Nerd Nite Edmonton #78: Rocks ‘n Roll

Robin Woywitka and the Super 92

It’s not every year that February 29th rolls around, so we’re doing something special for Nerd Nite #78. Roll on down to the Fringe Theatre to hear some talks that rock from geologists who are also poets and musicians, and rock out to some live music played by the very same speakers!

When: Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 7:30 pm

(Doors & bar open at 7:00 pm with drinks available all night!)

Where: Backstage Theatre at Fringe Theatre Adventures

Fringe Theatre Arts Barn, 10330 84 Ave NW, Edmonton

How much: $25

David Martin: Geologic Poetry

In his second book of poems, David Martin digs deep into an examination of the world using the lens of geology. With lyrically experimental poems expanding and retracting, this collection finds sonic and conceptual energy from the perspective of deep time and the geological forces that have shaped and continue to shape the Earth. Enacting seismic shifts, catastrophes, and erosions throughout the natural and cultural worlds, Martin’s poetic practice pushes forward to contend with the contemporary environmental changes and the structure of the Anthropocene that affect how we live in the twenty-first century. The collection veers from the Rocky Mountains and explorations of “fossilized” towns to family histories and myth-soaked theories, all while seeking a balance between disruptive poetic techniques and the centred lyrical voice.

David Martin works as a literacy instructor in Calgary and as an organizer for the Single Onion Poetry Series. His first collection, Tar Swan (NeWest Press, 2018), was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize. David’s work has been awarded the CBC Poetry Prize, and has been shortlisted for prizes from FreeFall, Vallum, PRISM international, and the Alberta Magazine Awards. As well, he was named a “Writer to Watch” in 2023 by CBC Books. His latest collection, Kink Bands, was published by NeWest Press in September of 2023.

@tarswanpoems – X

Joseph Shea: Rocks And Roll

Mountains inspire us, challenge us, and confound us. As part of the Rocks and Roll Nerds Night I’ll be talking about my research in the Himalayas, the Canadian Rockies, and the Coast Ranges, and how Indigenous knowledge has helped changed my outlook on how we do science in the mountains.

Joseph Shea is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Science at the University of Northern British Columbia and a musician with Trundled and The Ebbs. The central theme of his research is mountains, and he incorporates the theories and tools of a wide range of fields (remote sensing, glaciology, meteorology, climatology, hydrology, and geohazards) to investigate how mountains are responding – and will respond in the future – to climate change. These themes creep into his songwriting in surprising and unexpected ways. He is the lead investigator of the Mountain Snow Hydrology Lab (, a member of the Hidden Figures team exploring racism and erasure of BIPOC scholars in Canadian academic environments (, and a lead author of the recently published Canadian Mountain Assessment, which brought together Indigenous and scientific knowledge in a ground-breaking report on the status of mountain regions in Canada.

@josephshea – X

Robin Woywitka: Flood on the Rocks

Photo Copyright

Floods are powerful events. They erode, move, and deposit massive amounts of sediment. A single event can sculpt landscapes in a matter of hours and repeated events can build entirely new landmasses over millennia. Because of this power, floods leave strong signatures in the geological record. Floods also heavily influence human livelihood. They can rejuvenate agricultural systems just as easily as they can destroy entire communities. Like their geological signatures, floods have left vivid impressions in our archaeological, historical, and artistic records. This talk will trace how floods have been interpreted in western scientific tradition and musical record over the past 2,000 years, with emphasis on the last two centuries. Among other stops, we will visit ice age floods of near biblical proportion near Fort McMurray, Alberta and the deluged Mississippi River valley of 1927.

Robin is an Assistant Professor at MacEwan University in Edmonton. He studies the Quaternary Period, the most recent division of the Geological Timescale (ca. 2.6 million years ago to today). He specializes in geomorphology, geospatial science and geoarchaeology. His research focuses on how processes associated with present day industrialization and climate change affect the preservation of heritage landscapes contained in the geological and archaeological records of western Canada. He has also run a semi-professional roots band called The Super 92 for over a decade.

Nerd Nite #77: Space: The Final Frontier

These are the voyages of the Nerds of Edmonton. Our continuing mission: to explore strange new topics; to seek out inebriation while learning about stuff; to boldly go where no nerd has gone before! Our November show is all about the stars, so put on your thinking caps and Starfleet uniforms (you know you’ve got one somewhere) and come on down.

When: Thursday, November 30, 2023, at 7:30 pm

(Doors & bar open at 7:00 pm with drinks available all night!)

