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May 21, 2020
Town Hall Seattle and University of Washington present
UW Engage Science (livestream)
How We Learn, Parasites In The Sound, Tracking Thunderstorms

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Thursday, May 21, 2020, 6:00PM

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Town Hall and UW Engage Science present local graduate students discussing their cutting-edge research. Tune in for a look at the forefront of research in our region, and meet the students who are leading the latest wave of scientific discovery.

A.J. Balatico contends that each person’s learning process is unique to that individual, and to the context in which they exist. He unpacks the implications of different contexts for learning, outlining cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, and motivational—as well as developmental factors in schools, workplaces, in person, and online. He shows us how researchers are developing instructional practices and technologies which support learning for all by studying the internal workings of the brain and how it changes with external influences. Join Balatico to explore topics in cognitive neuroscience from memory, attention, and motivation to behaviors and social interactions.

A.J. Balatico is a Ph.D. student in Learning Sciences and Human Development in the University of Washington’s College of Education with interests in computational neuroscience and educational equity, especially for science, technology, engineering, and math education. He focuses on how people learn motivation and identities from their experiences.

There is increasing evidence that parasites are on the rise in the marine environment, which means that there may be an increase in infection risk to their preferred hosts. Marine mammals like whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions are preferred hosts to parasitic nematodes, which infect them through the fish that they eat. Natalie Mastick’s research examines whether this increase in parasitism trend also holds true in Puget Sound, and what it might mean for marine mammal hosts. She relates findings from her deep dive into the Burke Museum’s fish collection where she dissected common prey species to see how parasite abundances had changed. Join Mastick for an exploration of the risk of parasitic infection to marine life in the Puget Sound.

Natalie Mastick is a Ph.D. student in Aquatic Sciences at UW and a Graduate Fellow with Oceans Initiative. She studies how parasites affect marine mammals in Puget Sound, using historical ecology to figure out how parasite abundances in fish have changed over the course of the past century. Mastick also works to determine how parasitized the whales that eat those fish species are today using recently collected fecal samples.

Current operational weather models struggle to accurately forecast more than one or two weeks in the future. Tropical thunderstorm activity, or convection, greatly impacts global weather at these timescales. Coincidentally, convection is poorly simulated by current models due to the small scale of its cloud features. Nick Weber demonstrates how global “convection-permitting” weather models can better simulate this tropical convection due to their much finer grid spacing. He outlines the ways in which these models show great promise for improved extended global weather prediction in the future.

Nick Weber is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. His research focus is long-term weather prediction, and how we might be able to improve forecasts with next-generation, high resolution global models.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle and the University of Washington.

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