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Visiting Scientist Series

The Visiting Scientist Series (VSS) was established to inspire and educate young people and the public about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Our approach: VSS showcases scientists working in a variety of fields, with the intent to reach a diverse audience and to inspire local students to consider careers in science. Events provide resources for educators, educate members of technical organizations, and inform the community on science and technical issues.

Upcoming Presentations

Buzzing Love: Unveiling the Mysterious World of Insect Sex

February 20th, 7:00 p.m.

BSC – National Energy Center of Excellence – Basin Auditorium

If you have ideas about an upcoming series you’d like to see offered to the community or are a professional in the industry and would like to partner with us in this program, let us know by emailing

Visiting Scientist Series Partners

The Visiting Scientist Series is a partnership of Bismarck State College, Bismarck Public Schools, North Dakota’s Gateway to Science, ND Society of Professional Engineers, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, State Historical Society of North Dakota, University of Mary, and United Tribes Technical College.

Sign Up for Reminders

Do you want to stay up to date on our calendar of events and catch the next opportunity? Receive reminders of upcoming presentations by filling out the “Subscribe to E-News” form at the bottom of this page.

Past Presenters

Our past events cover a broad range of topics and include a wealth of information from professionals in the industry.

PresenterTitleYear Presentation Title
Clint BoydNorth Dakota Geological Survey 2024Insight into the Evolution & Lifestyle of
Early Bears Based on a New Species
from ND
Tim Reed & Andrew ClarkState Historical Society of North Dakota 2023An Eye in the Sky for Preservation - Drones in Archeology
Edward GonzalesGoddard Space Flight Center2022My Path to NASA
Dr. Jack Bacon, PhD, PESafety Lead, NASA Orbital Debris Program Office 2021Engineering Better Worlds
James A. Peliska, Ph.D.
Catherine Brissette, Ph.D.
Joshua Wynn, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H
2020Covid-19 Pandemic Discussion Panel
Sam Van Aken2020The Tree of 40 Fruit and The Open Orchard
Dr. Gurijot DhaliwalResearch Faculty in the Intertribal
Research and Resource Center at UTTC
2020Developing Spray Foam Insulation from Soybean Oil
Becky BarnesPaleontologist,
ND State Historical Society
2019Paleontological Digs Across North Dakota
Cayla BendelPheasants Forever2018Pollinators!
Cami Dixon2018Birds, Butterflies, and Blue Stem: Thoughts on Managing Prairies for Wildlife
Dale Heglund
Tony Msumba
Margaret Nordlie
Karen Ryberg
2018Science Café: Lightning Talks
Clyde Eisenbeis2018Cochlear Implants
Dr. Jim MaskeyUniversity of Mary2018Moose Ecology
Sally Prasch2018The Art & Science of Glass
Mandy Guinn, M.S.United Tribes Technical College2017Out of the Darkness: Shedding Light on the North Dakota Bat Species
Karen RybergU.S. Geological Survey2017Earth as Art Exhibit & Presentation
2017Dream Big: Engineering Our World - A film about engineering
John Nordlie

UND School of Aerospace Sciences2017Stratospheric Flying on a Budget: Unmanned High Altitude Ballooning
Blake McCann, Ph.D.
National Park Service2016Elk Management at Theodore Roosevelt National Park: Policy, Politics, and Practicality
Mike Gunsch, Houston Engineering
Julie Axtman, Houston Engineering
Mark Zimmerman, ND Parks & Recreation
Karen Ryberg, U.S. Geological Survey
2016Science & Engineering of a New State Park
Dr. James McClintockMarine Biologist2016Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land
Dr. Jack BaconNASA Systems Analyst2016Space Junk: NASA's Orbital Debris Program
Amanda WanglerProject Manager
Basin Electric Power Cooperative
2015Wind Generation in North Dakota
Joseph Vacek, J.D.Professor
University of North Dakota
2015Unmanned Aircraft Systems: State of the Industry
Dr. Maureen ClemmonsPresident of Transformations2015Wind, Pyramids and Obelisks
Galen BrenRecycling Specialist
City of Bismarck
2015Bismarck's Recycling Program: First Year Review
Dr. Bob WillenbringMathematics Department Chair, University of Mary2014Math and Basketball: How Statistics is Changing Sports in the 21st Century
Dr. Michael LaresProfessor, University of Mary2014Behavior and Enrichment Studies at the Dakota
Dr. Maureen ClemmonsPresident of Transformations2014Wind, Pyramids and Obelisks
Dr. Kristine NicholsSoil Microbiologist2013Living Soil - Where does our food 'purchase' nutrients?
Dr. Loren WoldCardiovascular Health Expert2012Where you live can make you sick: Environmental influences on health and disease
Dr. Rebecca PhillipsResearch Scientist2012Connections between Remote Sensing, Food Production and Conservation
Dr. Jack BaconFuturist and NASA Engineer2012The Parallel Bang
Jon RaskNASA Research Scientist2012Growing Food in the South Pole Greenhouse, Antarctica
Jason MakansiIndependent Energy Consultant2011Lights Out - The Coming Electricity Crisis
Annie CarlsonExecutive Director of FARRMS “Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resources Management and Sustainability”2011Feeding Ourselves First — The Importance of Bioregional Food Sufficiency
Dr. Robert BatesFood Scientist2011The Chemistry and Alchemy of Brewing
Karen Ryberg & Gregg WicheUSGS2010Flooding in North Dakota
Lynn HelmsDirector, ND Dept. of Mineral Resources2010Oil in North Dakota
Dr. Joseph KerskiGIS Program Coordinator2010GIS-for a Sustainable World."Isn't that Spatial"
Dr. Roy SpencerGlobal Warming Scientist2009Global Warming Fear
Dr. Kalpana KattiNDSU Nano Technology2009Nano World
Joseph VacekUND faculty Space Center2009Spy Planes over your Backyard
Bob BeckerChemistry Demo Guru2008Chemistry Workshop
Shirley CorriherFood Scientist2007Properties of Food
Dr. Kent MartinPhysician2007Influenza: Past, Present & Future
Dr. Heidi HammelPlanetary Astronomer2006Playing with Planets
Dr. John FortmanChemist2005The Chemistry of Toys
Dr. Jack BaconNASA Engineer2004Space Station-Carbon Based in the future
Dr. Jack BaconNASA Engineer2002International Space Station