Martinsville, Virginia


Come enjoy "2nd Thursday Science Talks" at VMNH

The next edition of the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s “2nd Thursday Science Talks” will take place Thursday, December 11 at 6 p.m. when Dr. Thomas R. Benzing, professor at James Madison University in the Integrated Science and Technology Department, presents “Stream Temperatures as a Guide to Restoring Habitat for Virginia’s State Fish".  The hour-long presentation is free and open to the public thanks to donations to the VMNH Foundation Discovery Fund.

Stream temperatures have a profound effect on wildlife, including Virginia's state fish, the brook trout.  For the past seven years, Benzing has monitored and analyzed stream temperatures for the purpose of guiding collaborative efforts to restore trout habitat and manage a recreational fishery on the South River in Waynesboro and Augusta County.  In this presentation, Benzing will describe his current research on water temperatures in Shenandoah Valley streams, including the South River.

Dr. Benzing is a full professor at James Madison University in the Integrated Science and Technology Department with expertise in water quality and water resources management.  He earned his Ph.D. at Michigan State University in Crop and Soil Science – Environmental Toxicology.  He currently serves as a board member for the Center for Coldwaters Restoration and as Conservation Chair for the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited.

The museum's "2nd Thursday Science Talks" take place on the second Thursday of each month through May 14, 2015 and are free to attend.  These special presentations are delivered by VMNH curators, VMNH researchers, as well as VMNH research associates.  Each topic covers a unique field of science from paleontology to archaeology to human health, giving audiences insight into the ground-breaking research being conducted at the museum and by colleagues.  Geared towards audiences interested in the research being conducted at VMNH, the presentations also increase awareness of the varied and unique scientific career paths available for local students.

All presentations are scheduled to take place from 6 to 7 p.m. at the museum.  Any date or time changes will be announced on the museum’s website at  “2nd Thursday Science Talks” are made possible by donations to the VMNH Foundation Discovery Fund, available at  A complete list of upcoming presentations is listed below.

December 11
Dr. Thomas Benzing, Professor, Department of Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University

January 8, 2015
Dr. Noel Boaz, President, Integrative Centers for Science and Medicine

*February 11, 2015 (Wednesday)
Live broadcast in the Lecture Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Awards taking place in Richmond.

March 12, 2015
Dr. Kaloyan Ivanov, VMNH Assistant Curator of Recent Invertebrates

April 9, 2015
Dr. Elizabeth Moore, VMNH Curator of Archaeology

May 14, 2015
Dr. Nancy Moncrief, VMNH Curator of Mammalogy