#54 – Johanna Kovarik – A Life Underground: Studying and Stewarding the Magical Subterranean World of Caves

Johanna Kovarik speaks on caving for Golden Beer Talks - Golden ColoradoMay 8, 2018
Johanna Kovarik, U.S.Forest Service, National Cave and Karst Program Coordinator

Topic – A Life Underground: Studying and Stewarding the Magical Subterranean World of Caves

Caves and karst landscapes are rich in resources, including the largest springs around the world and the most productive groundwater on Earth. Caves and karst provide a unique subsurface habitat for rare animals. Caves preserve fragile archaeological and paleontological materials for millennia. Throughout history people have used caves for many purposes, from tourism to farming to protection. A growing number of scientists are heading underground to study what caves can offer us as a record of our planet’s past conditions, a home for some of the most fascinating microbes, and in many places the source of our water. It all begins with mapping these caves – the true exploration of these subsurface ecosystems. Learn more about how caves form, how they impact our everyday lives, and travel around the subterranean world with Johanna Kovarik through images and stories of these fantastic places.

Speaker Bio
Johanna Kovarik has been studying and working in caves since she got her first job with the National Park Service in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico in 2003. She went on to earn her Masters in Geoscience from Western Kentucky University, and her Ph.D. from the School of Geosciences at the University of South Florida. Her research work is primarily in land use and watershed dynamics, groundwater vulnerability, human disturbance, and natural resource management. In 2014 Johanna was made a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, and she has led and participated in grant-funded cave expeditions around the world as a geoscientist, cave surveyor, and cartographer. She has served for the past six years as the National Cave and Karst Program Lead for the U.S. Forest Service, moving into this role from her work as a geologist and hydrologist on the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska from 2004 to 2011. She has also led the National Groundwater Program and managed the GeoCorps internship program for the agency. From 2010 to 2015 she led a multi-faceted project in southern Mexico with the Forest Service’s Office of International Programs, and in 2015 she was awarded the National Rise to the Future: Friend of Fish and Watershed Award from the U.S. Forest Service for her national and international work with karst watersheds. Her latest project was creating and producing an educational program called CavesLIVE on caves and karst, with a 40 minute pre-taped program and a LIVE Q&A program streamed from Blanchard Springs Caverns in Virginia this past March. To learn more, visit www.CavesLIVE.org.

#53 – Catherine Costello – Mapping & Tracking Wildland Fires

March 13, 2018
Cartographer Catherine Costello – usgs

Topic – Mapping & Tracking Wildland Fires

The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC) app is an internet-based mapping application originally designed for fire managers to access online mapping of locations and perimeters for wildland fires burning in the United States. With a standard web browser, GeoMAC allows fire personnel to view and pinpoint affected areas. With growing concern over western wildland fires, the app became available to the public in 2000. Today, GeoMAC is the primary source for all wildland fire perimeters, and in 2017 the app—including website and data services—received almost 1 billion hits.

Speaker Bio

Catherine Costello-USGS at Golden Beer Talks - Golden ColoradoCatherine Costello has been a cartographer with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for 31 years. Much of her career has revolved around natural hazards. She worked as a GIS (Geographic Information System) specialist during Hurricane Katrina, drove a truck delivering fire fighting supplies for two summers, collaborated with FEMA (Federal Emergency Managemet Agency) on food and landslide hazard maps. Costello recently became the project lead for the GeoMAC group.

She has a B.S. in Geography from Utah State University, and an M.S in GIS from the University of Denver.

#52 – Brian J. Simonds – Lasers for Manufacturing

High-power laser systems are becoming ubiquitous in manufacturing as they often prove to be faster and cheaper than traditional methods. The development and design of these industrial laser processes require very careful and accurate measurements of phenomenon during the interaction of the intense light with the material. A great example of an important industrial process is laser welding where a focused light beam is used to join two pieces of metal. Using light to melt metal may seem strange as most are pretty reflective. However, in a short amount of time an intense laser light can turn even the shiniest metals into a highly absorbing swirling cavity of metal. At the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, I measure and observe this transformation to better understand the process in order to help industry know how to make better laser welds. During this talk, I will describe the physical process of how intense laser light melts metal and the novel measurements used to observe the process.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Brian SimondsBrian moved to Golden in 2006 to pursue a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the Colorado School of Mines. This was awarded in 2012 for studies of defects in nanostructured silicon solar cell materials. Not wanting to stray too far from the mountains, he then completed a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Utah where he developed novel laser processes for cadmium telluride solar cells. In 2014, Brian was able to move back to Golden when he joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow; he is currently a staff physicist at NIST. Brian spends most of his free time rock climbing and skiing with his lovely wife Mary.

#51 – Rex Rideout – History of the American West through Music and Lyrics

Rex Rideout - Music and History of the American WestIn our increasingly busy and technologically intense lives, we are forgetting some of our heritage, history and connection with the land.  Living historians, at places like Bent’s Old Fort in southeastern Colorado, try to re-create and portray these earlier eras in as accurate a manner as possible.  Rex Rideout has been immersed for over 30 years in understanding how 19th-Century Americans obtained their food, shelter, and entertainment.  The history of music is his particular passion and he approaches this subject as a historian, consulting manuscript materials, diaries and journals, early sheet music, historic photographs, vintage recordings and oral sources.  Rex will describe how he conducts his research, share some of his findings, and perhaps perform a song or two.

