Science Lecture Series

December 2021 Speaker

Dr. Cassaundra Rose

Maine Won’t Wait:
How Maine is Taking Action on Climate Change

Thursday, December 9th at 7:00 pm


Maine celebrates one year of “Maine Won’t Wait: a four-year plan for climate action” on December 1st. Learn about the science that informed Maine Won’t Wait, what lessons 2021 has brought, and how people, businesses, and communities can act in support of this plan.


Cassaundra is a Senior Science Analyst and Climate Council Coordinator with the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future (GOPIF). Dr. Rose has more than ten years of academic climate research experience, with expertise in long-term shifts in terrestrial and oceanographic environments and their variability. She holds a MS in Geology from the University of California, Riverside, and a PhD in Earth and Environmental Science from Columbia University. Dr. Rose supports the state climate council, science-based policy analysis, and communications for GOPIF.


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The Science Lecture Series at Versant Power Astronomy Center will take place on the second Thursday of each month and is a partnership project with the Maine Science Festival and will feature research from a variety of science disciplines from around our state and use the digital planetarium to visualize these discoveries in a new dramatic and immersive way.

Tickets for planetarium programs are $7 for Adults, $6 for UMaine Students/Veterans/Senior Citizens, and $5 for children under 12. Click here to view our calendar.

Tickets are available online at, by calling 581-1341, or at the box office.

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Previous Speaker

Dr. Seth Campbell

Eyes on the Arctic: Global Connections to the Icy North

Thursday, November 11 at 7:00 pm


Whether you know it or not, the Arctic impacts nearly every living creature across the planet. This vast web of icy mountains, glaciers, tundra, oceans, and ecosystems each play a vital role in global Earth system processes. Dr. Seth Campbell will tell this tale through his eyes as a past participant on over two dozen expeditions into the icy North. This includes such stories as climbing to the summit of the highest peak in North America and as Director of the nationally renowned Juneau Icefield Research Program.



Dr. Seth Campbell is an Assistant Professor of glaciology at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute and School of Earth & Climate Sciences.  He is Director of the longest operating Polar field research and training program in North America, the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP).  Seth also holds an intermittent research geophysicist role with the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory where he works on occasional Polar projects of national interest.  Seth has participated in over 60 research expeditions across the planet focused on quantifying Polar environmental change and relating those changes to human impacts.  At UMaine and JIRP, Seth focuses on building Earth and planetary science research collaborations while also inspiring the next generation of Polar scientists, engineers, educators, and others who are interested in the natural world.


Previous Speakers

October 2021
Dr. Neil F. Comins
What if the Moon Didn’t Exist

September 2021
Dr. Paul A. Mayewski
Pushing Climate Change Research to the Roof of the World

March 2020
Dr. Melissa Maginnis
Going Viral: Silent but deadly virus with a serious sweet tooth

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November 2019
Dr. Emanuele Berti
A New Dawn: Gravitational-wave Observations from Earth and in Space

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October 2019
Dr. Scott Randall
Black Holes, Exploding Stars, and Clusters of Galaxies:
20 Years of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory

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September 2019
Dr. Sam Hess
Super-Resolution Microscopy:
Illuminating Biological Functions to Cure Disease

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April 2019
Dr. Grant Tremblay
Light from the Void: NASA’s Once & Future Great Observatories

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March 2019
Dr. Alex Friess
Engineering in Sports

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February 2019
Dr. Lauren Ross
Harnessing the power of the ocean currents

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January 2019
Danny Piper
Solar for ME!
The solar industry in Maine and beyond

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December 2018
Dr. Kristy Townsend
Remodeling in Our Brain and Nervous System:
Connections to Obesity and Diabetes

November 2018
Dr. James W. Jarvis
Vaccines: Heroes or Villains (hint: it’s the first one)

October 2018
Dr. Justin Lap
A Bright Energy Future: Powering Industry with Solar Heat

April 2018
Dr. Jennifer Page
Aquatic chemical signaling: How understanding signals in the sea helps us address interdisciplinary challenges

March 2018
Dr. Bill Davids
Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator and Rusty Old Bridges

February  2018
Dr. Nicole Rausch
The Science of Wellness:  Why Your Doctor Continues to Insist You Sleep, Exercise, and Be Well


December 2017
Dr. Dale Kocevski
The Big Bang and the Origin of Our Universe

September 2017
Dr. Michaela Reagan
Potential Cancer Cures Leveraging 3D Tissue
Engineering and Bone Marrow Models

May 2017
Dr. Karissa Tilbury
From Lightsabers to Tricorders:
Harnessing Light for Biomedical Applications

April 2017
Dr. Henning Haack
Meteorites and the Origin of the Solar System

March 2017
Dr. Ali Abedi
Wireless Leak Detection for International Space Station

February 2017
Dr. Dean Astumian
How molecular motors work – insights from the machinist’s toolbox

December 2016
Dr. Paul Mayewski
Journey Into Climate

November 2016
Chuck Carter
Art and Science: Visualizing Complex Ideas for Everyone

October 2016
Dr. Caitlin Howell
Unlocking the Secrets of Proteins: The Rise of Cryo Electron Microscopy

September 2016
Dr. Elizabeth McGrath
A Walk Among Giants: Building the Largest Galaxies in the Universe