Upcoming Presentations

Science Inquiry Series


Explore cutting edge science topics, their latest developments, and their relevance to society through speaker presentations followed by conversations between speaker and audience.

Sponsored by the Gallatin Valley Friends of the Sciences, and co-sponsored by the non-profit community service organization Hopa Mountain and the Museum of the Rockies, the talks for the 2022 winter/spring series will be presented virtually via the Zoom video conferencing platform on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm, followed by a brief question-and-answer period using the Zoom chat function.

The talks are free to the public.

To join the Zoom session on the evening of the talk, click the Zoom link below:

Science Inquiry Series Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 821 0939 0204
Passcode: 419126

+1 346 248 7799 US
+1 669 900 6833 US

Note: If you have not used Zoom before, you will need to download the Zoom application.  If you cannot or do not wish to connect via your computer, you can connect using one of the telephone numbers above and enter the meeting ID and passcode to listen in.


2022 Winter/Spring Science Inquiry Series


Jan 12 – Quantum Materials and the MonArk Quantum Foundry

How does quantum mechanics work, and how can it be applied to practical, everyday use?  Dr. Yves Idzerda, MSU Professor of Physics and Dean of the College of Letters and Science, will discuss the latest advances in quantum technology and how MSU’s NSF-funded quantum “foundry” will research and develop quantum materials and devices that will connect science and industry.

Courtesy Y. Idzerda


Feb 16 – Microbial Builders: Creating Sustainable Alternatives to Concrete

How can microbes like the ones that spend their time forming things like kidney stones be harnessed to build practical materials?  Dr. Erika Espinosa-Ortiz, MSU Research Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, will discuss how fungi and bacteria can be engineered to create materials that can substitute for cement.

Courtesy E. Espinosa-Ortiz


Mar 23 – Cry to Heaven: Golden Eagles and Rock Art in the Bighorn Basin 

Did indigenous peoples of the Bighorn Basin use the golden eagle as their model in thunderbird rock art?  Plains archaeologist Bonnie Lawrence-Smith will share her research into relationships between eagles, these peoples, and the rock art they crafted as a manifestation of their connection with the natural world.

Courtesy VC Wald


Apr 13 – Health Effects of Climate Change in Montana

How are climate surprises like increasing wildfires, drought and heat effecting the health of Montanans?  Dr. Alexandra Adams, MSU’s Director of the Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity (CAIRHE), will share the impacts as well as mitigation and adaptation strategies that individuals, communities and healthcare organizations can implement to reduce these effects.

Courtesy A. Adams


May 18 – Raven Rendezvous: Exploring Connections Among the Trickster, Wolves and People

How do Yellowstone’s ravens make a living from the work of wolves and humans? Dr. John Marzluff, Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington, will describe how his tagging and tracking of these smart, opportunistic birds is helping to refine understanding of the interactions of ravens with both wolves and people in the Greater Yellowstone region.

Courtesy J. Marzluff