This page includes brief looks at activities of Explorers Club Washington Group members during the fourth quarter of 2014 or reported during this quarter. ECWG members want to know what you’re up to, including awards, honors, publications, or news stories about you. Click here to send in your news.
Robert Hyman, LF 93, was one of the researchers who for the first time ever affixed Argos (Doppler) transmitters to one of Central America’s most endangered bird species,
the Three-wattled Bellbird (Procnias tricarunculatus). This enigmatic bird is characterized by unique vocalizations, including squeaks, bonks, and thunderous bell-like sounds that register among the loudest bird calls on the planet. In late September, a field research team led by Dr. Robin Bjork traveled deep into the cloud forests of the Sierra de Agalta National Park in eastern Honduras, captured four of the rare bellbirds, and affixed state-of the-art, solar powered Argos units to the birds before releasing them back into the wild.
The transmitters have already enabled the researchers to begin studying the complex migratory movements of the bellbirds. The ultimate goal of the project is to better understand the behavioral ecology of the bellbirds in an effort to promote conservation of the species and the preservation of its tropical cloud forest habitat.
The Fall 2014 issue of the Journal of Space Philosophy published an article by Carolyn J., “Lonnie,“ Schorer, MN 98, entitled “Education for Tomorrow’s Space Travelers and Developers.” In it she argues that while “risk and exploration have been symbolic ofthe American Way…
“Standardization in the U.S. education system and collective homogenization of effort are leading students to be risk averse.” She urges reevaluating “our no-child-left-behind, lowest-common-denominator approach” and “support those who are intellectually predisposed to risk.”
She says, “a step in this direction would be to synthesize liberal arts and technical preparation in a single liberal arts-tech degree – a synthesis that would allow our pioneers to understand the mechanics as well as the context of their commitment.” The full text of her article.
To learn more about Schorer’s life and explorations, click on her Alumna Profile in the Fall 2013 issue of The Virginia Tech Magazine.
The governing Council of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) elected Jack Williams, FN 03, as one of 28 new AMS Fellows at its fall 2014 meeting. The Society says members elected as fellows “shall have made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric
or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their aplications substantial period of years.” The Council selects no more than two-tenths of one percent of all AMS Members as fellows each year. The Society has approximately 14,000 members.
Williams was the founding editor of the USA TODAY Weather Page when the paper began publication in 1982 and assumed added duties of USATODAY.com weather editor in 1995 when the paper launched its Web site.
Williams reported on weather and climate research from Antarctica, Greenland (four times), a research icebreaker sailing on the Arctic Ocean, Barrow, Alaska, airplanes flying into four hurricanes and one tropical storm, and with researchers chasing Great Plains tornadoes (three times). He’s the author or co-author of seven books with all but two focused on meteorology.
Digital Design & Imaging Servi ce, Inc., in Falls Church, Va., the company headed by Curt J. Westergaard, MN 09, continues to attract attention with its tethered balloons, known as aerostats. The company’s Web site has links to these stories about it’s activities:
- The Washington, D.C. Height Management Plan
- Helping elementary school students test a proposed satellite1
The company notes that the tethered aerostat balloons, like the ones it deploys, are the only FAA authorized, safe, legal, aerial platform currently allowed in highly restricted U.S. flight zones.