Lanphear LIVE! Presentations from Past Years

For the this year’s schedule see the current Lanphear Live! page

July 10:  Power Grid Security: Protecting the Backbone of Modern Society
Yan Sun, Prof. Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, URI
Dr. Sun  will cover the basics of the power grid, the threats to its security, and the challenges of protecting it from both inadvertent compromises of the electric infrastructure, equipment and deliberate attack

July 10:  Power Grid Security: Protecting the Backbone of Modern Society
Yan Sun, Prof. Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, URI
Dr. Sun  will cover the basics of the power grid, the threats to its security, and the challenges of protecting it from both inadvertent compromises of the electric infrastructure, equipment and deliberate attack

July 24: The Right to Crow: A Look at RI’s Firsts, Bests, & Uniques
Roberta Mudge Humble, Educator, Historian, Author and President of Westerly Armory Restoration, Inc
Known for her lively presentations, Roberta will present the not commonly known history of one of the oldest states of the union.

August 7:  Napatree Migrations: Birds, Bats & Insects
Dr. Peter Paton, Dr. David Gregg and Dr. Peter August, URI and Rhode Island Natural History Survey
Our team of scientists will offer a fascinating presentation about the migratory patterns of birds, bats, and insects in the Napatree Point Conservation Area, recognized as a critical stopover and refueling site for many migratory species.

August 21: The Ancient Art of Falconry
Jim Gwiazdzinski, Master Class Falconer
Jim has trained and hunted with Merlin, Redtails and Goshawks since 1996. Falconry requires a long-term commitment to fulfill requirements for licensing, training and to bond with the birds, some of which he works with for several years before releasing.

August 28: Rising Seas, Failing Septic Systems
Dr. Alissa Cox, URI Natural Resources
The Watch Hill Conservancy Annual Meeting will feature Dr. Cox who will brief us on another impact of sea level rise – failing septic systems triggered by higher groundwater tables.


Video Recordings of 2022 Presentations

July 11th: A Village of Palaces – Protecting Newport’s Cultural Heritage

Trudy Coxe, Preservation Society of Newport County
Ms. Coxe takes the audience on a tour of several of Newport’s finest historic house museums, described by Julian Fellowes as a “village of palaces,” she highlights important preservation projects to ensure the longevity of these iconic properties.


July 18th: The Role of Zoos in the Conservation of Biodiversity

Lou Perrotti, Roger Williams Park Zoo
Mr. Perrotti reviewed how zoological parks of the country protect rare and endangered species and help rebuild wild populations. He described many of the rare species conservation projects he leads at Roger Williams Park Zoo, including Burying Beetles on Block Island, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the New England Cottontail Rabbit.


August 8th: Where the River Meets the Sea: Bay Street

Betty-Jo Cugini & Jim Karpeichik – Where the River Meets the Sea: Bay Street
Emmy Award winning storytellers premiered Where the River Meets the Sea: Bay Street chronicling how Bay Street emerged as a center of transportation, entertainment, and tourism.


August 15th: Bitcoin and Blockchain – Process, Hype, and Challenges

Dr. Chris Demchak , United States Navel War College
Dr. Demchak, Grace Hopper Chair of Cyber Security and Senior Cyber Scholar, described how blockchain works as the underlying technology for Bitcoin, the role of cryptocurrency in society, and what challenges lie ahead.


August 29th: Outside Views of Fishers Island

Pierce Rafferty, Henry L. Ferguson Museum
Film director and producer Pierce Rafferty has been part of the Fishers Island community since he was six months old. His passion for its history and deep roots in the close-knit enclave enables him to share an engaging perspective of the unique, and sometimes surprising, social and economic history of Fishers Island and its residents.


Video Recordings of 2021 Presentations

June 28th: Storm Warriors: The History of Life Saving Station Watch Hill

Captain Jack Spratt, Historian & Author
Captain Jack Spratt is a frequent lecturer at Mystic Seaport Museum and during the summer at the Ocean House. Jack has written extensively regarding local history. Much of Jack’s work is from primary source materials (artifacts, documents, diary’s, ship logs, station logs, correspondence, manuscripts, interviews and recordings). The Watch Hill Life Saving Station project involved two years of research utilizing the resources of the National Archives, U.S. Coast Guard Archives, NY Public Library, Mystic Seaport Museum’s G.W. Blunt White Library, Collections Research Center, New Shoreham Life-Saving Station – Mystic Seaport Museum, Westerly Library and the Ferguson Museum. Jack maintains professional merchant mariner U.S.C.G and International mariner Credentials including U.S.C.G endorsements for Search & Rescue.

