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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
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March 14, 2017



Science on Tap presents 'Ecological Legacy of Mining: Adapting to Contaminated Soil'

By Michi Tobler

Held in a relaxed setting on the third Wednesday of the month — January through April — Science on Tap features a brief, informal presentation by a K-State scientist followed by lively conversation. The goal is to build our community's enthusiasm for science in a fun and unique way. Science on Tap is organized through a partnership with the Graduate School, the Center for Engagement and Community Development, Sunset Zoo's Behind the Science initiative and Tallgrass Tap House.

The free, interactive program begins 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, at Tallgrass Tap House, 320 Poyntz Ave. Be sure to let the Tap House staff know you are there for Science on Tap.  

Since the industrial revolution, human activities have altered and polluted many of Earths' ecosystems, forcing plants and animals to rapidly adapt to avoid extinction. The Tar Creek Superfund Site, an abandoned lead and zinc mine in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma, is one of the most toxic places in the U.S. This month's topic will focus on this Superfund site and the research focused on comparing populations of a native grass species that can grow in this highly contaminated environment with populations from uncontaminated soil.

Samantha Sharpe, doctoral student in K-State's Division of Biology, will lead the discussion. Sharpe is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Carleton College, where she developed an interest in plants. Overall, Sharpe is most interested in plant conservation and using various approaches to answer questions about ecology.

The last Science on Tap of the spring semester is April 19. 

Note that each Science on Tap will feature different topics so community members will learn something new each time they attend.

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