2008-2009 Programs

2008-2009 Programs

Travel & Adventure Programs at
Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium
70 Forbus Street, Poughkeepsie, NY

7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45pm)

November 5, 2008
Tom Sterling
Bhutan – the Cloud Kingdom

Yes, there is a real country high in the Himalayas named Bhutan, and Tom will take us on a rare journey through this Buddhist Kingdom. Come along! The friendly people and many sights await us – from the unusual wild life to the Taktsang (“Tiger’s Lair”) Monastery.

November 12, 2008
Jodie Ginter
Gulf Coast Adventure – Still Wild & Beautiful

We all loved John’s presentations on his SE and NE coast adventures. This year Jodie is going to take us across the Gulf Coast. See beautiful “Old Florida” sites like the mermaids of Weeki Wachee, wildlife refuges along the coast, as well as the rebuilding efforts after Katrina and Rita.

November 19, 2008
Clint Denn
Cruising Russia – St. Petersburg to Moscow

Experience a spectacular voyage through the heart of Russia. Traveling the scenic and historic waterways we will first visit St. Petersburg, Peter the Great’s “window on Europe”, and the cultural heart of modern Russia. Then it’s on to enchanting small towns and cities and finally Russia’s diverse capital, Moscow.

December 3, 2008
Fran Reidelberger
The Other Side of Mexico

The central highlands of Mexico are known to locals as the “Land of Eternal Spring”.  Come along and explore this often overlooked, but scenic and fascinating part of our southern neighbor, from ancient Aztec ruins and colonial silver towns to “butterfly heaven” at 11,000 feet.

December 10, 2008
Sandy Mortimer
Beneath the Jungle…and Beyond

We were all mesmerized as Sandy took us into the Worlds of the Maya last season.  This year she will take us even further into this hidden, mystical world of ancient peoples, cities, temples and so much more! Join Sandy in exploring a world so few have seen.

January 7, 2009
Rick Ray
Soul of Morocco

Imagine the eternal Sahara with its windswept mountains of orange-gold sand, labyrinths that are the medinas of Fez and Marrakech, colorful markets with their fruits, tapestries and mint tea. Merchants selling rugs, artisans specializing in tile mosaics or brass metalwork. You loved Rick’s Soul of India and Dalai Lama. You’ll love his Morocco as well.

January 14, 2009
Rudi Thorau
My California Adventure

In his newest adventure, Rudi takes us throughout California…on his bicycle! From the high Sierras to Death Valley, along the coast visiting the Hearst Castle and the picturesque towns of Monterey and Carmel, from the giant sequoia trees in Yosemite to the Napa Valley you will see California like you never have before.

January 21, 2009
Steven McCurdy
My Private Italy

Join Steven again as he takes us on a journey through the sites and sounds, people and places and magic of everyday experiences…this time mostly in northern Italy.  Meet a mask maker in Venice, attend a wedding in Livorno, and participate in the festival of San Cataldo in Supino.

Science in Your Life – Jan. 28, Feb. 4, 11
7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.
(Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)
Our Lady of Lourdes High School
131 Boardman Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Seating at Science In Your Life series is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.

Programs whose purpose is to bring together scientists and the lay public in the exploration of topics of general interest and concern.

Program Committee
Mary Louise Van Winkle, Chairperson
Maung S. Htoo
Stephen Friedland

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 7:30 pm
Re-Scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th at 7:30pm
Speaker: Marc L. Imhoff, Ph.D.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Land cover change driven by human activity is profoundly affecting Earth’s natural systems with impacts ranging from a loss of biological diversity to changes in regional and global climate. This change has been so pervasive and progressed so rapidly, compared to natural processes, scientists refer to it as “the great transformation”. Urbanization or the ‘gray wave’ of land transformation is being increasingly recognized as an important process in global climate change. A hallmark of our success as a species, large urban conglomerates do in fact alter the land surface so profoundly that both local climate and the basic ecology of the landscape are affected in ways that have consequences to human health and economic well-being. Fortunately, we have incredible new tools for planning and developing urban places that are both enjoyable and sustainable. A suite of Earth observing satellites is making it possible to study the interactions between urbanization, biological processes, and weather and climate. Using these ‘Earth Observatories’ we are learning how urban heat islands form and how to ameliorate them, how urbanization can affect rainfall, pollution, and surface water recharge at the local level and climate and food security globally.
Dr. Marc Imhoff works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland where he serves as the Project Scientist for NASA’s Terra satellite – one of NASA’s Flagship Earth Observing System Missions dedicated to studying Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surface.  Dr. Imhoff has had an extensive career specializing in the use of remote sensing and computer modeling to study human interactions with the biosphere and climate through the alteration of bio-geochemical cycles.  He pioneered methods for using satellite data to measure the effects of urbanization on biodiversity, food security, and climate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 7:30 pm
Speaker: Brian Fallon, MD
Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center
Columbia University Medical Center

