'Sunday Scientist' program to explore state's water resources March 21

Released on 03/09/2010, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Sunday, Mar. 21, 2010

WHERE: University of Nebraska State Museum and Mueller Planetarium, Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine Streets

Lincoln, Neb., March 9th, 2010 —
Sunday with a Scientist logo
Sunday with a Scientist logo
Rachael Herpel, water education and outreach specialist with the UNL Water Center, NU Rural Initiative, and UNL Extension, shows kids how groundwater system works with a flow model.
Rachael Herpel, water education and outreach specialist with the UNL Water Center, NU Rural Initiative, and UNL Extension, shows kids how groundwater system works with a flow model.
Wayne Woldt of UNL demonstrates with the WATER Machine flow model.
Wayne Woldt of UNL demonstrates with the WATER Machine flow model.
Children at Groundwater Foundation booth
Children at Groundwater Foundation booth
Child at Groundwater Foundation boot
Child at Groundwater Foundation boot
Child at Groundwater Foundation boot
Child at Groundwater Foundation boot

The University of Nebraska State Museum will present a program about Nebraska's water resources as part of its "Sunday with a Scientist" series 1:30-4:30 p.m. March 21 at Morrill Hall.

"Nebraska's Greatest Treasure" will be led by water education and outreach specialist Rachael Herpel of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Water Center, NU Rural Initiative, and UNL Extension, and program manager Jamie Oltman of The Groundwater Foundation. The program will examine the science behind various issues related to our state's abundant water resources, including groundwater, surface water, drought and water conservation. Morrill Hall is south of 14th and Vine streets on the UNL City Campus [map]. Museum hours are 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays.

Herpel and Oltman, along with other water educators, will help visitors of all ages better understand how ground and surface water systems function and interact, as well as the impact they have on our lives. Visitors will be able to visualize the groundwater cycle through demonstrations with 3-D flow models and other hands-on activities. A highlight will be the 6-foot flow model dubbed the WATER (WAter, Teaching, Extension, and Research) Machine, made available by UNL Extension. Educators will also discuss various surface water issues such as water run-off, flooding, and precipitation.

Museum visitors will explore why water resources are important and what can be done to preserve them. Volunteers with Lincoln mayor Chris Beutler's Water Conservation Task Force will also be on hand to provide fun, practical tips on how to conserve water. The Water Conservation Task Force serves as Lincoln's Groundwater Guardian Team and is sponsored by the Lincoln Water System.

Sunday with a Scientist is a series of presentations that highlight the work of museum scientists and those from other institutions, while educating kids and families on a variety of topics related to science and natural history. Presenters will share scientific information in a fun and informal way through talks, demonstrations, activities or by conducting their science on site. Sunday with a Scientist programs are 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Morrill Hall on the third Sunday of each month through December.

Upcoming Sunday with a Scientist Topics: April 18 -- endangered species; May 16 -- Nebraska's climate; June 20 - ponds and toxic algae; July 18 -- poop!; Aug. 15 -- beetle mania; Sept. 19 -- archeology; Oct. 17 -- ancient people; Nov. 21 -- Native Americans; Dec. 19 -- Nebraska amphibians.

For updates on the Sunday with a Scientist schedule through the year, visit www.museum.unl.edu.

The University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History in Morrill Hall is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults (19 and over), $3 for children (5-18 years, 4 and under are free), and $10 for families (up to two adults and children). UNL staff, faculty and students are admitted free with valid NU ID. There is an additional charge for planetarium shows. Parking is free. For further information, telephone the museum at (402) 472-3779, visit its Web site or Mueller Planetarium's Web site, www.spacelaser.com, or contact Kathy French, education coordinator, at (402) 472-6647 or by e-mail.

The UNL Water Center facilitates a wide range of interdisciplinary water and water-related research, teaching and outreach programming throughout Nebraska colleges and universities as a part of NU's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and within UNL's School of Natural Resources. The Water Center has been a fixture at UNL for more than 40 years, being established by Congressional mandate in 1964. It is located at Hardin Hall on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's East Campus. For more information, visit www.watercenter.unl.edu.

The Groundwater Foundation was founded in 1985 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to educate people and inspire action to ensure sustainable, clean groundwater for future generations in Nebraska. Groundwater Guardian is a foundation program that recognizes communities for their achievements in groundwater education and protection. For more information, visit www.groundwater.org.

Mayor Beutler's Water Conservation Task Force serves as Lincoln's Groundwater Guardian Team and is sponsored by the Lincoln Water System. Formed in 1988, the Task Force is made up of community volunteers who work to increase public awareness and adoption of water conservation practices. For more information, visit http://lancaster.ne.gov/city/pworks/water/conserve.