Explore cutting edge science topics, their latest developments, and their relevance to society through speaker presentations followed by question-and-answer period with the audience.


Winter/Spring 2024 Science Inquiry Series

Join us for our line-up of speakers for the Winter/Spring Science Inquiry Series.

Dr. Angela Des Jardins offers a preview of the upcoming “Great American Eclipse” in April and the effort of college students across the country to document it using high-altitude balloons.  Dr. Michael Reidy talks about the interplay of mountaineering and science in advancing important scientific issues.  Cassi Knight explains how dinosaur fossils are prepared for display and study and what plant fossils tell us about past climate.  Dr. Krishna Rupavatharam shares current research on photonics—the science of light—and its practical applications.  And Dr. Paul Nugent relates how the application of science and technology is improving yields in “precision agriculture.”  Check the Upcoming Presentations page for dates and details, and look below for news of the upcoming talk in the series.


Science Inquiry Series Explores “Precision Agriculture”

How can the application of science and technology improve agricultural production with fewer resources?  Dr. Paul Nugent, Research Professor in the MSU College of Agriculture, will address this question in the fifth and final presentation of the Winter/Spring 2024 Science Inquiry Series.

The talk will be presented in the Museum of the Rockies’ Hager Auditorium on Wednesday, May 15, at 6 pm.  It is sponsored by the Gallatin Valley Friends of the Sciences, co-sponsored by the non-profit community service organization Hopa Mountain, and hosted by the Museum of the Rockies.

The series explores cutting edge science topics, their latest developments, and their relevance to society through speaker presentations followed by questions from the audience.  The talks are free to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.  Face masks are recommended but not required.

Photo by John Fike

In his presentation, titled “Feeding the World with Fewer Resources,” Nugent will share how “precision agriculture,” including technological advancements and automation, can address resource use and labor declines to ensure efficient and sustainable agricultural practices while maintaining output and safeguarding the foundation of future food systems.

Dr. Nugent holds a Ph.D. in engineering from Montana State University with a focus on optical remote sensing and data analysis.  After building a business, he joined the precision agriculture team at MSU where his research combines on-farm and remote sensing data with machine learning to address problems facing Montana farms, such as soil acidification.  He is also investigating forward-looking technologies such as sensor networks, vehicle electrification, and automation.

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period.


Keep up on the world of science with this feature offering links to selected online articles in a variety of disciplines.

May’s Featured Article:

From NPR:
Never Seen an Exploding Star? This Year, You’ll Have Your Chance

For additional article links, click on the “Science Link” tab above (under the banner).


Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash.

Click on the “Initiatives” tab above (under the banner) to learn about current science-based initiatives.  Current topic: climate change.

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