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Learn more — USGS offers free online science lectures

Wind turbines near the northern Spanish village of Tejado. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

What kinds of conservation challenges do migratory big-game animals face?

How bad could rising sea levels get?

How does the military use remote sensing?

You can learn answers to these Earth science-related questions and others via the U.S. Geological Survey’s free online lecture series.

Since 1990, USGS scientists have been giving free lectures about their work on not only geology, which was part of the survey’s original mandate, but also such topics as water resources and biology.

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The lectures, which are intended to educate the public about sometimes complicated subjects, use plain language and feature explanations that don’t require a scientific background to understand.

Past lectures have covered everything from the battle against Asian carp, an invasive species in the United States, to scientists’ attempts to reconstruct the world of the late Pliocene epoch 3 million years ago and use it to understand modern climate. Information also is available on earthquakes, mining and mapping.

The monthly talks are offered virtually using Microsoft Teams. On Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. Pacific time, USGS research statistician Manuela Huso will present “Blowing in the Wind: Science to Help Understand and Help Reduce Wildlife Impacts From Wind Energy,” about the wind industry and recent efforts to understand, and reduce, wind turbines’ effects on animals.

Can’t make it to the latest lecture? Catch it online, along with video transcriptions, and check out the agency’s archive of lectures from 2012 onward on