September 12, 2014 Science Lecture Series to Address Climate Change on Mars, Social Media and Emerging Diseases, Wildfires and More

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Science, Technology & Business Division (202) 707-5664
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The 2014 fall lecture series from the Science, Technology and Business Division at the Library of Congress will explore climate change on Mars, social media’s use in monitoring emerging diseases worldwide, the frequency of wildfires, the use of big data in biodiversity science, and the measurement from space of underground water supplies.

The series runs from Sept. 18 to Dec. 4. The hour-long lectures, which are free and open to the public, will take place in the Mary Pickford Theatre on the third floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets and reservations are not needed.

More detailed information about the topics and speakers will be highlighted over the next several months on the Library’s science blog “Inside Adams” at

Series Schedule

  • At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, Jared Espley, a space scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center with the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) mission, will present “Climate Change on Mars: The Case of the Missing Martian Atmosphere.” MAVEN will arrive at Mars in September 2014 and will help scientists unravel the mystery of Mars’ changing climate.
  • At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, Lawrence C. Madoff, professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston, will present “ProMED-mail: World Wide Disease Surveillance and Media.” Madoff will talk about “ProMED-mail,” which is the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases, an online network of more than 55,000 members who monitor the four corners of the world for emerging infectious diseases of humans, animals and plants.
  • At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, Douglas Morton, a physical scientist with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, will discuss the recent upsurge in wildfires in “Climate and Wildfires in the 21st Century.” Morton, a forest carbon expert, will speak about NASA’s satellite data and climate models, which have projected drier conditions that will likely cause increased fire activity across the United States in coming decades, with an increase in frequency of extreme events.
  • At 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, Gerald Guala, director of the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (IT IS) at the U.S. Geological Survey, will present “Big Data and the Linkage of Federal Data Resources for Biodiversity Science.” He will discuss examples of big data in BISON (Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation), External, and efforts to link related data for biodiversity management across the federal system.
  • At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4, Matthew Rodell, chief of Hydrologic Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, will present “Measuring Our Underground Water Supplies from Space.” Rodell’s research focuses on the measurement and modeling of terrestrial water storage derived from ground and space-based observations. Improved understanding of variability in the stocks and fluctuations of terrestrial water has implications for weather and climate prediction, water management, agriculture applications and natural hazards, such as floods.

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PR 14-165
ISSN 0731-3527