Moab Happenings Archive
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Moab’s Science Screen Series
by Hannah Russell

Did you know Moab was once home to an incredible number of dinosaurs? Have you ever stopped to wonder how this place must have looked and sounded when they roamed among the rocks?

This month, come learn all about Moab’s wild dino history while enjoying a free movie at Swanny Park, from the organization that brings you Science on Tap!

On Friday, June 18th, Science Moab will host its final Science on Screen® event of the year, pairing a blockbuster film with an engaging discussion of local Colorado Plateau science.

Starting at 8 p.m., the event will feature a talk by paleontologist John Hankla, a research associate with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s field team who has spent nearly 30 years studying the region’s dinos, followed by a showing of the timeless blockbuster “Jurassic Park.”

Hankla will compare dino-era Moab with the “Jurassic Park” universe, explaining what the movie got right and wrong, and how canyon country looked and sounded when raptors and rexes wandered its grounds.

Bring a blanket or chair and food, and don’t forget to stop by Science Moab’s table to buy some awesome merchandise and sign up for the weekly local-science newsletter.

Founded in 2019, Science Moab is a nonprofit that strives to make place-based science accessible to all. We envision communities across the Colorado Plateau thriving from a deeper engagement with science and place-based knowledge.

In addition to the Science on Screen series, Science Moab provides free science to the community through its annual Science on Tap series at World Famous Woody’s Tavern as well as a weekly local-science package that includes a podcast, a radio show on KZMU, an email newsletter, and a column in the Moab Sun News.

Science Moab’s other two major initiatives include School to Science, which pairs Grand County High School students with local scientists for internships and other mentorship opportunities, and Science Certification, which trains local outdoor guides to communicate accessible, place-based science with their clients.

Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Massachusetts, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. During the 2019-20 season, the program funded 37 organizations across the country, screening 90 films to over 75,000 audience members. The Utah Film Society, based in Salt Lake City, is also a participant this year.

Science Moab is one of only a few grant recipients based in rural communities, making Moab’s Science on Screen series all the more unique. An incredible amount of scientific research and discovery occurs in the broader Moab region every year, and Science Moab is so excited to provide community-building cultural events that share this research in an accessible, engaging way.

This year’s series is also organized in collaboration with the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission and the Moab City Sports and Recreation Department, to whom we extend major thanks!

This spring’s first Science on Screen event, in April, featured a talk by geologist Chris Benson on Moab’s uranium history, followed by the cult classic “Dr. Strangelove.” Benson discussed the geology and history behind the region’s hot rocks, the process of uranium mining, and why it became such a profitable industry in Moab during the Cold War.

The second event, over Memorial Day weekend, paired the 2015 blockbuster “The Martian” with celebrated ecologist Jayne Belnap, who discussed the unique microbial communities that dwell in Moab and — possibly — on the Red Planet.

Grab your blankets and popcorn, Moab, and we’ll see you on June 18th! and be sure to mention you read about it in Moab Happenings.

Southeast Utah 500 Women Scientists
Mission and Values:
Our Mission:
• To share the importance of science.
• To support one another as a community of women scientists in Southeast Utah
• To be in service in the name of science to the communities of Southeast Utah.
Our Values
• Being a supportive group for women scientists in Southeast Utah
• Advocate for inclusivity in our group and in science at large
• Increase scientific literacy for locals and tourists
• Mentor and support students of science (especially girls)
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