Thursday 7th of February 2019 at 7.45pm
Mawson Lecture Theatre
Department of Geology
University of Adelaide
University of South Australia
Abstract: The evolution of whales was remarkably fast. And as someone who teaches astronomy, many fellow astronomers would be familiar with the constellation 'Cetus the Whale', which is the 4th largest constellation in the night sky. However, whales make their first appearance on the Earth some 50-million years ago. How is it that these former land dwelling mammals evolved back into the ocean after nearly 200-million years of living on the land? How have whales evolved and diversified over this time into over the 90 different species that we see today? In this talk, I will take you on a journey through the evolutionary history of whales, in addition to telling you about where they feature in geology, mythology, and astronomy.
Bio: Paul Curnow [B.ED] has been a lecturer at the Adelaide Planetarium since 1992. He was the recipient of the ASSA editor’s award for 2000; 2010; and then again in 2013. In 2002, he served as a southern sky specialist for visiting U.S. and British astronomers who were in Australia for the total solar eclipse. After 27-years of research, he is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on Australian Aboriginal night sky knowledge; and in 2004, he worked in conjunction with the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center Planetarium in Ohio, on the creation of a show that features Indigenous Australian stories of the night sky. In addition, Paul runs a number of popular courses for the general public that focus on the constellations, planetary astronomy, historical astronomy and ethnoastronomy, which primarily deals with how the night sky is seen by non-western cultures. He appeared as the keynote speaker at the inaugural 2010 Lake Tyrrell Star Party in Sea Lake, Victoria and in 2011 was a special guest speaker at the Carter Observatory in Wellington, New Zealand. Since 2012 Paul has taken the role of Lecturer for the Astronomy & Universe course (EDUC2066) for the School of Education at the University of South Australia. In 2018, he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Astronomical Society of South Australia for his contributions to astronomy. As a qualified teacher he has an interest in all aspects of science and has been a member of the Field Geology Club for the past 25-years. Paul appears regularly in the media and has authored over 50 articles on astronomy.
Members and visitors are warmly invited to attend. We are obliged for security reasons to keep the front door of the building locked. Please note that latecomers will not be admitted after 8.00 pm, in order not to interrupt the lecture. Everyone is invited to supper following the lecture. For further information visit: www.fieldgeologyclubsa.org.au
Workshops start at 6.30pm, but people are welcome to come in later as everyone works independently or with a friend.
The workshop will be held in the Sprigg Room. Go past the Tate museum and take the next staircase on the right. The Sprigg room is right at the top of the stairs. If you cant get into the building, you can ring the FGC doorbell if it is in place.
Topic of the next Workshop to be advised. Stay tuned!
Mark Dale will talk at the February meeting on the freshwater reservoir that supplies Hong Kong. It was originally a fiord like inlet that was dammed and the seawater pumped out. The dam wall is in a geopark that features columnar trachyte from volcanic eruptions.