The mesa will crackle with kid energy in April
You can find lots of children visiting the Mesa Lab any time of year, but April brings them out in force, thanks largely to Earth Day (22 April) and National Science and Technology Week (26 April-2 May). Linda Carbone, outreach coordinator for NCAR Visual Communications, will be extra busy over the next month as hundreds of kids and parents stream in for several big events.
Care to caress this creature? Milton, an African millipede, is one of many bugs you can catch at NCAR's Earth Day festivities on 18 April. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)
Student art on display
Most visible to staff will be the fourth annual Student Art Showcase, 1-30 April, in the Mesa Lab's cafeteria and second-floor art galleries. It's an adjunct to NCAR's long-time community art program that brings prestigious regional art to the mesa.
In a sense, the kids' art show is juried twice, explains Linda. Students at participating schools in the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain districts are invited to create art that pertains to the environment or to the annual theme for National Science and Technology Week (see below). Teachers pick a sampling of artwork from each school to send on for gallery display at NCAR (last year, there were 75 entries). A second judging, held at NCAR, selects 12 to 14 pieces out of the larger group to get showcase treatment in the second-floor gallery. As one might expect, the student art runs the gamut of styles and media.
A reception for the participants and their families will be held on Thursday, 30 April, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the ML cafeteria. Staff are welcome to attend. "In the past, we've had up to 300 people," says Linda.
Join the fun
NCAR Outreach needs volunteers to assist with the ML Earth Day festivities on Saturday, 18 April. If you'd like to meet and greet visitors or otherwise pitch in, contact Nita Razo, ext. 8606,
29th annual Earth Day
The theme of this year's Earth Day festivities on the mesa, to be held Saturday, 18 April, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., is "A Celebration of Earth and Atmosphere." As in years past, NCAR is collaborating with the Collage Children's Museum to salute Earth Day through a grant from the metro Denver Scientific & Cultural Facilities District. This year, says Linda, "it's coming together as a multimedia event." All ages are invited. Watch This Week at UCAR for updates.
- A specially acquired exhibit, "Diversity Endangered," will be in place in the ML lobby through the latter half of April. Produced by the Smithsonian Institution, this display explores the loss of plant and animal diversity due to industrialization and global environmental change.
- The Atmospheric Chemistry Division will offer tours of the Frost Phytotron, ACD's facility for plant research located just below the ML entrance.
- Eco-Cycle is bringing a mammoth jigsaw puzzle (8 by 12 feet) centered on the theme of earth sustainability. Putting it together will be a group effort--each participant can add art to his or her own piece before fitting it into the puzzle. (To find out more, contact Brian Ladd at Eco-Cycle, 444-6634.)
- The city of Boulder will have its "trout obstacle course" on hand. It's an interactive experience to help participants understand what it's like to deal with polluted water and other hazards from a trout's point of view.
- Oakleigh Thorne, the Boulder ecologist and science educator, will lead a nature walk along the Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail and the Mesa Trail.
- The Wild Bear Science School, a new facility in Nederland, is bringing its arthropod zoo to town. "We'll have spitting cockroaches, tarantulas, and all those other good things," promises Linda.
- Noted artist Karen Schuster will demonstrate her eco-friendly printing process, which uses recycled clay and all-natural pigments.
NSTW: Way cool
"Polar Connections" is the theme for 1998 National Science and Technology Week, sponsored by NSF. Local events kick off with a free day at the Denver Museum of Natural History on 18 April, which will include showings of the IMAX film Antarctica. NCAR Outreach will host an activities table at the museum.
ACD scientist Lee Klinger will address the public on Monday, 27 April, in the first of an evening NSTW lecture series to be held on the University of Colorado campus. Lee will discuss the importance of polar regions on the earth's regulation from a Gaia-theory perspective. His talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. in CU's Duane Physics and Astrophysics building, room 2020. BH
Revamping our recycling
Due to the closure of Central Stores, which formerly handled some of NCAR and UCAR's recyclables, institutional recycling procedures are now being revised. Current policies, including all updates, can be found at the Environmental Stewardship Program's
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall