Earth and environment film series starts Jan. 15

The Earth and Mineral Sciences Library's Spring Film Series kicks off on Jan. 15 with "What Is One Degree," a look at temperature and molecular energy. Films are shown every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. in 105 Deike Building on the University Park campus of Penn State and are free and open to the public. Note: Due to renovations, some films will be shown in the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum, 16 Deike Building. Call 814-865-9517. For more information, visit

If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Linda Musser at 814-863-7073 or in advance of the film screening.

The schedule is as follows:

Jan. 15: "What is One Degree?" (50 min.) 
Beginning with a visit to Britain's National Physical Laboratory, the institution tasked with formally defining one degree, the video looks at the atomic aspects of temperature and their fundamental relationship with molecular energy.

Jan 22: "Science Under Attack: Has the public lost faith in scientists?" (52 min.)
The consensus of the world's science academies is that climate change is real, and that it's caused by human activity. Why, then, do so many people doubt these findings?

Jan 29: "Secret Life of Ice" (49 min.)
Ice may be one of the strangest substances in the world. Full of contradictions, it is powerful enough to shatter rock but can melt in the blink of an eye; it is transparent, yet can glow with color.

Feb. 5: "What Is the World Made of?" (49 min.)
Both greed and grand idealism have propelled the quest to discover what makes up the material world. No matter how abstract or elusive the goal, its promise has inspired an unquestionable impact on humanity.

Feb. 12: "20000 Cables Under the Sea" (46 min.)
The Internet's mind-boggling flow of data that circulates so freely 'in the cloud' does much of its real-world traveling beneath the sea in bundles of fiber optic cable.

Feb. 19: "Secret Life of Materials—Ceramics" (50 min.)
This program delves into the history, production, and use of ceramics, and the large role they play in the creation of the 21st-century world.

Feb. 26: "Secret Life of Materials—Metals" (50 min.)
In the last 60 years science has unraveled the secrets of metal at the atomic level, learning how it can be strong enough to build empires but soft enough to be crumbled in the hand.

March 5: "Secret Life of Materials—Plastics" (52 min.)
Science has created more new materials in the last 100 years than in all of the rest of history—and this is just the beginning.

March 12: {Spring break. No film.}

March 19: "Geologic Journey II—Tectonic Europe" (50 min.)
This episode traverses the Eurasian plate — from Iceland where new land is formed to the Alps where old land is destroyed. 

March 26: "Geologic Journey II—Along the African Rift" (50 min.)
This episode reveals how the Earth's crust is ripping apart as molten rock from deep within its recesses pushes upwards.

April 2: "Geologic Journey II—Pacific Rim: Americas" (50 min.)
The glaciers of Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, the foothills of California, the Atacama Desert and the Andes of Chile are all part of the eastern Pacific Rim.

April 9: "Geologic Journey II—Western Pacific Rim" (50 min.)
This episode focuses on the Asia-Pacific side of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a living testament to the beauty and danger that geologic forces can deliver.

April 16: "Geologic Journey II—Collision Zone: Asia" (50 min.)
Welcome to the Collision Zone—the fiery unpredictability of Indonesia's volcanoes at one end, the massive Himalayas at the other and millions of years of tectonic tension in between.

April 23: "Global Weirding" (52 min.)
This program joins hurricane chasers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and discovers that over the last decade, these storms have been getting more powerful.

April 30: "Burning in the Sun" (23 min.)
Daniel decides to return to his homeland in Mali and start a local business building solar panels, the first of its kind in the sun-drenched nation.

Last Updated January 07, 2014