Monday November 14: Conservation in Nepal

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Speaker: Lindy Gates

Topic: Conservation in Nepal

Date/Location/Time: November 14; The Donut Whole; 7:30 pm


Lindy Gates will be talking a little bit about Nepal itself, a quick background of how their organization, the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund came to be and what they do. A few different projects they are involved with over there include supporting the future construction of a new veterinary hospital for Chitwan National Park, working with the Chepang community, and supporting an Eco-Club kids group. She will also discuss the different ways Nepal has become so successful in conserving their wildlife.

Lindy Gates is a senior at Friends University and will graduate with a Zoo Science B.S. In December. She is originally from Loveland, CO and has known that she wanted to follow her passion for animals since she was a kid. Lindy started volunteering at the Denver Zoo when she was thirteen and worked her way up into internships and a temporary keeper position, with her main focus in working with the pachyderms. Lindy also spent three summers at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo as an intern and summer keeper working with a variety of hoofstock and pachyderms at their institution. During this time, not only did she learn to love animal husbandry, but also the conservation of the species in our care.

Lindy’s first conservation trip to Nepal was in 2012 and she has now been there a total of four times. Each trip she went on, she learned more about the culture and how Nepal has become a leader in conservation. It has been an inspiration to be part of our non-profit, the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund, and watch it grow over the years, as well as see how we can connect people across the country and across the globe for the benefit of conservation.



Monday, October 10: The Flying Flowers of Kansas

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Topic: The Flying Flowers of Kansas

Speaker: Jim Mason

Date/Time: Monday, October 10; 7:30pm

Location: The Donut Whole (1720 E Douglas)


Jim Mason, Director of the Great Plains Nature Center, will present this program on Kansas butterflies, featuring the 61 different species illustrated in the GPNC Pocket Guide to Common Kansas Butterflies.  Jim will discuss the life history of butterflies, their plant associations, and reveal some of their unique features and capabilities.  Copies of the pocket guide will be available at the program.


Jim is a Wichita native and resides in the Riverside area.  He earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Kansas in 1975.

Jim has worked for the Wichita Department of Park and Recreation since 1978.  In 1988 he began working as a Naturalist with the Wichita Wild program and currently is Director of the Great Plains Nature Center (GPNC).  Jim also created and maintains the Internet web site for the GPNC and formerly did so for four other Kansas environmental organizations.

Jim has had a lifelong interest in the environment.  He is a member of the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, the Kansas Natural Resource Council, and the Kansas Native Plant Society.  He has served as an officer in the last two organizations and is presently on the board of the KNRC.  He co-founded the Ark Valley Butterfly Club, a chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.  The AVBC disbanded in 2003, but he has carried on his interest in the Lepidoptera.  He has been to Mexico twice to visit the overwintering sites of the monarch butterflies.

Jim served as a member of the Kansas Water Authority from October 1991 to July 1993.

Jim has written articles for the Kansas Sportsman, the Kansas Wildflower Society newsletter and the Symphony on the Prairie program booklet.  He was co-author of the GPNC Pocket Guide to Kansas Freshwater Mussels and author of the GPNC Pocket Guide to Common Kansas Butterflies.  He has written two local history books titled Wichita’s Riverside Parks and Wichita: Postcard History which were published by Arcadia Publications.

Monday, September 12 – Nanomedicine: An emerging modern technology for the treatment of cancer


Topic: Nanomedicine: An emerging modern technology for the treatment of cancer

Speaker: Dr. Santimukul Santra

Date/Time: Monday, September 12; 7:30pm

Location: The Donut Whole (1720 E Douglas)


This presentation will include a discussion on cancer, current hurdles in curing cancer and cancer-related deaths in the US. Newer approaches for the cancer treatment including nanotechnology and nanomedicine will be outlined in this presentation.


Dr. Santra is an organic chemist and nano-biotechnologist, joined the Department of Chemistry at Pittsburg State University as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2013. He teaches Organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and nanobiotechnology classes to the students from chemistry, biology, pharmacy and others. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology (I.I.T.)-Bombay, Mumbai, India and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA. His laboratory research is focused on the Nanotechnology-based pharmaceutical theranostics for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancers, neurodegenerative disorders and infectious diseases.  He is the author of more than 20 high impact, peer reviewed journals, and contributed to more than 9 US Patents.

Monday, May 9th: Moonshot of Crapshoot: Why is Cancer So Hard to Cure?


Cancer research

Topic: Moonshot of Crapshoot: Why is Cancer So Hard to Cure?

Speaker: Dr. Moriah Beck

Date/Time: Monday, May 9; 7:30pm

Location: The Donut Whole

President Obama isn’t the first to issue a mandate to end cancer, and the public has made an immense investment in cancer research for decades. Many wonder why we are still losing this essential fight and what scientists are doing about it. This presentation will outline the state of cancer research today and offer perspectives on both the fascinating scientific breakthroughs and the collective failure to impact the increasing numbers of cancer deaths in the U.S.

Dr. Moriah Beck joined the Chemistry Department at Wichita State University as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2011 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship int eh Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She received her Ph. D in biochemistry from Washington University. Dr. Beck’s research is focused on understanding how cells move, with a particular interest on the processes involved with the invasive motility associated with cancer. She has already shared her passion for science with over 35 undergraduate and graduate students who do research in her laboratory.

