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Meeting Summaries – 2015 – 2016

We are pleased to provide you with our 2015-2016 Brochure for more information on the lecture series and the NSIS.

October 5, 2015

Time: 7:30pm
Location: Museum of Natural History, Halifax
Speaker: Dr. Mark Obrovac
Department of Chemistry, Department of Physics & Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University
Title: New Frontiers in Battery Chemistry


Recent years have seen advances in energy storage and innovative work on alternate battery chemistries. Battery materials with the potential to increase storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries could prolong the life of batteries powering electric cars. Magnesium- or sodium-ion batteries could result in lowered battery prices, and more energy storage capacity than lithium-ion batteries. Dr. Obrovac will present an overview of these new battery technologies and discuss their potential for commercialization.

November 2, 2015 (SPECIAL EVENT)

Time: 7:30pm
Location: K.C. Irving Centre, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia (Please note the lecture location)
Speaker: Stephan MacLellan, P.Eng,
Corridor Resources INC
Title: Hydraulic Fracturing 101: Fracture Stimulation Theory & Practice

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, widely used in regions of Canada, as well as all over the world, is a technique used to extract fossil fuels from deep below the Earth’s surface. Mr. MacLellan will outline a history of oil and gas in New Brunswick, focusing in particular on that involving Corridor Resources, and discuss the science and theory behind the practice of hydraulic fracturing.

December 7, 2015

Time: 7:30pm
Location: Museum of Natural History, Halifax
Speaker: Dr. David Burton
Canadian Society of Soil Science, Environmental Sciences,Agricultural Campus, Dalhousie University
Title: Soil: Where Earth, Water, Fire and Air Meet

Dr. Burton’s research examines how the soil environment is influencing the nature and extent of microbial metabolism in soil. He examines the production and consumption of greenhouse gases in natural and agricultural landscapes, influence of climate on soil biological processes, and the assessment of the quality of the soil biological environment and its influence on overall soil quality. His aim is to understand the factors that control microbial metabolism and to use this information to develop sustainable land management systems in a changing climate.

January 4, 2016

Time: 7:30pm
Location: Museum of Natural History, Halifax
Speaker: Dr. Suzanne M. Budge
Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University
Title: Essential Fatty Acids from the Sea: Connections between Marine Plants and Human Health

Marine organisms obtain their essential fatty acids solely from phytoplankton. The distribution, amount, and rate of synthesis of these fatty acids have not been well studied. Dr. Budge will discuss her work on mapping the distribution of the essential fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in the Northwestern Atlantic, and how it is leading to a model of EPA flux in the sea and connections with human health.

February 1, 2016

Time: 7:30pm
Location: Museum of Natural History, Halifax
Speaker: Dr. Shannon Sterling
Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University
Title: Water for Our Changing Planet – Lessons from the Past Century and the Face of Our Future

Water determines the potential for life and how our planet functions. Dr. Sterling will show you how water flows and is stored through the global water cycle, and how these flows interact with our climate and plant systems. Drawing upon water crisis case studies, she will illustrate how we alter the global water cycle through human development and climate change. Finally, she will explore the implications of these changes for our planet’s future.

March 7, 2016

Time: 7:30pm
Location: Museum of Natural History, Halifax
Speaker: Dr. Mark Deptuck
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
Title: Large Asteroid and the Nova Scotian Continental Shelf

About 51 million years ago a large asteroid struck the continental shelf off of south-western Nova Scotia. The impact was catastrophic, leaving a 67 km wide crater and triggering one of the largest debris avalanches ever recorded. Dr. Deptuck will discuss this historical disaster in detail, and talk about how marine impact events such as this affect the area around them.

April 4, 2016

Time: 7:30pm
Location: Museum of Natural History, Halifax
Speaker: Dr. Brian Todd
Geological Survey of Canada – Atlantic
Natural Resources Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO)
Title: Submarine Glacial Landforms: The Imprint of Ice Sheets on the World’s Continental Margins

In the last 20 years, the development of detailed seafloor mapping technology and ice-breaking ships have advanced the study of seafloor sediments and submarine glacial landforms, especially in the polar regions. As offshore hydrocarbon exploration and development extends to these high latitudes, a better understanding of the seafloor sediments and landforms is of increasing importance to governments, academia, and industry. Quite a range of glacial landforms can be found offshore of Atlantic Canada. Dr. Todd will discuss what these landforms reveal about the extent of glaciation on our continental shelf and its context within the glacier-influenced seafloors of the world.

May 2, 2016 (SPECIAL EVENT – presented at the NSIS Annual General Meeting & Banquet)

Time: 7:30pm
Location: To be determined
Speaker: Aldona Wiacek
Department of Environmental Science, Department of Astronomy & Physics, Saint Mary’s University
Title: What is in the air we breathe

Canadians have access to air quality reports that detail a small number of gases and aerosols, but the more complex chemical nature of our air environment is left unmonitored and poorly understood. Dr. Wiacek will review the Nova Scotian air quality context and describe her own research using a new remote sensing technique.