Campus & Community

Former NASA director to discuss “climate change” during Science Day March 3

Dr. Franco Einaudi, former director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, will speak about weather and the often-debated topic of climate change during Science Day March 3 at the Palm Beach State College Lake Worth campus.FrancoEinaudi200X200

Science Day activities will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Natural Science building and the nearby courtyards and corridors. Einaudi’s one-hour lecture will begin at noon in room 129. As part of his talk, Einaudi, who served as president of the American Meteorological Society in 2006, will answer three questions at the center of the climate debate: Is climate change real? Is climate change part of natural variability or human induced? How reliable are the predictions of the consequences of climate change?

The lecture is among the activities, experiments and demonstrations covering science, technology, engineering and math. The topics will include everything from robots and owls to math tricks and gravity. There also will be student STEM competitions.

The free event is sponsored by the Biology Club, Student Activities and the campus math and science division. Dr. Sankaranarayana Chandramohan, a science professor and advisor for the Biology Club, said the event is designed to promote awareness of the field.

“It’s just to make students aware of science and the allied programs that we have at PBSC sciencedayand why science can be a possible career option. It’s also to promote the STEM part of STEAM,” he said referring to the College’s Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Math Initiative. He added that STEM subjects are critical because “we are lacking enough professionals in many STEM areas.”

Two local private schools, Cardinal Newman High School and St Luke Catholic School, are planning to bus 150 to 170 students to campus to participate in the Science Day activities.
Einaudi received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Politecnico of Turin, Italy and master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering with specialization in plasma physics and atmospheric sciences from Cornell University. He was responsible for planning, organizing and evaluating a broad program of scientific research, both theoretical and experimental, in the study of the Earth. The program ranged from basic research to flight experiment development, to mission operations and data analysis. His career has included two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Physics Department of the University of Toronto, 10 years with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences of the University of Colorado in Boulder and seven and a half years at the Georgia Institute of Technology as professor of Geophysical Sciences.

Prior to becoming division director, he was the chief of the Laboratory for Atmospheres (1990-2000), and head of the Severe Storms Branch, now called the Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Branch (1988-1990). An atmospheric dynamicist, Einaudi is recognized nationally and internationally by his peers for his work on gravity waves, gravity waves/turbulence interaction, propagation of gravity waves in a moist atmosphere, and the role of gravity waves in initiating and interacting with storms.

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