Where: Fringe Theatre Lobby at Fringe Theatre Adventures

Fringe Theatre Arts Barn, 10330 84 Ave NW, Edmonton

How much: $25

Margaret Ridder: The Life and Death of the Sun

headshot of Margaret Ridder

In this talk, explore the world of low-mass stars and their fate in the Galaxy. Although not as spectacular as their larger cousins, our Sun and stars like it share a beautiful evolution that ends in bizarre physics. We will end with their afterlife as stellar remnants.

Margaret is a third-year PhD student in astrophysics at the University of Alberta. She studies compact stars and radio sources in our galaxy. She got her BSc at the University of Washington, Seattle, and her MSc at the University of Alberta. She is always highly caffeinated.

Kati Kovacs: Astronowatch Live!

What’s up? The sky, of course! Kati Kovacs will tell you all about what’s going on in the night sky over the next little while, including any visible planets, some prominent winter constellations, and of course, the aurora.

Kati Kovacs is a communications specialist and science enthusiast with over 20 years experience editing, writing, and disseminating science. During her twenties she wrote for the student newspaper at the U of A, the Gateway, and was best known for her Astronowatch column, the longest running, single-author column in the history of the Gateway. She has seen every episode of Star Trek a few times over, and is ever curious about how “fully functional” Data really is. Her fave part of the month is creating the Nerd Nite quiz.

@astronogirl – Twitter
@astronogirl – Instagram
@astronogirl – Facebook

Peter Klavins: We Are Stardust

headshot of Peter Klavins

For every element within humans, there’s a cosmic origin story. From the Big Bang to explosive stellar deaths, we’ll explore how everything from hydrogen to molybdenum came to make us who we are.

Peter Klavins is a software developer with a Masters degree in astrophysics. He spends his time learning photography (and eventually astrophotography), imagining roleplaying game worlds and “serenading” his neighbours with his violin practice.
@klavinsap – Instagram

Nerd Nite Edmonton #76: Happy Spooktoberween!

Please come in costume! We’ll have a costume contest in addition to a quiz this month. Bonus points for nerdiness. We will be releasing our speaker info during the month, but tickets are available right now.

When: Thursday October 26th, 2023, at 7:30 pm

(Doors & bar open at 7:00 pm with drinks available all night!)

Where: The Backstage Theatre at Fringe Theatre Adventures

Fringe Theatre Arts Barn, 10330 84 Ave NW, Edmonton

How much: $25

Zita Dube-Lockhart: Let’s Talk About Stress, Baby!

A crash course on how to get your body out of crisis and practice safe stress! Learn why “work/life balance” doesn’t really work, why yoga might cause you anxiety, and how a little play every day keeps the doctor away!

If there’s one thing Zita knows, it’s stress! As an award winning personal trainer, co-owner of Action Potential Fitness, one of Edmonton top fitness studios, Executive Director of the Centre For Trauma Informed Fitness, and a full time Master’s in Counselling Psychology student specializing in the science of motivation, she definitely has her hands full… and that is when she isn’t busy with her actual job of helping with homework, wiping off runny noses, and engaging in the very serious work of Sunday Morning Snuggles. She spends every free minute she has preaching about the power of social belonging, self-acceptance, and radical embodiment in healing the body, the mind, and society as a whole.

Action Potential Fitness – Facebook
@zita.dubelockhart – Instagram
@actionpotentialfitness – Instagram

Iain Gillis: Decoding Encoding: an introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative

You probably already encounter Google Maps, Microsoft Office documents, and Scalable Vector Graphics several times a day. Besides ubiquity, they have another thing in common: XML, or eXtensible Markup Language. You’re less likely to have worked with TEI, another XML “flavour” that’s used in mostly humanities projects and has been around for nearly 40 years! Get a quick history lesson and a crash course in tags, schemas; learn what it means to be well-formed and valid; and be introduced to some snazzy resources on the web that are powered by TEI markup, from Shakespeare to Banksy!

Iain Gillis is a Senior Open Data Analyst based in Edmonton whose expertise spans from data systems to humanities and musicology. Iain has been recognized by NorQuest College as an Inclusive Leader for his work as a mentor in the Autism CanTech! program and nominated for a Cultural Commitments Award in the Helpful category by his peers at the City of Edmonton. He has presented over the years on many topics, including reproducible pseudorandom sampling and complexity management for advanced text search in Tableau dashboards at the Edmonton Tableau Users Group, and presenting his musicological research in Canada and abroad, reflecting his past life as humanities scholar.

@opendataedm – The site formerly known as Twitter

Ilan Domnich: Amazing Ant Abilities

For such small creatures, ants are capable of some incredible things. We will dive into why ants are so diverse and some of their amazing behaviours and adaptations.

Ilan Domnich is an entomologist finishing his Master’s at the University of Alberta. When not outside looking at bugs, Ilan can be found at home working on his art and caring for his many plants and animals.
@crude_organism – Instagram