July 28, 2021

Los Alamos ScienceFest Kicks Off Tonight At Fuller Lodge With The Hill Stompers Followed By Q&A With Scientists – Los Alamos Reporter


Tonight at 5:30pm at Fuller Lodge come celebrate the start of Los Alamos ScienceFest 2021: Driven By Science. The Hill Stompers will kick things off as part of the Tuesdays at the Pond series (today held at Fuller Lodge), then hear a science Q&A led by local high school sophomore Hana Raby, as she talks with three local scientists, Roger Wiens and Juston Moore of Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Hunter McDaniel of UbiQD.

The Hill Stompers will then resume music around 7 p.m. Food from Señor Tortas and beer from Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op will also be available for purchase. No tickets are required to attend the event, which will happen rain or shine. The Tuesdays at the Pond series is sponsored by First National 1870. ScienceFest 2021 sponsors include Los Alamos County, Enterprise Bank & Trust, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Del Norte Credit Union, UbiQD, UNM-LA and the New Mexico Consortium.

For a full list of Los Alamos ScienceFest activities this year, visit www.LosAlamosScienceFest.com.

About the Panelists:

Roger Wiens, LANL:
Roger Wiens is a planetary scientist and Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Wiens started his scientific career by writing the first dissertation on the Mars atmosphere based on samples analyzed in the laboratory, from martian meteorites. He has worked as a scientist at Caltech, the University of California, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, and has made extended research visits to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of Bern, Switzerland, and Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France.Dr. Wiens was responsible for three instruments for NASA’s Genesis mission and he acted in the capacity of Flight Payload Lead. This mission was the first to return to Earth from beyond the Moon, when it landed with solar-wind samples that have revealed exciting details about the composition of the Sun.Dr. Wiens is the leader of the ChemCam laser instrument on the Curiosity rover
(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/; http://www.msl-chemcam.com) which landed in 2012. He has directed the US and French team operating ChemCam and interpreting the data returned from Mars. Wiens has been involved in other NASA robotic missions as well, including Stardust, Mars Odyssey, Lunar Prospector, and Deep Space-One, which include missions to the Moon, Mars, and comets. Since 2014 he has led the SuperCam laser instrument developed for the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in February 2021. Wiens has been recognized by NASA and Los Alamos National Laboratory for his contributions to science. In 2016 he was knighted by the government of France for his work in “forging strong ties between the French and American scientific communities” and for “inspiring many young, ambitious earthlings.” He has received other awards, including the naming of Asteroid 41795 WIENS. Dr. Wiens is a very active writer and speaker, giving several public talks each month and publishing a dozen papers per year. Models of his teams’ instruments are displayed in museums in Los Alamos and Toulouse, France. His book, Red Rover: Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity, published in 2013 (Basic Books, New York), describes his teams’ space adventures. Dr. Wiens has a vision to communicate to the public the adventure and challenge of space exploration and to encourage others to pursue their dream despite the obstacles.

Hunter McDaniel, UbiQD:
Hunter McDaniel is Founder and CEO of UbiQD, an advanced materials company powering product innovation in controlled-environment agriculture. Hunter earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, before joining Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Chemistry Division. He founded UbiQD, Inc. in 2014, and the company has raised more than $10 million and employs more than 20 people full-time. Their first product, UbiGro, is a layer of light that uses fluorescence to help plants get more from the sun in a greenhouse. Ultimately the value proposition is about boosting crop yields and quality without the cost or energy impact of lighting. Hunter has more than fifty publications and patents, and more than 2000 total citations, h-index: 20. Hunter fundamentally believes that novel materials underpin every significant technology advancement, and he is focused on leveraging new materials to have a lasting and sustainable impact.

Juston Moore, LANL:
Juston Moore is a research scientist in the Advanced Research in Cyber Systems Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Juston’s research focuses on adversarial artificial intelligence, where he develops cybersecurity and artificial intelligence methods to increase the trustworthiness and reliability of machine learning algorithms applied to critical national security challenges. Juston has experience leading teams with diverse backgrounds operating within short deadlines, primarily addressing cyber security problems for global security sponsors. His primary contributions at Los Alamos include developing the open-source “REDUCE” toolset for statistically-guided malware reverse engineering; and leading a team to develop and deploy deepfake video detection analytics for the DoD, for which the team won a Los Alamos Large Team Distinguished Performance Award. Juston holds an Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.