Speaker Bio

Rex sings of the American West–from the times of the early explorers, the fur trade, the Civil War and the cattle drive era to the end of the 19th century– by re-creating documented music of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He approaches music as an historian, consulting manuscript materials, diaries and journals, early sheet music, historic photographs, vintage recordings and oral sources. Rex has worked with interpreters of historic sites, humanities councils and theatres in presentation of the life of the first cowboys.

#50 – Joyce Tannian – Warriors, Water, and Wild Beasts: Quenching Thirst Peacefully in the Shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Joyce Tannian is Founder of Water is Life Kenya, (WILK) a non-profit organization. While working as a volunteer in Kenya in 2006, Joyce saw the glaring need for clean, accessible, dependable water in rural communities in southern Kenya. Water is Life Kenya’s 16 major water projects provide water to nearly 50,000, transforming the lives of women, men and children.

An innovator and creator, Joyce and her team developed WILK’s Livestock as a Business program, which increases incomes by training farmers in improved livestock keeping. Higher incomes, along with effective local water management committees trained by WILK, ensure consistent water supply,

Joyce Tannian - Water is Life KenyaWater is Life Kenya’s Fair Trade Certified beaded handicrafts business brings income to dozens of families, while profits fund WILK’s clean water projects.

Speaker Bio

Before the “Kenyan Chapter” of Joyce’s life, she worked at HBO in New York while pursuing a freelance singing career, performing in opera, oratorio and recitals. In Kenya, Joyce appears regularly as mezzo soprano soloist.

#49 – Margaret Blaha – The Horse Protection League

Margaret Blaha, tells about the Horse Protection League,  describing why this horse rescue exists and how it came to be housed at the beautiful and historic Churches Ranch, just north of Golden. She tells how horses come to the Ranch, what HPL does for them, and how they find new homes.

Speaker Bio
Margaret Blaha is a life-long horse enthusiast. She participated in Jefferson County-based Westernaires for nine years and spent two years studying horse training under the World Champion Colt-Starter in western Nebraska. She has competed in the Mustang Makeover five times, and placed in the top 10 each time. She is currently training another mustang for the Extreme Mustang Makeover, to be held in Fort Worth Texas in January.

She serves as the full-time Manager of the Horse Protection League, while also training client horses. She owns Clear Creek Carriage Company, which provides the carriage rides for Golden’s public events.

#48 – Adrian Miller -The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

Adrian Miller delves into the fascinating history of presidential chefs. He’ll share stories from his latest book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families from the Washingtons to the Obamas. You’ll learn more about these unique cooks were celebrated culinary artists, First Family confidantes, civil rights advocates and more.

If you want a copy of Adrian’s book, please pre-order here: https://blackchefswhitehouse.wordpress.com/about/about-the-book/

#46 – Trevor Pellerite – The Colorado Prairie Initiative

The Pawnee and Comanche National Grasslands of Colorado provide the public with opportunities to explore one of the most imperiled ecosystems on the continent. The shortgrass prairies of Colorado offer a bounty of unique wildlife, as well as recreational opportunities unlike those afforded anywhere else in the state. But the prairies face many challenges, ranging from energy exploration to incompatible land uses to controversial wildlife management. This presentation will give a brief history of the National Grassland system in the United States and highlight some of the incredible opportunities that are present on the two National Grasslands in Colorado. It will conclude with a discussion of the challenges facing the Colorado prairies and what we can do to protect these incredible places. This presentation will be given by Trevor Pellerite, the President of the Colorado Prairie Initiative, a Fort Collins-based nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and conserving the prairie and grassland ecosystems of Colorado.

Trevor Pellerite is an attorney and conservation advocate living in Boulder, CO. After growing up in Minnesota, Trevor moved to Colorado to attend law school at CU-Boulder. During his time at CU, Trevor developed a passion for the wide open landscapes of the Colorado prairies, and started the Colorado Prairie Initiative to advocate for its continued protection and conservation. In his spare time, Trevor enjoys fishing, hunting, and bird watching.

#45 Speaker – Daniel McNamara – Research Geophysicist with the USGS

Topic – Forecasting Natural and Human-Caused Earthquakes

Learn about how the United States Geologic Survey forecasts potential earthquake hazard and impact. With an emphasis on recent human-caused quakes, this talk will provide a brief history of this phenomena, discuss Colorado’s scientific role and finish with a focus on recent quake activity in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.

Dan McNamera - USGSDaniel McNamara is a Research Geophysicist with the USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center, currently working in the National Seismic Hazard Modeling Project on induced earthquake forecasts, ground motion modeling and hazard forecast validation. In addition, Dan works on improving earthquake and tsunami monitoring at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center, using the global network on permanent seismic stations.

#44 Scot Grossman, Jefferson County Open Space Project Manager

Topic – Peaks to Plains

The 65-mile Peaks to Plains Trail will one day connect the 2.5 million residents of the Denver metro area to the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass via a 10-foot wide trail.  It will bring visitors to the water’s edge, meander along a steep canyon walls and raging rapid in a one -of-a-kind experience.

The area is home to the federally protected Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, cliff-nesting raptors, and big horn sheep–but also rafters, kayakers, anglers, gold panners, rock and ice climbers. It is soon-to-be a place where hikers and cyclists will be able to enjoy a world-class recreation experience.

Come learn about the successes and challenges of working in harsh, Colorado-style conditions, to realize a decades-old vision of a trail with an elevation drop of 5,600 feet from the Continental Divide, deep into the densely populated Denver metropolitan area.