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Experts will talk about the latest research on everything from dinosaurs to bears and from nuclear fuel to infant behavior at this fall’s Science Forum.

The series kicks off September 9. The talks are held from noon to 1:00 p.m. most Fridays in the Thompson-Boling Arena Café private rooms C-D.

Attendees may bring their own lunch or purchase it at the café. Each event features a forty-minute presentation followed by a question-and-answer discussion. The Science Forum is free and open to the public

The first featured speaker will be Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, adjunct assistant professor and part-time lecturer in UT’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Her talk, “The Arlington Archosaur Site: Discovering a Cretaceous World,” will focus on her work helping to excavate a dinosaur fossil site discovered in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Discovered in 2003 in Arlington, Texas, by a group of amateur fossil hunters, the Arlington Archosaur Site preserves a nearly complete ancient ecosystem ninety-five million to a hundred million years old in an area undergoing rapid residential development.

Here’s the rest of the fall Science Forum lineup:

  • September 16—Steve Skutnik, assistant professor of nuclear engineering, “Trash or Treasure? Options for Managing Spent Nuclear Fuel”
  • September 23—Terry C. Hazen, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology, “Methane: The New Paradigm”
  • September 30—Jessica M. Budke, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and TENN Herbarium director, “Biodiversity Collections: A Record of the Past; A Resource for the Future”
  • October 7—No meeting
  • October 14—Jay Clark, instructor of biology at Maryville College, “Bears in the Smokies”
  • October 21—Ronald Kalafsky, professor of geography, “High-Growth Firms—Where Are They?”
  • October 28—Robert A. Washington-Allen, assistant professor of geography, “What Are Rangelands and What Is Happening to Them?”
  • November 4—Thomas Papenbrock, professor of physics and astronomy, “The Atomic Nucleus: The Core of Matter, the Fuel of Stars”
  • November 11—Paul Osborne, owner of All Creatures Wildlife Services, “The Birthday Party Snake—When Humans and Wildlife Collide”
  • November 18—Daniela Corbetta, professor of psychology, “How Do Infants Learn to Reach for Objects?”
  • November 25—No meeting

The Science Forum began in 1933 and is one of UT’s oldest organizations. It was designed to provide the general public, students, and other researchers a chance to learn about the latest scientific research. The forum still accomplishes this more than eighty years later by educating attendees on cutting-edge research developing at UT and other East Tennessee institutions.


Mark Littmann (865-974-8756,

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,