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Observatory To Host Innovative Environmental Lecture Series

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“Science in the Mountains” Connects to Science Centers around the World through Videoconferencing Technology

*** For more information, visit the Science in the Mountains section of the Mount Washington Observatory website: http://www.mountwashington.org/education/science_in_the_mountains/ ***

NORTH CONWAY, NH – July 6, 2009 – If the thought of taking a jaunt to New York, Miami, Montreal or Australia seems a little out of reach for you this summer, think again. On six consecutive Wednesday evenings from July 15 – August 19, Mount Washington Observatory invites you to travel to exciting scientific destinations around the world during its 2009 “Science in the Mountains: A Passport to Science” videoconference lecture series.

Featuring such timely issues as epidemiology and climate change, this year’s series will discuss a variety of topics based on our environment. Experts from the United Nations, Reef HQ Aquarium, Miami Science Museum and more will discuss the latest research and findings from the field.

“As a scientific institution, we are always looking for ways to engage people in the issues scientists are facing today,” says Scot Henley, Executive Director of the Mount Washington Observatory. “The interactive videoconferencing format is so exciting, as participants are able to meet and talk with the real experts in the field—without ever leaving North Conway.”

Destinations in the 2009 series span the continent and reach to the Southern Hemisphere. From the comfort of their chairs in the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center, participants will experience rare plant species of the tropics, interact with exotic animals, and see the Great Barrier Reef.

The 2009 “Science in the Mountains: A Passport to Science” series builds on the success of the Observatory’s new distance learning programs, which utilize the same videoconferencing technology to connect schools across the country with the Observatory’s weather experts on Mount Washington.

“Videoconferencing is gaining popularity in both business and education,” explains Director of Education Michelle Cruz. “As fuel prices continue to rise while budgets remain low, more and more schools are adopting this technology. It’s innovative and relevant, and we are thrilled to offer this kind of learning experience.”

“Science in the Mountains: A Passport to Science” will be held at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway on consecutive Wednesday evenings from July 15 through August 19. Programs begin at 7:00 p.m., but seating is limited, so early arrival is encouraged. Admission is free and open to the public. A complete schedule, including dates, destinations and topics can be found on MountWashington.org.

The 2009 series is presented with support from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – North Country Region and Subaru of America.

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit, member-supported organization with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements in one of the most extreme locations on Earth, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information and to learn about the many benefits of membership, visit MountWashington.org.

Science in the Mountains: A Passport to Science   

July 15 | United Nations, New York City, New York
Journey with us to the United Nations headquarters, where Jim Sniffen, a senior information officer with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), will discuss Environmental Issues in the 21st Century.
July 22 | The Biosphère, Montreal, Canada
Learn about the very latest scientific information on air quality and climate change, their impacts on the environment and what we can do about it.

July 29 | Reef HQ Aquarium, Townsville, Australia
Take a trip down under and learn about the Great Barrier Marine Park, a 133,000 square mile biodiverse preserve that is recognized as a jewel in the crown of the world’s natural wonders.

August 5 | Miami Science Museum, Miami, Florida
Meet Greta Mealey, Director of the Falcon Batchelor Bird of Prey Center and Wildlife Center at the Miami Science Museum, and find out what it’s like When Animals Talk.

August 12 | Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Canada
Are today’s forests the same as they were 100 years ago? Visit Canada’s largest botanical garden and one of the country’s premier cultural, education and scientific institutions, to discover Human Impacts of the Ecosystem.

August 19 | Life Science Education Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
Learn about the complex and ever-changing world epidemiology. Find out about the effects of disease on a population over time, and see what scientists are studying and discovering.

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