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Atlanta Chapter "Retreats" to Colorado

Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Forty eight members and guests of ARCS Foundation’s Atlanta Chapter recently participated in a 3 day retreat to Boulder, Colorado. The primary focus of the science-intensive program was climate change, a very timely topic!

Highlights of the trip included visits to:

  • The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), where the group examined the historical record of temperature changes and corresponding levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where they were introduced to the teaching tool Science on a Sphere and learned how scientists test the atmosphere in locations all over the globe to determine long-term changes and trends.
  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, which focuses on energy efficiency technologies through industry partnerships.
  • The Colorado School of Mines (CSM) Geology Museum, which contains fossils, gemstones, minerals and two moon rocks.
  • Dinosaur tracks on the CSM grounds. The group was fortunate to be joined by Dr. Laura Wilson who explained the significance of the dinosaur tracks and, during the bus ride from Boulder to Golden, enlightened the group on the geological history of the region, explaining the development of the unique terrain.
  • The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) on the campus of the University of Colorado (CU) where they were treated to a presentation by James Balog, who has spent years filming and recording the diminution of glaciers all over the world and has compiled his research in a fascinating documentary called “Chasing Ice.”
  • The Paleontology labs of Dr. Karen Chin and the Museum of Natural History on the CU campus.

The group also enjoyed downtime and a chance to digest the scientific information at the beautiful St. Julien Hotel, the Clive Cussler Museum of classic and antique automobiles, the Coors Brewery, and the Flagstaff House Restaurant which provided a breathtaking view of the city of Boulder.

Three days after the participants returned to Atlanta, the National Climate Assessment Report was released summarizing the impact the United States has already experienced due to climate change and what we should expect going forward.