This lecture is dedicated to the brave men and women of the US Coast Guard


July 12th: The Real CSI: Rhode Island State Crime Lab

Dennis Hilliard, Director, Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory
As the Director of the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory and an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island, Mr. Hilliard’s current responsibilities center on the analytical and educational missions of the State Crime Laboratory, which is located in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Hilliard has testified over 100 times in the state and federal courts of Rhode Island. He has been qualified by the court as an expert witness to give opinion evidence in the fields of: fire debris analysis for accelerants, basic serology, DNA testing, hair & fiber analysis and blood alcohol.


July 19th: Ida Lewis: Rhode Island’s Legendary Lighthouse Keeper

Brian Wallin, Historian
Brian L. Wallin is a 1965 graduate of Stonehill College, and earned his master’s degree in 1968 from American International College. He retired in 2009 as Vice President of Kent Hospital in Warwick, RI where he remains active on several hospital committees. He has held appointments in numerous civic and professional organizations. He is a past president of the New England Society for Healthcare Communications and of the North Kingstown (RI) Rotary Club. He has been a member of the Varnum Armory & Varnum House Museums since 2008 and was named a trustee in 2013. Brian is an avid guitarist, model railroader and marine model builder. He has published a number of historical chronicles of people, places and events in Rhode Island history.


July 26th: Truth and Lies: Influence Campaigns from the Cold War to COVID19

Dr. James Ludes, Executive Director, Pell Center for International Relations & Public Policy
From July 2006 to August 2011, Ludes was executive director of the American Security Project (ASP), a think-tank in Washington, D.C. ASP was founded in 2006 to educate the public on a broad range of national security issues and the value of a principled approach to security. From November 2008 to February 2009, Ludes was a member of president-elect Obama’s transition team. During this time, he participated in the Agency Review Team, working inside the Department of Defense (DOD) to identify critical issues that would need to be tackled by the new administration. In From 2002 to 2006, Ludes was legislative assistant to Sen. John Kerry for defense and foreign policy. During that time, he also coordinated defense policy issues for Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign – assisting in the development of policies on military end-strength, force structure and improved benefits for military families and veterans. Prior to his work in the Senate, Ludes was editor-in-chief of National Security Studies Quarterly (NSSQ), a defense and national security journal. He is editor of, and contributor to, “Iraq Uncensored” (2009) and co-editor of two previous books: “Attacking Terrorism” (2004) and “Twenty-First Century Proliferation” (2001).


August 9th: Sharks: Tracking Apex Predators Along the Rhode Island Shore

Jon Dodd, Executive Director, Atlantic Shark Institute
Jon has spent his entire life on the water with a particular focus and affinity for sharks. From his first close encounter with a blue shark at the age of 14, he has been fascinated by sharks and their growing need for greater understanding and protection in many parts of the world. Having caught and released almost 1,000 sharks and having tagged approximately 500 of those for various shark research projects, Jon employs a hands-on approach and tireless commitment to this much-needed research. Jon has direct experience working with a variety of shark species, including mako, thresher, blue, hammerhead, bull, tiger, dusky, lemon, great white and more. Jon earned a biology degree from the University of Rhode Island with an emphasis on fisheries and has worked as a volunteer at the National Marine Fisheries Service Apex Predator Investigation.


August 30th: Summer Wind: Hurricanes in Southeast New England

David Vallee, Hydrologist-in-Charge, National Weather Service
David Vallee is the Hydrologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service’s Northeast River Forecast Center. The center provide water resources and life-saving flood forecasting services to hundreds of federal, state, and local water resource partners throughout New York, New England, and neighboring Canada. David has worked for the National Weather Service for 34 years, serving in a variety of positions including Intern Meteorologist from 1987-1993, Senior Service Hydrologist at the Taunton Weather Forecast Office from 1993-2000, and as Science and Operations Officer from 2001-2006. David has extensive experience leading hydrometeorological forecast and warning operations and directing weather research and training programs. David’s research topics have included New England Hurricane Behavior and Climate Change Impacts on Flood Frequency and Severity.


