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WIN Breakfast to Discuss Space, The Final Frontier


Image: Wikipedia Commons.


This special WIN session on Friday, August 28, will feature a panel of local Nevada NASA and space exploration experts who are involved with the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada. The Challenger Center uses space exploration as a theme and creates positive learning experiences that raise students’ expectations of success; fosters a long-term interest in mathematics, science and technology; and motivates students to pursue careers in these fields. This month’s breakfast will be sponsored by the Nevada Alumni Association.

Dr. Wendy Calvin is a Professor and Chair of Geological Sciences and Engineering in the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering. She serves on the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Science Team and on the committee charged with determining where NASA should explore in the next decade. Her scientific discoveries have included identifying oxygen on Ganymede, large path lengths in ice for the seasonal polar cap of Mars and identification of ammonia ices on Pluto’s satellite Charon. She continues to work with three active science instruments at Mars and is also the Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy.

Paul McFarlane was a Herz Gold Medal Winner and Best of Education Recipient from the Reno Gazette-Journal. McFarlane was selected as Outstanding Student Teacher at UNR and as the Senior Scholar for the College of Arts and Sciences. He has taught K-College students for 24 years, created interdisciplinary space programs and worked as a writer and director of video projects. He has trained at the Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center and the US Space and Rocket Center and has represented Nevada at Honeywell Educators@Space Academy. He’s been in charge of Challenger Center space science programs for Nevada for the last eight years.

Dr. Melodi Rodrigue did her doctoral research in the area of interacting galaxies, using such tools as the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Ultraviolet Explorer. Currently she teaches in the UNR Department of Physics and is respected for her ability to make courses relevant for introductory-level students and non-science students, as well as her gift for working with a wide range of learners of all ages. Rodrigue serves on the K-12 Northern Nevada Science Coalition, helped develop the UTeach program and Astronomical Measurements course at UNR and established the MacLean Observatory for students and fellow researchers.

Dr. Richard Simmonds spent six years with NASA where he managed the Animal Testing components of the Apollo Lunar Quarantine Program and a joint space biology program with the Soviet Union. His experiments flew on missions from Apollo through Skylab. He also served at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD as Director of Instructional and Research Support and Associate Professor of Physiology and Surgery. He continues to teach at the University of Nevada Medical School and College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.

Moderator Gary MacDonald is a WIN Past President and was a board member for nine years. He is a real estate agent with Dickson Realty specializing in the representation of residential buyers and sellers in Northern Nevada. Mr. MacDonald has had a successful career in the fields of sales and marketing in Northern Nevada for over 30 years. Gary currently serves as the Past Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 5190, Area 8. He was a member of the Reno Air Race Association Board of Directors from 2007 to 2012, and also served as a Trustee for the Reno Air Race Foundation through 2012.

WIN holds monthly breakfast meetings, generally on the last Friday of every month, at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino beginning at 7 a.m. Please RSVP to 775-359-7117. Breakfast is $15 for members and $30 for non-members. For more information, please visit www.winevada.com.

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