After many years of slow progress and contentious controversy, research findings over the last few couple of years are now creating a bridge between the different “camps” in the Lyme disease debates.   This research, from investigators around the world who are tackling the mysteries of this creative organism, demonstrates that the collective efforts of researchers from diverse disciplines are needed to shed light on a disease as complex as Lyme.
Dr. Brian Fallon will review in detail some of these pivotal studies, including the implications from his own study on brain imaging and treatment of persistent Lyme encephalopathy.   Dr. Fallon’s talk will include reports on studies of persistent infection in the mouse model, recent immunologic findings that shed light on vulnerability and clearance, studies of psychiatric symptoms and of brain imaging in patients with chronic Lyme disease, and studies examining the efficacy of treatments for patients with persistent symptoms after a standard course of antibiotics.
Dr. Fallon directs the newly established Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Research Center at the Columbia University Medical Center.  Dr. Fallon received a BA and M.Ed from Harvard University.  He has been associated with Columbia University since 1979, where he obtained a MPH in epidemiology and a MD.  Dr. Fallon’s research has focused on conducting research trials to identify optimal treatments for patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as OCD, hypochondriasis, and Lyme disease.  Recent and current projects include developing improved diagnostic assays, identifying clinically helpful biomarkers to guide treatment selection, clarifying the impact of Lyme disease on the brain, and trying to determine how best to help patients with chronic persistent symptoms.   Additional information is available on his new web site: http://www.columbia-lyme.org.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 7:30 pm
Speaker: Janis L. Dickinson, Ph.D.
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and
Department of Natural Resources,
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Understanding how environmental change influences the distribution and abundance of animals is a challenging problem for field biologists, due to the scale at which these processes must be understood. Ornithology (bird biology) is one field where the public can be of tremendous assistance with this problem, because bird hobbyists often possess skills at detecting and identifying birds that surpass those of professional ornithologists.  Citizen science programs ask a knowledgeable public to contribute to bird conservation research simply by identifying and counting birds in their own backyards and parks. The information they contribute can be used to understand how species distributions and abundances change over time and across regions, continents, or even across the globe. Only with the advent of the internet is it possible to coordinate these efforts in a way that allows participants to enter their data and visualize their findings within the context of the larger set of data collected by the crowd.  After developing a strong suite of citizen science projects and interactive web applications for data entry and visualization, Cornell Lab of Ornithology has turned its sights on the new social web and its potential for creating online learning and research communities.  Dickinson will describe the development of citizen science at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the research potential and key results, and plans for integrating new social web applications to amplify both the conservation and human impacts of citizen science engagement.
Dr. Janis Dickinson is Director of Citizen Science at Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Associate Professor of Natural Resources at Cornell University. She is fellow and council member of the American Ornithologists’ Union, a Cooper Ornithological Society board member, a member of the educational advisory board for the Encyclopedia of Life, author of over 50 scientific papers and co-editor of the book (2004): Ecology and Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in Birds.

Travel & Adventure Programs at
Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium
70 Forbus Street, Poughkeepsie, NY

7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45pm)

February 18, 2009
Mary Lee Nolan & Sid Nolan
Sahel: A West African Journey

Sahel is the Arabic word for border. We will travel this borderland between the vast Sahara Desert and forestlands further south and experience its stark beauty, and the distinctive costumes, evocative art, lively music and fantastic dances that are all a part of the cultural heritage of the Sahel.

February 25, 2009
Stan Walsh
Steam boating Alaskan Waters

Take an historic trip on the Empress of the North, a stern wheel steamboat, which will take you through ice-filled fjords, observing nature’s wild beauty. Step back in time and enjoy the nostalgic music of the steam calliope, and the quaint accommodations aboard this historic paddlewheel.

March 4, 2009
Robin Williams
Mayday! – Tugs of War

Let us recognize these unsung heroes of WWII, the men who braved the battlefields of the seas, from Normandy to Iwo Jima, to save others in harm’s way.  See historic footage and modern day interviews with these heroes who so selflessly gave it their all.

March 11, 2009
Gray Warriner
America’s Parklands

From the volcanoes of Hawaii to the tip of the Florida Everglades, Gray takes us on a tour of the majestic sights in America’s parklands. Hike the wild beaches and moss-festooned rainforests of the Olympic National Park, imagine ancient forests while in the Petrified Forest, and so much more!

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