Video Recordings of 2020 Presentations

June 15th: Kickoff Presentation: Welcome to Lanphear LIVE! 2020Nurturing Napatree in a Changing World

Dr. Peter August, Science Advisor, Napatree Point Conservation Area
Climate change is affecting our natural ecosystems in many different ways. This is especially true for the Napatree Point Conservation Area. Sea level rise, warming ocean temperatures, more frequent storms, changing seasonal cycles all influence the ecology of Napatree. Napatree stewards are doing many management activities now that will lessen the negative effects of climate change and increase the resilience of the Napatree ecosystem. Dr. August will review these stewardship activities.


July 13th: Narwhals – Arctic Whales in a Melting World

Todd McLeish, Naturalist and Author
We open Lanphear LIVE! with one of Rhode Island’s most prolific natural history authors, Todd McLeish. Join Todd high above the Arctic Circle as he recounts his adventures studying the elusive Narwhal, the rare Arctic whale with the spiral tusk.  Todd will share insights about the importance of Narwhals in Inuit culture and how the warming planet is affecting the species.


July 17th: Setting the Bar for the Nation: RI Bird Atlas 2.0

Dr. Charles Clarkson, University of Rhode Island and RI DEM
Most folks aren’t aware of the massive five-year compilation of bird diversity in the state of Rhode Island. Every species of bird has been inventoried in every habitat in all seasons. No other state in the U.S. has been studied so thoroughly! Dr. Charles Clarkson, project leader, will present the results of this important study and discuss the changes (and their causes) that have occurred to the bird fauna since the first Bird Atlas was completed over 30 years ago.


August 3rd: Fishing Among the Giants

Captain Dave Monti, Charter Boat Captain & Vice-President, RI Saltwater Anglers Association
Multiple wind farms are in development off the east coast. Few people know the fishing grounds off Block Island better than charter boat Captain Dave Monti, Vice-Chair of the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council and Vice-President of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association. Dave will present his observations of how Block Island offshore wind turbines have impacted local fisheries, fishermen, and the environment.


August 24th: Where the River Meets the Sea

Betty-Jo Cugini, Weathervane Communications and Jim Karpeichik, Ocean State Video
Join us with Rhode Island’s highly acclaimed documentarian, Betty-Jo Cugini, and award-winning video journalist, Jim Karpeichik. This dynamic team will talk about their film making process, highlighting the history of Watch Hill. Following a spirited discussion we will take questions from our viewers.


Past Presentations – 2019

The 2019 Lanphear LIVE! presentations were wonderful. Many thanks to our speakers and the members of the community who attended the sessions.

July 14
An Evening of Magic in Watch Hill With Members of the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic — the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup.
American Magic Racing Crew and Team Organizers, New York Yacht Club
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July 29
Fresh From the Antarctic: The JOIDES Resolution’s Expedition to Iceberg Alley – March-May 2019.
Marlo Garnsworthy, Expedition Outreach Officer
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August 5
Wild Weather in RI: Our New Normal … & Why.
David Vallee, NOAA National Weather Service

Missed his talk?
Dave’s PowerPoint slides can be viewed here.
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August 12
How Vulnerable Are We? Sea Level Rise & Storm Surge in Westerly.
Bryan Oakley, Eastern Connecticut State University &
Teresa Crean, Rhode Island Sea Grant

Missed their talks?
Bryan’s PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here.
Teresa’s PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here.
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August 26
Narragansett to Napatree: Archaeological Sites Revealed by Superstorm Sandy.
Timothy Ives, Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

Past Presentations – 2018

2018 was the inaugural year for the Lanphear LIVE! presentations. It was a runaway success!

July 23
The Drones Are Coming
John Jackson, U.S. Naval War College
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August 6
Whaling Women of New England
Yvonne Masakowski, U.S. Naval War College
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August 13
Submersibles and Telepresence: New Frontiers in Ocean Exploration
Catalina Martinez, NOAA Office of Exploration & Research

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