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UT advocates for science research as Earth Day nears

As Earth Day 2017 approaches, The University of Toledo is hosting a series of events to connect with science enthusiasts and interested citizens of all ages about the vital role science plays in all lives.

The Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is co-sponsoring the March for Science in downtown Toledo along with Imagination Station this weekend to correspond with the national March for Science in Washington, D.C., in celebration of science’s contributions to society.

“Our love of science has led us to advocate for using scientific evidence to help guide public policies,” said Dr. Susanne Nonekowski, associate lecturer in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry and president of the AWIS Northwestern Ohio Chapter. “The mission of the march is to share and highlight the contributions of science and to inspire future generations to uphold the values of curiosity, free speech, free inquiry and critical thinking.”

The March for Science rally in Toledo will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at International Park. The march starts at 11 a.m. Participants will walk together across the Martin Luther King Bridge and end at Imagination Station. Interactive activities, which include UT student groups presenting Asian carp, algal bloom, physics, astronomy and chemistry research, will start at 11:30 a.m. at tables outside Imagination Station.

Speakers at the 10 a.m. rally include Dr. Tom E. Brady, founder of Plastic Technologies Inc. and sponsor of the Brady Engineering Innovation Center at The University of Toledo, and Nick Dulaney, a junior studying physics at UT who recently helped discover a new star and is the lead author in a published research paper regarding the discovery.

Several UT scientists are traveling to Washington, D.C., this weekend to participate in the national March for Science, including bird expert Dr. Henry Streby, UT assistant professor in the Environmental Sciences Department and ornithologist.

“This is a critical time for science in our country and around the world,” Streby said. “Ignoring or belittling science comes at a high cost to our society and our planet in the long run.”

UT will hold its 17th annual Earth Fest Tuesday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Centennial Mall.

The event, which is run by student organizations that include Building Ohio’s Sustainable Energy Future and the Society of Environmental Education, will focus on practicing sustainable habits and protecting the soil, water and air. Activities will include a bag and bottle swap, spring plant fair, giant Jenga, solar-powered boat races, a wind turbine, and prizes of Chipotle gift cards.

The UT Lake Erie Center will host an open house Thursday, April 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to experience live demonstrations, tours of the facility and a scientific poster show to learn about the wide variety of algal bloom and invasive species research being done by UT scientists. The UT Lake Erie Center is located at 6200 Bayshore Road, Oregon, Ohio.

“Water quality research at the Lake Erie Center is currently focused on the effects of excess nutrient runoff into the western basin of Lake Erie,” said Dr. Tim Fisher, geology professor, chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences, and interim director of the Lake Erie Center. “The excessive nutrients foster algae growth, some of which is toxic and known as harmful algal blooms, which is being studied by Dr. Tom Bridgeman. Dr. Daryl Dwyer’s lab works with a variety of agencies to engineer and build wetlands to remove excessive nutrients before reaching the lake.”

The UT College of Engineering will hold its Senior Design Expo Friday, April 28, from noon to 3 p.m. on the first floor of Nitschke Hall. Seniors in engineering will display and demonstrate their senior design projects.

The next Saturday Morning Science program will be Saturday, April 29, at 9:30 a.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100 and feature the topic, “From the Stone Age to Today: Why Do Humans Love Music?” The free event is open to the public.

The Saturday Morning Science lecture series presented by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics features presentations on a broad range of topics in science and technology.