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UB to Host WNY Science and Technology Forum

By Brian Peters

Release Date: August 17, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The hydraulic fracturing of New York's shale deposits to access natural gas, the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and current trends in drug abuse are just a few of the topics that will be tackled at the 2011-12 Western New York Science and Technology Forum, "Horizons of the Sciences," for Western New York teachers.

Sponsored by the University at Buffalo, the program is designed to expose teachers at all levels -- elementary, middle and high school -- from Western New York districts, including the Buffalo Public Schools, to some of the most exciting new scientific developments in a broad range of fields.

The forum will meet from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Sept. 7 and Jan. 11 in room 201 of the Natural Sciences Complex on UB's North Campus. Field trips to the Amherst Waste Water Facility, GZA Geo-environmental of New York, Williamsville Space Lab Planetarium, and a tour of UB's Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Lab (SEESL) are also planned.

This year's forum will kick-off its five month run of meetings on Sept. 7 with a presentation by Gerald R. Rising, UB distinguished teaching professor emeritus of learning and instruction.

Other topics scheduled to be presented by UB faculty include: "Prescription Drugs and Drug Abuse in the USA" (Edward M. Bednarczyk, chair of pharmacy practice); "Recent Advances in Battery Technology" (Esther S. Takeuchi, Greatbatch Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering); "Bioinformatics: What it is and How it will Affect our Future" (Michael C. Yu, assistant professor of biological sciences); "Submarine Exploration of Volcanoes at Mid-ocean Ridges" (Tracy K. Gregg, associate professor of geology); "Ecology of the Great Lakes: Past, Present and Future" (Helen M. Domske, associate director of the Great Lakes Program); "Fukushima Daiichi: Nuclear Power and UB Research Impact" (Andrew S. Whittaker, chair of civil, structural and environmental engineering); and the tour of SEESL (Thomas Albrechcinski, operations director for SEESL).

Presentations by other local science and industry leaders will also be given.

The forum was formed in 1969 by its director, George H. Nancollas, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Larkin Chair in the Department of Chemistry in UB's College of Arts and Sciences. Co-directors are Stephen Free, professor of biological sciences, and Marcus Bursik, professor of geology.

The fee for the lecture series is $30.

For further information or to register for the series, contact Barbara Raff at 645-6800.