Local Antarctica Scientists Celebrate the International Polar Year

A number of Fort Collins residents head south each year to conduct or support scientific research in Antarctica, one of Earth’s coldest environments, and these scientists are sharing their stories about the final terrestrial frontier with the local community through a lecture series held at the Fort Collins Main Library.

Geographic exploration has given way to scientific investigation that will be highlighted by the International Council for Science’s designation of 2007-08 as the International Polar Year. This designation is aimed at raising awareness about the major changes underway in the biological and physical environment at the two poles. With a concerted effort of research and education focused on the general public, the organizers of the International Polar Year hope to raise understanding of the polar regions at all levels.

The lecture series, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Colorado State’s Department of Biology, the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and the Fort Collins Public Library.

Each lecture will feature a scientist from the Front Range who has based much of his or her career on research in Antarctica.

All lectures start at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Fort Collins Main Public Library in the Ben Delatour Room. The series schedule follows.

– Sept. 25: "Aurora Under Antarctic Skies During the IGY: Wintering-Over in an Auroral Tower at Ellsworth Station, 1956-58," presented by Dr. Kim Malville from the University of Colorado.

– Oct. 23: "Supporting Science on the Seventh Continent: Someone has to Shovel the Snow," presented by Rob Edwards from Raytheon Polar Services.

– Nov. 27: "Volcanoes in Antarctica," presented by Wesley LeMasurier from the University of Colorado, Denver.

For more information about the International Polar Year, visit www.ipy.org.