Monday, April 11: Factors Affecting Foraging Microhabitat Selection by Wading Birds at an Artificial Weir


Topic: Factors Affecting Foraging Microhabitat Selection by Wading Birds at an Artificial Weir

Speaker: Rachel C. Renken

Date/Time: Monday, April 11; 7:30 pm

Location: The Donut Whole 1720 E Douglas


Factors Affecting Foraging Microhabitat Selection by Wading Birds at an Artificial Weir

Rachel C. Renken, Jeane A. Thompson, and Alan D. Maccarone

Biology Department, Friends University, 2100 University, Wichita, Kansas, 67213, USA

Abstract.—-To better understand how different species of long-legged wading birds select among foraging microhabitats that show spatial and temporal heterogeneity, a 100-m-long concrete weir located at the terminus of the Little Arkansas River in Wichita, Kansas, was divided into patches based on water depth. Black-crowned Night-Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Great Blue Herons were observed feeding during 60 1-h periods from 12 June-29 July 2015. The independent variables collected before each session included date, time of day, water level, water clarity, and flow velocity. We recorded weir attendance, species-specific patch use, behavioral interactions, and feeding activity. Only time of day and water level predicted of the number of birds at the weir. A total of 348 fish were captured, of which 108 were large (> 3/4 bill length). Wading bird species differed in capture efficiency, lengths of captured fish, and patch use. Great Blue Herons and Black-crowned Night-Herons captured large fish toward the center of the weir. Great Egrets captured both large and small fish, and Snowy Egrets captured small fish (minnows) at the ends of the weir. Total aggression correlated with the number of large fish caught but not with total fish. Per capita aggression correlated with the number of birds at the weir.

Rachel, originally from Downs in North Central Kansas, has lived in Wichita for 5 years. She attended Friends University where she graduated with a degree in Field Biology in 2014. She has been doing bird behavioral research with Dr. Alan Maccarone for the past two summers and has plans to travel to Maine with a group to carry out a study on great blue herons in June.

Monday, March 14th: Making a Makerspace



Topic: Making a Makerspace

Speaker: Dominic Canare

Location: The Donut Whole (1720 E. Douglas)

Date/Time: Monday, March 14; 7:30pm


The presentation will include information about the maker culture, the history of MakeICT, what it’s been like to create and operate a nonprofit, and current offerings.


Dominic Canare is a founding member and the current President of MakeICT. He is also a technology consultant, former adjunct engineering instructor at Wichita State University, and current student pursuing a PhD in Human Factors Psychology. He holds BS and MS degrees in computer science from Pittsburgh State and Wichita State, respectively. In addition, he is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and community volunteer and leader, earning him the designation of 2014 Newsmaker from the Wichita Business Journal. Currently, Dominic is a full-time volunteer for local nonprofits.

Monday, February 8: Do field biologists really do experiments? How WSU’s Field Station helps us understand, manage, and conserve Kansas ecosystems

YMR Overlook

Speaker: Dr. Greg Houseman

Topic: Do field biologists really do experiments? How WSU’s Field Station helps us understand, manage, and conserve Kansas ecosystems

Date/Time/Location: Monday, February 8; 7:30pm; The Donut Whole (1720 E Douglas)


Greg Houseman received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at KU before coming to Wichita State University in 2008.  He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and is the point person for activities at the WSU Biological Field Station sites.  He teaches courses in plant ecology and ecosystem management. Currently, he has grants from the National Science Foundation to study factors that control plant diversity in restored prairies and from USDA to address control of an invasive plant in the Flint Hills.

Monday, January 11: Opening the Academy – Why Research Results Should be Accessible


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Speaker: Dr. A. Townsend Peterson

Date/Time: Monday, January 11th; 7:30 pm

Location: The Donut Whole (1720 E. Douglas)

Scientific research costs money to carry out, and much of this money comes from the federal state governments. As such, one might expect that research outcomes would be viewed as a public good, and would be openly available to all people. Such is not the case, unfortunately: rather, scientific research has increasingly been published in commercial journals that are not easily available to the broader public. The result is that the general public is shut out entirely, and even the academic community has increasing problems to access the results of its own research! I outline the origins and advance of the open access movement, which aims to remedy these access gaps, and give some ideas and views into the future of scientific communication.

Town Peterson is a researcher in systematics, biogeography, and ecology at the University of Kansas, based in the Biodiversity Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His research extends broadly from basic biodiversity informatics through ecological niche modeling and distributional ecology to biogeography. He works with tropical birds worldwide, as well as with diverse organisms that fit well with specific questions; he also works with the biogeography and ecology of diseases, which leads to development of transmission risk maps for diverse disease systems. Finally, in recent years, he has focused on developing open educational resources for biodiversity informatics (see His lab page can be seen at, and a summary of his publications at

Monday December 14: Bird Watchers, Birders, or just ‘Kooks’


Topic: Bird Watchers, Birders, or just ‘Kooks’

Speaker: Harry Gregory

Date/Time: Monday, December 14 at 7:30pm

Location: The Donut Whole (1720 E Douglas)


“Bird Watching” has been one of the most popular outdoor activities worldwide for the past few decades, but has recently taken on a new look among its most ardent participants. “Birders” are now engaging in some serious competitions to see who can see the most birds in all sorts of situations. This program will explain it all.
Mr. Gregory has a BS in Education and a MS in Biology from the University of Central Missouri. His career was split between teaching and zoo administration. He has been an active birder virtually his entire life, starting with observing a nest of House Wrens in the outhouse when he was 5 years old. He has served in several capacities on boards of four Audubon Societies as well as the president of the Burrough’s Audubon Society of Kansas City and the Missouri Audubon Society. He is currently a member of the Kansas Audubon Society, Kansas Ornithological Society and the American Birding Association. He has led wildlife observation (birding) trips to Kenya, Tanzania, India, Nepal and Mexico. His “Life Lists” include: World – 1169, USA – 530 and Kansas – 319 species and counting.

Next Science Cafe – December

There will be no Science Cafe in November.  We will resume in December.