The public is invited to participate in "LIVE from Antarctica" as PolarTREC researcher Alex Eilers performs the tagging of Weddell Seals in the Ross Sea in Antarctica and discusses her research project on February 13 at 2 pm in the auditorium at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge.
Ms. Eilers, education manager at the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis, arrived in Antarctica on January 7 and joined her PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) team members to learn more about the Weddell seals and how they dive and forage for food during the winter, when days are shorter and there is more sea ice cover. Without this information, it is difficult to predict how seals will respond to changing environmental conditions. By tagging the seals, Eilers and her Polar TREC team can collect ocean data and this information can be used to develop models to predict the role of the Southern Ocean in global climate processes.
In mid November 2011, Ms. Eilers presented a public program at AMSE and visited with students at Jefferson Middle and St. Mary's schools in Oak Ridge about her preparation and upcoming research on the Weddell seals from January 7 - February 20, 2012 in the Ross Sea in Antarctica.
PolarTREC opens windows to exciting cutting age polar science for teachers, researchers, classrooms and the public. Through February 20, the public can follow Ms. Eilers, via her interactive blogs and live webinars from Antarctica at www.polartrec.com
Continue to explore the Antarctic environment and the working life of scientists on Earth's coldest, highest, driest and windiest continent, in the special exhibition "Antarctica: Where Science is Cool" through March 11 at AMSE. Try on cold weather gear, view photographs, maps, graphs, use a computer interface and even visit with an AMSE staff member, who has worked on the southern most continent. Antarctica is a unique natural laboratory. Much of the research cannot be conducted anywhere else in the world. Some of the topics studied include the regions substantial influence on current and past global climate, the ocean ecosystems, the ozone hole, glacial dynamics, astronomy, geology, physics and volcanoes.
The American Museum of Science and Energy, located at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge, is open Monday - Saturday from 9 am - 5 pm and Sunday 1 - 5 pm. Admission is Adults $5, Seniors (65+) $4, Students (6 - 17) $3 and Children (5 and under) free. AMSE members are free. Group rates are available for 20 or more with advance reservations. AMSE memberships, good for 12 months from purchase date, are Family $40, Grandparents $35, Individuals $25, and Family & Friends $75. AMSE members receive unlimited AMSE visits and free admission to 250 museums that participate in the ASTC Passport Program. AMSE members get discounts on Discovery Shop merchandise, discounts on classes, workshops, camps and birthday parties. For more information on AMSE memberships, exhibits, programs and events, click on www.amse.org To schedule a group tour, call AMSE at (865) 576-3200.