All events start at 6 pm and take place at:

National Mechanics

22 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106


Monday November 11, 2019
6:00-7:00 pm

The Heartbeat of Streams

-Dr. Marie Kurz, The Academy of Natural Sciences

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Streams and rivers may seem like stable, enduring features of the landscape but within their flowing waters a complex array of biological and chemical processes are happening on the scale of tiny cells to entire watersheds. These processes are critical to preserving the water quality and ecological health of our streams, removing pollutants, creating oxygen, and supporting healthy food webs. Join Marie in exploring the chemical signals of streams and what they reveal about the complex array of processes that make up the hidden heartbeat of streams.

JuliaKnapp_HJAndrews-BWAbout the speaker: Dr. Marie Kurz is an eco-geochemist who studies the interactions between ecology and geochemistry in streams and watersheds. In addition to her research, she also works to support science-based conservation of our water resources. When Marie isn’t in the field dyeing streams green and taking late-night water samples, she serves as the Head of the Biogeochemistry Section at the Academy of Natural Sciences and as an Assistant Research Professor at Drexel University.


Monday December 9, 2019
6:00-7:00 pm

Meeting Your First Dinosaur: Museums, Extinctions, and Fossil Restorations in 19th-century Philadelphia

-Mabel Rosenheck, PhD. Wagner Free Institute of Science

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Your first memory of a prehistoric creature may be a T-Rex from Jurassic Park or Little Foot from The Land Before Time. For many Philadelphians in the 19th century, it was standing up close with a life-size restoration of a Mastodon or a Hadrosaur in local museums. In their society, extinction was a radical new concept that overturned assumptions about an unchanging planet. These physical representations of real, extinct creatures were a portal to imagining the new world of prehistory. This talk will explore how Brock_MaryAnning from Children's Encyclopediapeople in the west dealt with astonishing new discoveries of strange creatures that no longer walked the earth or swam in its oceans and will spotlight three Philadelphia museums that reconstructed these specimens as three-dimensional spectacles for the museum-going public.

About the speaker: Mabel Rosenheck is a writer, lecturer, and historian in Philadelphia. She works in the museum at the Wagner Free Institute of Science and teaches at Temple University, in addition to freelance writing and research. She received her Ph.D. in Media and Cultural Studies from Northwestern University. Samples of her writing can be found at http://www.mabelrosenheck.com/writing  and https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/mabel-rosenheck/.


Monday January 13, 2020
6:00-7:00 pm

Launching Space Camp

– Emily A. Margolis, PhD. American Philosophical Society

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Calling all space cadets! Since 1982, Space Camp has been the ultimate vacation for aspiring astronauts. Join historian Emily A. Margolis to learn how a little satellite launched on January 31, 1958 set in motion a series of events that lead to the creation of Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Flight suits not required for this historical study of Alabama’s top tourist attraction.

About the speaker: Emily A. Margolis is a social and cultural historian of spaceflight. She earned her PhD in the history of science and technology from Johns Hopkins University in May 2019, where her research examined how and why NASA centers and their surrounding communities became Margolis_SpaceHeadshottourist attractions in the 1960s. Emily’s doctoral work was generously supported by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and American Historical Association. To learn more about the origins of space tourism, check out her recent interview on The Planetary Society podcast.

Emily is the 2019-2021 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the American Philosophical Society Library & Museum. She is co-curator of the 2020 exhibition, Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist. When she’s not reading the electrifying works of Benjamin Franklin or writing about the US space program, Emily enjoys baking science-themed treats.