Arizona Science Lecture Series 2022

College of Science Lecture Series

In the 17th annual College of Science Lecture Series, our distinguished faculty led audiences on a journey through minerals: the building blocks of the solar system, earth, and civilization. Live from Centennial Hall on the University of Arizona campus, faculty presenters explored the origins of minerals, the stories they tell, and the future of critical minerals in society.

We look forward to announcing the topic of the 2023 College of Science Lecture Series soon!

Watch The Series: Each of the presentations can be viewed on the College of Science's YouTube channel using the links accompanying each of the speakers and topics below. Spanish closed captioning is available on all lectures.



The Building Blocks of Civilization

March 3 | Bob Downs

Minerals are at the center of our universe. From the cosmic origins of the solar system to the vital role they play in society today, minerals are the building blocks of humanity. In this talk, we will discuss what minerals are, the evolution of minerals through geologic time, and their vast societal impacts. Watch the lecture.



The Stories That Minerals Tell

March 10 | Mauricio Ibañez-Mejia

"How old is the Earth?" It's a question scientists have researched for centuries. In this talk, we will explore how minerals serve as time capsules of terrestrial and cosmic evolution, and how they can be utilized to reconstruct the timescales of our planet. The rocks, fossils, mountains, and landforms all around us tell a fascinating story. Watch the lecture.


Photo of Ananya Malik

Gems and Planetary Evolution

March 17 | Ananya Mallik

Gems are revered throughout history for their natural beauty. They also serve as a time machine for our planet. In this talk, we will discover how diamonds, jades, and rubies are studied to better understand the evolutions of Earth and how minerals can serve as an X-ray into the planet's inner layers. Watch the lecture.


Photo of Isabel Barton

Arizona, Copper and Critical Minerals

March 31 | Isabel Barton

As a society, we need metals and minerals more than ever to maintain our technological advances. The state of Arizona will have a large part to play in those efforts. In this talk, we will explore the impact of critical minerals found in Arizona and the importance of meeting resource demands in the future. Watch the lecture.



Photo of Raina Maier

Mining In A Greener Future

April 7 | Raina Maier

Do you own a smartphone, TV, or electric car? It takes a complex mix of metals to create each device. The future of mining is green, and there are currently no viable options for traditional mining of metals. In this talk, we will discuss our dependence on metals and possibilities for disruptive change in how we mine metals in the future. Watch the lecture.

Presenting Sponsor


Series Sponsors

Holualoa Companies logo




Raytheon Missiles & Defense logo

Media Sponsors


History of the Arizona Science Lecture Series

In spring 2006, the College of Science launched its first public lecture series on the topic of Evolution. Bringing together educators and researchers from inside the College, this inaugural series was received by audiences that have grown in size and passion ever since. Since that time, the College of Science has provided an annual lecture series on a wide range of science topics that impact our community. Topics have included cosmology, neuroscience, transformative science, life science, evolution and climate change. 

In past years, a companion program for educators is offered as a for-credit course with discussion, lecture, and activities to help teach series topics in the classroom. This course is structured for science teachers at the 6-12 grade level, but K-12 teachers at all levels are invited to participate. Pre-service teachers who are not yet certified may also take the course and earn undergraduate credit.

UA Science Lecture Series:

Spring 2022: Minerals - Watch Here

Spring 2021: Water - Watch Here

Spring 2020: Catalysts of Change - Watch Here

Spring 2019: Searching for Certainty - Watch Here

Spring 2018: Humans, Data and Machines - Watch Here

Spring 2017: Rethinking Reality - Watch Here

Spring 2016: Earth Transformed - Watch Here

Spring 2015: Life in the Universe - Watch Here

Spring 2014: The Evolving Brain

Spring 2013: Genomics Now

Spring 2012: Living Beyond 100

Spring 2011: Cosmic Origins

Spring 2010: Mind and Brain

Spring 2009: Science that Transforms

Spring 2008: The Edges of Life

Fall 2006: Global Climate Change

Spring 2006: Evolution