'Live from Antarctica' today at museum

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The public is welcome to participate in “Live from Antarctica” in Oak Ridge’s American Museum of Science and Energy at 2 p.m. today, Feb. 13, as PolarTREC researcher Alex Eilers performs the tagging of Weddell seals in the Ross Sea in Antarctica and discusses her research project.

The program will be in the museum’s auditorium.

Eilers, education manager at the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis, arrived in Antarctica on Jan. 7 and joined her PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) team members to learn more about the Weddell seals.

The group hopes to learn how the seals dive and forage for food during the winter, when days are shorter and there is more sea ice cover. Without this information, it is difficult to predict how seals will respond to changing environmental conditions.

By tagging the seals, Eilers and her PolarTREC team can collect ocean data and this information can be used to develop models to predict the role of the Southern Ocean in global climate processes.

Eilers presented a public program at museum in November 2011. The research she is part of will be ongoing through Feb. 20 in the Ross Sea in Antarctica.

PolarTREC opens windows to cutting-age polar science for teachers, researchers, classrooms and the public.

Through Feb. 20, the public can follow Eilers via her interactive blogs and live webinars from Antarctica at www.polartrec.com.

Continue to explore the Antarctic environment and the working life of scientists on Earth’s coldest, highest, driest and windiest continent in the special exhibition, “Antarctica: Where Science is Cool,” through March 11 at the museum.

The exhibit allows the public to try on cold weather gear; view photographs, maps and graphs; use a computer interface and visit with a museum staff member who has worked on the southernmost continent.

Antarctica is a unique natural laboratory. Much of the research cannot be conducted anywhere else in the world.

Some of the topics studied include the regions substantial influence on current and past global climate, the ocean ecosystems, the ozone hole, glacial dynamics, astronomy, geology, physics and volcanoes.

 The American Museum of Science and Energy, at 300 S. Tulane Ave., is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for ages 65 and older and $3 for ages 6-17; ages 5 and younger are admitted free.

Group rates are available for
20 or more with advance reservations.

For more information on museum membership, exhibits, programs and events, visit on www.amse.org

To schedule a group visit, call 865-576-3200.