June 2017 – Plastics, Nutrition, Biodiversity
1) One Word: Plastics by Nathan Laxague
The use of plastics in everyday objects has become as American as apple pie. As an example: good luck making apple pie without any plastic tools or implements. Not a problem, right? Plastics are light, cheap, and durable… maybe a bit too durable. I’ll give a brief history of our favorite family of synthetic polymers, talk about how they’ve become a part of our daily life, and do my best to describe what that means for the natural world and its inhabitants.
Nathan Laxague is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). He received his B.S. in physics and his Ph.D. in applied marine physics, both from UM. His research focuses on small-scale fluid mechanical processes which govern physical interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean. He is also a co-founder of Nerd Nite Miami (back for one night only!).
2) Fat or Fiction: Debunking Nutrition Myths by Amanda Gilhool
The world of nutrition has exploded in the past few decades, and there are more opinions circulating than there are calories in a Crunch Wrap Supreme. As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve heard people spread plenty of questionable information about food and the human body. Let’s talk about the inaccuracy of these nutrition fallacies that are popular in our society and the downright nerdy reasons why.
Amanda Gilhool is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) with her M.S. in Human Nutrition from Drexel University in her hometown of Philadelphia. She has worked in customer service, foodservice, private consulting, and clinical nutrition. Her hobbies include (but are thankfully not limited to) eating, napping, and watching animal videos on YouTube.
3) Biodiversity in Miami by Chelle King
Miami-Dade County is home to a great diversity of life, from Biscayne Bay to the Everglades, and all areas in between. You see examples of biodiversity everyday –