2021-2022 DCIS Lecture Series

Thank you for joining us for this season's virtual series!

For the health and safety of all members of our community, the 2021-2022 Lecture Series for the Delaware County Institute of Science (Media, PA) is virtual (via Zoom). Our lectures are free and open to anyone. If you enjoy our virtual lecture series, please consider becoming a member of the Delaware County Institute of Science.

Speakers in the
2021-2022 series

COVID and Updates for Pennsylvania -- Dr. Denise A. Johnson, M.D., FACOG, FACHE

Monday, October 18, 2021

View webinar recording

Dr. Denise A. Johnson, M.D., FACOG, FACHE is the Acting Physician General in the state of Pennsylvania. Prior to serving in this role, Dr. Johnson was most recently Chief Medical Officer at Meadville Medical Center. Before joining the Meadville Medical Center leadership team in 2008, Dr. Johnson spent 13 years in private practice in Meadville. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a former commissioner of the Governor's Commission for Women.

Dr. Johnson has been involved in various community and regional groups focusing on diversity and inclusion and on the needs of women and is the former board chair of the Meadville Area Free Clinic. She is past chair of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

She received her Medical Degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The Next Generation Space Telescope - The Next Astronomical Revolution -- Dr. Timothy Lawlor

Monday, November 8, 2021

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Dr. Lawlor is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Penn State Brandywine (Media, PA). His talk will be an overview and information about the upcoming launch of NASA's James Webb Telescope.

From Dr. Lawlor: "In December 2021, the entire scientific world will be on the edge of its seat and very likely more than a little nervous about the launch of the next space telescope. In this talk I will review the details and specifications of the next generation space telescope (JWST) including its capabilities, how it is different than the Hubble Space Telescope, where and how it will be placed into orbit, and what we hope to discover. In an unprecedented decades long effort, we will be entering an entirely new epoch of discovery in astronomy. It is not overstating it to say that we will find answers to questions we have not yet thought to ask."

Links from presentation:

2021 North Atlantic Hurricane Season -- Dr. Kimberly Wood

Monday, December 6, 2021

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Dr. Wood is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University, specializing in tropical meteorology. Her talk will be an overview and wrap-up of the 2021 North Atlantic hurricane season.

Links from presentation:

Mathematical Devices at the Smithsonian: An Insider’s View -- Dr. Amy Shell-Gellasch

Monday, January 10, 2022

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Abstract: As an historian of mathematics living in the Washington D.C. area from 2012-2017, Dr. Shell-Gellasch was an independent researcher at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. In that capacity she researched mathematical items held in the Smithsonian's collections and created the online content for those items on the museum's website. She also contributed to the museum's blog "Oh Say Can You See". In this talk Dr. Shell-Gellasch will share the research she did at the Smithsonian and highlight several of her favorite items and the mathematics behind them.

Bio: Dr. Amy Shell-Gellasch is a full time lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. She earned her DA in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000 and followed that with a post doctorate position at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Her area of research is the History of Mathematics and its uses in teaching. She co-founded and currently chairs the History of Mathematics Special Interest Group of the MAA and is an associate editor of Convergence online journal. She conducted research on mathematical devices at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History from 2012-2017, and continues to develop content and conduct training workshops for the Smithsonian's Digital Learning Lab, an online educational platform. Her article “The Spirograph and 19th Century German Mathematical Models” (Math Horizons, April, 2015) was included in Best Writing on Mathematics, 2016, Princeton University Press.

Images to the left: Top is the Smithsonian Castle. Bottom is image of a spherometer (provided by Dr. Shell-Gellasch).

Links from presentation:

Geology of Costa Rica -- Russell Losco


Monday, February 7, 2022

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Mr. Losco is a soil scientist and geologist, as well as a part-time instructor at West Chester University and Delaware County Community College. He will be speaking about his recently-published book, The Travelers Guide to the Geology of Costa Rica.


Drawing Irrational Numbers: What is Pi? -- Dr. Melanie Fraser

Monday, March 14, 2022

Recording will be posted soon

Abstract: We have all heard of pi, but what actually is it? This Pi Day, we will use pi as a springboard to explore irrational numbers. In particular, we will demonstrate what it means for a number to be irrational, and we will learn to draw and visualize different irrational numbers. If you would like to follow along, come prepared with paper, pencil, and a ruler!

Dr. Fraser is an Assistant Professor Mathematics, Southern New Hampshire University. She earned her PhD and Master of Arts in Mathematics from Dartmouth College and two bachelor’s degrees from Middlebury College – in mathematics and Chinese.


Native Spring Ephemerals -- Amy Mawby

Monday, April 11, 2022

(Recording coming soon)

Spring is a magical time of year when the forest floor comes to life with colorful and complex wildflowers. Join Amy Mawby for an ecological exploration of the season with a focus on its harbingers, our native spring ephemerals. Go on a photographic journey of our most fleeting flowers while discovering cultural information and fun facts. Combat 'plant blindness' by learning identification tips to help you get outside and enjoy the spring ephemerals in your home garden, neighborhood and local natural areas.

Amy Mawby is a garden educator and photographer. Her roots are buried deep in horticulture and she has spent 13+ years leading education and visitor experience teams at public gardens. She is currently the Education Manager at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens and has also worked at Tyler Arboretum and Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve (BHWP) - all located in the Greater Philadelphia area. Amy nurtured her passion for native plants during her time at BHWP and fell head over heels for the spring ephemerals on-site. She is also a visual storyteller and nature shutterbug. Amy holds a M.S. in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware and a B.S. in Plant Science from Cornell University.

Visiting Legacy Collection Sites at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge -- Dr. Laura Guertin

Monday, May 9, 2022

(Recording coming soon)

Dr. Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Sciences at Penn State Brandywine (Media, PA), is out to sea on the scientific exploration ship the JOIDES Resolution! She will give a live tour and discussion via Zoom from the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. She will discuss the historical and scientific significance of the location where the ship is collecting sediment and rock samples, as well as share how the scientists and crew are able to live and work on a moving ship for two months, 24/7!