Campus welcomes community for 'Solar Neighborhood' programs

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Campus welcomes community for 'Solar Neighborhood' programs

“The Solar Neighborhood: Earth and Energy” is the topic of a science and mathematics teacher preparation and development institute June 14-25 at California State University, Fresno that also offers two programs on space exploration open to the entire community.

The institute, sponsored by the university’s Science and Mathematics Education Center, serves teachers and undergraduate, credential and graduate students who are preparing to teach science or mathematics in schools classified as “high need,” based on family-income levels.

Dr. Art Hammon of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena heads the program. Participants are from Fresno State, eight other California State University campuses, Seattle Pacific University and the University of Arizona.

The public programs are from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in McLane Hall Room 121:

  • Tuesday, June 15 – Ed B. Massey, manager of the Voyager Interstellar Mission and the NASA portion of the joint NASA/ESA Ulysses Mission, will present the story, images and discoveries of these two deep-space robotic missions. The Ulysses spacecraft has flown over the poles of the Sun for more than 18 years. The Voyager spacecraft, in space at three times the distance of Pluto from Earth, was launched nearly 40 years ago.
  • June 24 – Dr. Kyle McDonald, principal scientist in the Water and Carbon Cycles Group at the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and Dr. Erika Podest, a scientist on the same team. McDonald studies wetlands and seasonal changes and Podest seeks to improve our understanding of the freeze-thaw cycle and its impact on vegetation productivity and CO2 exchange. They gather and analyze information from remote sensing spacecraft, using specially designed instruments that become scientists’ eyes and ears in space, looking down on Earth.

Institute funding is provided by the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholars program, which supports teacher preparation institutions working to help close the achievement gap in science and mathematics learning among students enrolled in high-need schools.

For more information and instructions for free parking for the public lectures, contact the Science and Mathematics Education Center office at 559.278.5173.

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