American Association for Advancement of Science, Pacific Division Meeting

American Association for Advancement of Science, Pacific Division Meeting

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

Sunday, June 12, 2011 — Thursday, June 16, 2011


Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




The latest on mummies, tsunamis, dinosaurs and more will all be part of a major science conference at the University of San Diego this month.

USD is hosting the 92nd annual meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from June 12 to 16. This year the conference also includes the seventh World Congress on Mummy Studies.

Several public lectures and other events are free and open to the public. On June 12 at 7 p.m., Ichiro Nishimura, professor and director of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology at the UCLA School of Dentistry, will explore “NeuroEngineering: Evolution of Biopsychosocial Networks in Humans.”

Following the recent tsunamis in the Indian Ocean and Japan, Notre Dame University civil engineering professor Harindra Joseph S. Fernando will discuss “Storm Surges, Tsunamis and the Sustainability of Communities” at noon on Monday, June 13.

At 7 p.m. on June 13, David R. Hunt, a physical/forensic anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution, will talk about “A Multi-disciplinary Approach to the Study of Human Remains.”

At noon on Tuesday, June 14, John J. Cannell, executive director of the Vitamin D Council in San Luis Obispo, will discuss theories that low levels of vitamin D are related to influenza, autism and athletic performance.

At noon on Wednesday, June 15, science writer Sharon Levy will discuss “Once and Future Giants: What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us about the Fate of Earth’s Largest Animals.”

“Examining the Past – Exploring the Present – Engaging the Future” is the theme of this year’s conference. Some 600 scientists, researchers, professionals and teachers from the West Coast are expected to attend the five-day event. “We’re excited to offer San Diegans the opportunity to hear about cutting-edge research and discoveries from some of the nation’s leading scientists,” said Frank Jacobitz, USD professor of engineering and chair of the conference’s organizing committee.

The World Congress on Mummy Studies will explore a variety of subjects including a possible skull of Cleopatra’s sister, cardiovascular disease in mummies and mummies in Mexico. Another archeological presentation will look at how the chemical analysis of hair can provide information about diet, mobility, disease, stress and other biochemical processes. 

USD professors Ron Kaufmann and Anne Sturz will give a presentation on Antarctic ice, looking at the impact of global warming on polar regions and the acceleration of Antarctic glaciers that are changing the dynamics of the continental ice sheet.

Other topics include the relationship between music and science, the Fragile X syndrome and geophysical turbulence.

Most of the events will take place in USD’s  Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. While the public lectures are free, workshops and symposia require advance registration and a fee.  

Discounted rates are available for K-12 teachers and students. For registration and other information go to

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