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Planetarium coordinator named Earth Ambassador

Lourdes University’s Appold Planetarium Coordinator Laura Megeath, Ph.D., has been selected to be a part of NASA’s Earth Ambassador Program. This nationwide, two-year program is housed through NASA’s Climate Days initiative, aimed at encouraging schools and communities to raise awareness of climate change in order to improve climate literacy in the United States.

Last month, the 20 individuals chosen to be part of the Earth Ambassador Program attended a training workshop at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. During the workshop, ambassadors interacted with Earth scientists studying the effects of climate change with respect to their research areas, learned effective ways of communicating global climate change with the public, and became familiar with the online resources available to host their own events at their local institutions.

 “Even though NASA chose a small group to represent its first Earth Ambassador program, we are very diverse,” shares Dr. Megeath. “From astronomy to 4-H to the study of ice – our Earth Ambassadors possess a wealth of information and resources for promoting environmentalism and sustainability. I’m looking forward to building strong relationships with each ambassador as we assist NASA with their Climate Days initiative.”

Earth Ambassadors are charged with a commitment to support a series of nationwide NASA Climate Day events hosted at their individual institutions. Dr. Megeath is currently in the planning stages of the NASA Climate Day event to be hosted at Lourdes University in 2012.

Dr. Megeath earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Colgate University in New York and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. She previously conducted research at Harvard University until her move to Sylvania in 2006. A neurobiologist, Dr. Megeath has taught as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Biology & Health Sciences at Lourdes and currently serves as Coordinator for the University’s Lifelong Learning program.

Lourdes University’s Appold Planetarium is a member of the NASA Museum Alliance and has been designated an official NASA Space Place. Named “Best Place to See the Stars” by Ohio Magazine, the Appold Planetarium features SciDome, a fulldome video system powered by Starry Night – the world’s most comprehensive astronomy software, allowing real-time 3D sky simulation, fulldome shows and multi-media presentations.



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