September 09, 2008

Polar-Palooza connects changes in ice caps to Cleveland climate change

Case Western Reserve University geology professor heads up two-day celebration of earth's poles

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Unlike Las Vegas, what happens at the North and South Poles doesn't stay at the Poles. How changes at the Poles directly affect the climate of Cleveland and the rest of the world (and vice versa) is the subject of Polar-Palooza, a two-day multimedia celebration of the earth's frozen tips held at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on September 12 at 7:30 p.m. and September 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The emcee for Polar-Palooza will be Ralph Harvey, associate professor of geology at Case Western Reserve University. No stranger to the South Pole, Harvey is principal investigator for the Antarctic Search for Meteorites program, funded by the Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation. A portion of the Polar-Palooza program will be devoted to Harvey's work at the South Pole using a combination of high-definition video and his live commentary.

Other participants include David Harwood, professor of geosciences at University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Christine Foreman, assistant professor of land resources and environmental sciences at Montana State University; and George Divoky ornithologist with the Friends of Cooper Island, a research group devoted to the study of black guillemots, a species of birds found on Cooper Island, Alaska.

Through high-definition videos, hard facts and personal anecdotes from the presenters, Polar-Palooza shows in an entertaining and informative way how the earth's icecaps and global climate are closely linked and how changes in one have a direct effect on the other, often with ripple effects continuing back and forth.

The program also illustrates how humans and animals have adapted to the extreme conditions at the poles. It also presents insights on some of the research projects being conducted in the Arctic and Antarctica. Exhibits include a 3,000-year-old ice core and 230-million-year-old fossilized Antarctic wood. Guests may also try on some of the cold-weather protective gear used in Antarctic exploration.

According to a review in the January 2008 issue of Nature Geoscience, "the sheer joy and excitement of field science balanced the more sobering examples of current and potential climate change impacts, most beautifully exemplified by visual and audio presentations."

Cleveland is one stop on Polar-Palooza's 25-city tour. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and NASA.

The September 12 program is part of the museum's 2008-2009 Explorer Lecture Series. Tickets for the September 12 program are $10 for adults; $9 for seniors, students and children. Museum member tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for seniors, students and children.

For the more family-friendly presentation on September 13, admission is $9 for adults; $7 for ages 7-18, college students with ID and seniors; and $6 for children 3-6. For more information, call 216-231-4600 or visit the museum's Web site.

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, September 9, 2008 02:42 PM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Conferences/Symposia, Environment, Events, Faculty, HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives, news

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