their telescope - presenter will also have one on hand.


Science Cafe at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Jill Hendon, Mississippi Sharkology: Taking a Bite Out of the Myth

Flyer [pdf]

 


Mississippi Sharkology: Taking a Bite Out of the Myth

Jill Hendon
GCRL Research Associate, Center for Fisheries Research and Development, Gulf Coast Research
Laboratory, The University of Southern Mississippi

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion

Come explore perceptions of sharks and discuss the role they play in our Mississippi coastal waters. Learn about GCRL's shark tagging programs.


Science Cafe at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Dr. John Cork, Scary Science: Body Snatchers, Skeletons and Brains

Flyer [pdf]

Costumes welcomed!


Scary Science: Body Snatchers, Skeletons and Brains

Dr. John Cork
Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans

Sheila A. Cork, Librarian at the New Orleans Museum of Art, will be Dr. Cork’s Halloween Helper.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  
Refreshments provided by Coffee Fusion

A slide show and discussion will provide a brief history of anatomy and dissection, then explore the human skeleton and the brain. Bones and skulls, and even a brain, will be available for examination. (Gloves provided.)


Science Cafe at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Becca Mathias

Flyer [pdf]

PowerPoint Presentation
[pdf]

Being Green in a Plastic World

Rebecca (Becca) Mathias
Marine Education Specialist, GCRL Marine Education Center

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  

We will learn about marine debris, plastics in the environment, and what we can do to reduce human impacts of plastic pollution. Coffee Fusion will provide free coffee and cookies


The Private Life of Carnivorous Plants

Flyer

Mississippi Press Article

The Private Life of Carnivorous Plants

Kay Baggett
Retired Marine Educator

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  

Coffee Fusion will provide free coffee and cookies


Secret Lives of Seahorses - Science Cafe at GCRL featuring Dr. James Wetzel of Presbyterian College.

Flyer

PowerPoint Presentation
[pdf]

Mississippi Press article

Secret Lives of Seahorses

Dr. James Wetzel
Presbyterian College

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  

Dr. Wetzel is teaching Marine Biology and Environmental Photography in GCRL's Summer Field Program. He has studied seahorses many years and will be sharing his award winning photography during this session.

Coffee Fusion will provide free coffee and cookies.


Gulf Sturgeon: Jurassic Giant of Mississippi Coastal Rivers, Dr. Mark Peterson, Science Cafe

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Gulf Sturgeon: Jurassic Giant of Mississippi Coastal Rivers

Dr. Mark Peterson
Professor, Department of Coastal Sciences, USM

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.  

Gulf Sturgeon are ancient giants that orginated in the Jurassic Era, but they have an important message for us today. Come learn about these mysterious fish and what they can tell us about our rivers, coastal marshes, and barrier islands.  Coffee Fusion will provide free coffee and cookies.


Putting the Pieces Together: Autism, presented by Dr. Timothy E. Morse

Details

Science and the Marine Environment: What are the Questions? Where are the Answers?

Dr. Bill Hawkins
Professor of Coastal Sciences Emeritus and former Director of GCRL.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the GCRL Cafeteria.   Flyer   Mississippi Press Article


Putting the Pieces Together: Autism, presented by Dr. Timothy E. Morse

Details

The Dark Side of the Loon

Dr. Paul Spitzer
Independent Scientist
Trappe, Maryland

February 28, 2012, Tuesday
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., GCRL Cafeteria

Come learn about our mysterious winter visitor, the common loon.


Putting the Pieces Together: Autism, presented by Dr. Timothy E. Morse

Details

PowerPoint Presentation
(pdf)

Mississippi Press article

Putting the Pieces Together:
Autism

Dr. Timothy E. Morse
Director of Training/PBS Specialist
The University of Southern Mississippi
Gulf Coast Autism Project

January 31, 2012, Tuesday
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., GCRL Cafeteria


Science Cafe at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Janice L. Miles, D. O., Sleep Disorders



details

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod - The Science of Sleep Disorders

Janice L. Miles, D. O., Director of Sleep Lab.

American Board of Sleep Medicine-Board Certified ABSM, credentialed at Ocean Springs Hospital and Singing River Hospital, practice consists of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

November 29, 2011, Tuesday
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., GCRL Cafeteria

Mississippi Press story

Science Cafe at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Zachary Roth, Things that Go Bump in the Night - Bats!

Things that Go Bump in the Night - Bats!

Zachary Roth, Teaching Assistant, Southern Miss Department of Biological Sciences

October 31, 2011, Monday
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., GCRL Cafeteria

Come celebrate Halloween and learn about these fascinating creatures of the night and why you might want to have them as neighbors.


Science Cafe at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Tom Lytle and Judy Lytle, The Science of Obesity, Disease, and Good Health You Are What You Eat: The Science of Obesity, Disease and Good Health

Doctors Tom and Judy Lytle, USM professors emeritus of chemistry

WLOX news coverage

Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., GCRL Cafeteria

Doctors Tom and Judy Lytle will preside over what is sure to be a lively discussion about how to make the best of the food choices we all face today. Come learn how the chemistry of our food can affect us in surprising ways.

For more information, contact Joyce Shaw at the GCRL Library, Joyce Shaw@usm.edu, 228.872.4213.

Related information: Omega-3 fatty acids in Gulf of Mexico fish and their health effects, from Doctors Tom and Judy Lytle.


Science Cafe, Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - Sea Monsters: Myth and Mystery

PowerPoint Presentation
(pdf)

Sea Monsters: Myth and Mystery

Dr. Phillip Lee, Senior Research Scientist, GCRL

August 30, 2011

Learn about cephalopods, the legendary sea monsters of the deep - giant octopuses, glowing cuttlefish, and ink-squirting squid! Lively discussion will include their use in art, literature, food and science.

View slides from Dr. Lee's presentation
[6 mb pdf]