Author Archives: President

Science Café: Plastics and the environment

Introduction by Dr Trisia Farrelly, Massey University

RSNZ Manawatu Branch 2016 AGM and November 2016 meeting

7.30 pm Tuesday, 15 November, Palmerston North Public Library, George Street, Palmerston North

There will be one tonne of plastic in the ocean for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastic than fish [by weight].

The average life span of a checkout plastic bag is 12 minutes. Yeah!

We can easily see how a turtle searching for jellyfish can be fooled by a plastic bag and choke on it. But what happens as this macro plastic disintegrates into smaller micro pieces? Are there other insidious effects on the environment that continue for long periods?

More than thirty countries and 170 states (including half of those in Australia) have either banned or placed a levy on single-use plastic bags. But not New Zealand.

Dr Trisia Farrelly, Senior Lecturer in the School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University, will provide the introductory illumination to this Science Café style meeting. Dr Farrelly is a social anthropologist who has researched the socio-cultural factors of waste minimisation and waste management in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. She is co-founder of the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council and Palmerston North’s Carrying our Future’s initiative.

Come along and hear Dr Farrelly, enjoy a cup of coffee and a discussion that could change the way you think about the waste you produce.

All warmly welcome

The talk will be proceeded by the RSNZ Manawatu Branch 2016 AGM, starting at 6.30pm with light finger food.

The forensics of volcanic catastrophe – how to study large explosive eruptions

Professor Colin Wilson, Victoria University of Wellington

2016 Hochstetter Lecture and RSNZ Manawatu Branch October 2016 meeting – joint with the Geoscience Society of New Zealand Manawatu Branch

7.30 pm Tuesday, 18 October, All Saints’ Community Centre, 338 Church Street, Palmerston North

Erupting volcanoes are one of the great natural sights on the planet. There are, however, volcanoes on Earth that produce eruptions of such a size and violence (super-eruptions at one extreme) that, if you can see the volcano erupting, you will die. What we understand about such eruptions and their parent volcanoes has to be gained from studying the products of past events, in a geological form of forensic science. In this talk, Professor Colin Wilson outlines the ways through which insights into large explosive eruptions can be gained from studying rocks in the field, then applying a variety of analytical techniques down to the microscopic scale. The information that is gained provides unprecedented details into eruptive processes, but suggests that we are still a long way from having a clear picture of how big eruptions and their parent volcanoes operate.

Professor Colin Wilson is a volcanologist and his research is mostly concerned with studying the products of large-scale explosive silicic volcanism. Trained at Imperial College in the UK, Colin has a long history of work in New Zealand, and is currently Professor of Volcanology at Victoria University of Wellington.

 All warmly welcome