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Nerd Nite Winona #36

April 24 @ 7:30 pm


Nerd Nite is a monthly talk series that takes place in over 100 cities world wide. Every month three speakers give ~15 minute fun-yet-informative presentations on something they nerd out about. It could be a personal passion, hobby, or research.


TALK #1: “An Overview of NASA’s Artemis Program to Return Humans to the Moon” by Ben Herbert

NASA is sending people back to the Moon in a few years! If that last sentence was surprising to you, or questions like “why?” or “how?” or “no really, why?” came to mind after hearing it, then this talk is for you. We will go over the Artemis program at a high level, including its rationale, the mission architecture, the spacecraft involved, the known program timeline, and NASA’s plans for the future.
Ben Herbert is a Space Systems Engineer and veritable space nerd. He works from his home in Winona helping design spacecraft for companies including Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. He has worked on various parts of what is now the Artemis program going back as far as 2007 and has spent the majority of his career focused on human spaceflight. When his head isn’t in orbit, he sings with the Winona Community Chorale and enjoys more Earth-bound pleasures like hiking and camping with his wife and reluctant toddler.

TALK #2: “Going Ballistic!: Making Impact Craters in the Laboratory” by Jennifer Anderson

Description: Impact cratering shapes the surfaces of every planet in the Solar System, although we are protected here on Earth (to a certain extent) by our atmosphere. How do scientists study such a dangerous and rare process? We use Big Guns at NASA Centers to Blow Holes in Things and we study what happens with Cameras and Lasers!! Join me to learn more about the physics and formation of impact craters.
Jennifer Anderson is a Planetary Geologist and Professor at Winona State University and has been an astronomy nerd since she was a small kid. She told her 5th grade science teacher Mrs. Erdman that she wanted to be an astronomy professor, she was in the Young Astronauts Club in middle school, and she built her first telescope when she was 12. As an employed adult-nerd, she has continued all of these passions teaching astronomy and geoscience at WSU, doing astronomy outreach in the region, raising two young space nerds, and telling anyone who will listen to her about how incredible our Universe and planet are!

TALK #3: “mASSterpieces: Art History as Told by Butts” by Ellen Titus

Throughout the ages, muses have whispered into the ears of creators. To the benefit of those of us alive today, some muses of the past whispered ‘fine ass’ into the ears of gifted artisans. In this talk we will take a somewhat lingering look at a few notable behinds in art. We will explore their creation and the movements they were a part of, butt also cover how some masterpieces were not always appreciated through history.
After earning degrees in both studio art and biology in 2015, Ellen Titus elected to avoid the life of a starving artist and instead professionally pursued biological research. She now studies wildlife and habitat management for a nature non-profit with an office in Winona. Ellen’s main (unpaid) contribution to the field of art since graduating is giving talks on the niche topics of art and art history to friends and family- mostly so that they can spread this knowledge at dinner parties and correctly answer questions at bar trivia. Ellen paints, sews, gardens, and hikes when not thinking about other artists’ work.


April 24
7:30 pm
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No Name Bar
252 E 3rd St.
Winona, Minnesota 55987
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