Science Distilled – Story of Water Part 2

Despite their small size, the cloud seeding team at Desert Research Institute has a mighty impact on Nevada and the West by increasing snow pack in targeted areas by up to 20 percent. Join us at this edition of Science Distilled to delve into the world of cloud seeding and its impact on our increasingly drought-stricken region. This event features a short documentary film and panel discussion followed by audience Q&A. The event features a short documentary, panel discussion, and audience Q&A, featuring Frank McDonough, Jesse Juchtzer, and Patrick Melarkey.

Location: Downtown Reno Library, 301 S. Center Street, Reno
 Doors open at 6:30pm, presentation begins at 7:00pm

Featured Panelists

As the Principal Research Technician for Desert Research Institute (DRI), Division of Atmospheric Science (DAS), Jesse Juchtzer is responsible for the operational management of DRI’s Stead, NV Cloud Seeding Facility and all associated research field equipment for water resource enhancement activities and snowpack augmentation projects throughout the western United States. It’s here that Jesse uses his combined experience as a veteran US NAVY Aviation Mechanic to innovate, fabricate, install, and maintain this high-tech equipment in mountainous terrain during harsh all-season weather conditions, as well as upholding the scientific integrity instilled in him as a former US Geological Survey (USGS) Hydrologic Technician when developing experimental designs and analyzing the data obtained from a variety of customized research platforms. Born and raised in the Carson Valley, as a 6th generation Nevadan, Jesse has always held a passion for Hydrogeology and the Environmental Sciences since a young boy exploring the Sierra Nevada’s during regular family outings. Jesse’s vocation is also his avocation, as he always enjoys getting outdoors and giving back to the community whenever possible. He currently serves as senior member of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Reno Composite Squadron Cadet program, where he helps inspire youth interested in aerospace education, leadership, and emergency service response as an auxiliary of the US Air Force.

Patrick Melarkey began his career at DRI working as a field technician for the Systems Microbial Ecology Lab working on an Algal Biofuels project, then transitioned to the Environmental Analysis Facility (EAF), processing Air Quality samples on filter media. Over the course of five years, Patrick worked as a Lab Technician in various labs within the EAF, including: Carbon Lab, Wet Chemistry Lab, Gravimetry Lab, as well as the Logistics/Shipping lab. While Patrick enjoyed the data production of lab work, when the opportunity came around to get back out into the field, he jumped on it! Patrick has been a field technician with the Cloud Seeding Program for 4 years now. He enjoys the blend of field work/travel and scientific data collection. Whether in the workshop fabricating cloud seeding towers or on the top of a peak installing them, Patrick brings an enthusiasm for his work. When he is not working, he enjoys cooking, mountain biking, and spending time with my family.

Frank McDonough has over eighteen years of experience working as a research and forecast meteorologist. His career has included projects in aviation forecasting, weather modification research and operations, wind turbine icing, energy weather product development, and aircraft cloud instrumentation. McDonough has demonstrated expertise in supercooled cloud physics, working with research aircraft data sets that include cloud particle and aerosol measurements, aircraft cloud instrumentation, and is an expert analyst of most observational data types, radar and satellite imagery, as well as high-resolution numerical model output. Using these data, he co-developed operational diagnostic and forecast cloud models that detect supercooled liquid water and tropical clouds containing high mass concentrations of small ice crystals.

Event Details

Date: March 16, 2023

Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm (PST)

Admission: Members $10, Nonmembers $15

Location: Downtown Reno Library (301 S. Center Street, Reno)

Presented By
DRI logo
Discovery Museum logo
Supported By
Imbib Logo
Nevada Humanities Logo
national endowment for the humanities logo
KUNR logo

About Science Distilled

Science Distilled, a lecture series organized in partnership with the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, features emerging research on current topics in an engaging presentation style and provides an opportunity for audience interactions with scientists – all over a good beer.

This successful lecture series started in 2016 and has grown to five events per year, all held in Reno at various location in the community.

Previous topics have included Sculpting the Earth, The Ecology of Snow, Genetics – The Key to My Heart, The Future of Fighting Cybercrime, and Lake Tahoe – A Global Success Story.

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