Saturday, April 3, 2010

Yours Truly Presenting -An Evening At PARI

Here's the official press release (written by PARI staff):

"Rosman, NC (March 24, 2010) – The public is invited to a special presentation concerning solar energy Friday, April 9 at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI). The evening’s activities will include a tour of the PARI campus and celestial observations using PARI’s optical or radio telescopes.

The program is part of PARI’s monthly Evening at PARI series and will feature presentations by PARI Chief Information Officer Lamar Owen and Alternative Energy Intern Leigha Dickens, a student at UNC-Asheville. “With support from NASA, PARI has become one of the first observatories in the world to make a large-scale commitment to alternative energy,” said Owen. “We have designed and constructed solar arrays that power the telescopes and scientific instruments on our optical ridge. In addition to providing clean alternative energy our arrays serve as a solar energy lab, allowing us to demonstrate to students, teachers, engineers and scientists how to build and use such a system. We’re now inviting the public to share that information and see how it works.”

The Evening at PARI program will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a site tour, followed by the presentation and observing session. Each participant will also have the opportunity to have a photo taken with a PARI telescope and will receive a subscription to the PARI newsletter and a 10% discount on PARI merchandise.

About PARI
The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) foundation established in 1998. Located in the Pisgah Forest 30 miles southwest of Asheville, NC, the PARI campus is a dark sky location for astronomy and was selected in 1962 by NASA as the site for one of the first U.S. satellite tracking facilities. Today, the 200 acre campus houses radio and optical telescopes, earth science instruments, 30 buildings, a fulltime staff and all the infrastructure necessary to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and research. PARI offers educational programs at all levels, from K-12 through post-graduate research. The institute is a member of the NC Grassroots Museum Collaborative, a partner in NC OPT-ED and is affiliated with the 16-campus University of North Carolina system through PARSEC, a UNC Center hosted at PARI. For more information about PARI and its programs, visit

Photo caption: PARI Alternative Energy Intern Leigha Dickens, shown here at PARI last summer, helped build the solar array on PARI’s optical ridge and will share her experiences during a special presentation at PARI Friday, April 9. PARI CIO Lamar Owen will provide an overview of solar energy and will share details of the design and construction of PARI’s innovative approach to alternative energy. The presentation is open to the public. Contact Christi Whitworth at 828-862-5554 or for more information and reservations."

I add to this that solar power is hot, energy efficiency is cool.  Yeah, that's right. And that if you want to find a, cough, alternative description of PARI, you could always ask the friendly folks at the alien disclosure group.  They're right about PARI having it's own energy source--that being four arrays of solar panels, one of which I installed, that power a network switch, some small telescopes, a mechanical pump, a computer or two. But I clearly don't have high enough security clearance, cause they modified my memory and I don't recall anything else. *snicker.*

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