Series highlights key environmental-related issues

August 13, 2013

The popular Earth and Mineral Sciences Library film series returns this fall semester with a varied line-up of documentaries. The film screenings are held at 12:15 p.m. every Wednesday in 105 Deike Building, and are free and open to the public. More details about the series can be seen online at: The fall schedule includes:

Sept. 4: "Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification. " 22 min.
Carbon dioxide pollution is changing the chemistry of earth's oceans, rapidly making the water more acidic. Rising acidity has the potential to drastically alter the ability of many organisms, especially those with shells, to survive. Scientists explain what is happening and why we should be concerned.

Sept. 11: "Hawaii: Roots of Fire" 27 min.
Follows an international team of earth scientists as they work among the volcanoes of the Big Island Hawaii, pursuing clues and compiling evidence in a quest to shed light on the mysterious inner-Earth process that has been producing giant volcanoes in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for more than 75 million years.

Sept. 18: "Data Mining: Big Data's Increasing Challenge and Payoff." 25 min.
Just as raw materials buried in the Earth yield the occasional gem, raw data can also be mined for value. This program explores the methods, processes, and key functions of data analysis

Sept. 25: "Sun Come Up" 38 min.
Film follows the relocation of some of the Carteret Islanders, a peaceful community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean, and now, some of the world's first environmental refugees. When rising seas threaten their survival, the islanders face a painful decision: they must leave their beloved land in search of a new place to call home.

Oct. 2: "Birth of an Ocean" 44 min.
Where did all this water come from and how has the ocean shaped this planet over the last 4 billion years? This film reveals the transformative power of the ocean on this planet – and how the ocean drives everything on the Earth - from our temperate climate, to the air we breath to the land we walk on. No living creature could be here today if this dramatic event had never taken place.

Oct. 9: "Footprints in the Sand" 44 min.
How are humans changing the ocean? Overfishing, pollution, over-population, and over-development of our coasts are having deadly consequences.

Oct. 16: "Mysteries of the Deep" 44 min.
Technology is allowing us to explore the darkness and crushing pressure of the deep seas to reveal a strange world full of mystery and surprise.

Oct. 23: "Changing Sea" 44 min.
This film explores some of the most stunning underwater locations in the world as scientists race to predict the fate of the global ocean and its amazing creatures.

Oct. 30: "Rare Earths: The Dirty War" 52 min.
Rare earths are minerals critical for today's state of the art technologies. Today, China holds over 90% of the world's rare earth production and has started to restrict exports. To break their dependence from China, western countries are throwing themselves into a battle for the acquisition of alternative sources of rare earth.

Nov. 6: "Renewable Fuels" 24 min.
Shows the environmental impact of both renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Includes wind farms, wave parks, and solar farms.

Nov. 13: "Taking a Second Look: Communities and Dam Removal" 22 min.
Case studies of communities that have chosen to remove dams in: West Bend, Wisconsin; Augusta, Maine; and South Lake Tahoe, California, this video addresses environmental and economic issues in deciding whether to remove rather than repair or replace dams.

Nov. 20: "Physics of Light" 29 min.
Examines the nature of light and how it's harnessed in our lives.

Nov. 27:  BREAK – No film

Dec. 4:   "Flip Flotsam" 27 min.
Ever wonder what happens to your flip-flops when they are discarded? This film examines the journey of the humble flip-flop in a small corner of Africa.

Dec. 11: "Polar Bear Fever" 44 min.
Looks at the plight of the polar bears as their habitat warms and their food supply diminishes. Examines how and why the strong and dominant, but cute and cuddly polar bear has become a symbol of the green movement and the dangers of climate change.

The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. For questions about the physical access provided, contact Linda Musser  (814-863-7073/ in advance of a visit.

Last Updated August 20, 2013