Sunday Scientist program to explore toxic algae June 20
Released on 06/09/2010, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
WHEN: Sunday, Jun. 20, 2010
WHERE: NU State Museum, Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine Streets [map]
The University of Nebraska State Museum will present a program for children and families about toxic algae as part of its Sunday with a Scientist series 1:30-4:30 p.m. June 20 at Morrill Hall.
The program, "Algae: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," will explore the different types of algae found in Nebraska's lakes, ponds and streams, as well as the science behind aquatic ecology. Morrill Hall is south of 14th and Vine Streets on the UNL City Campus [map]. Museum Sunday hours are 1:30-4:30 p.m.
"Algae: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,"" will be led by Tadd Barrow, water quality extension educator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources. Barrow and other educators from the school will help museum visitors understand more about algae and important roles it plays in water chemistry and the food chain.
Barrow and colleagues will demonstrate how there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the mysterious scum that floats in the state's surface water. Algae are rootless, microscopic plants that occur in all waters relative to the amount of nutrients available -- but not all of them are dangerous. Blue-green algae, a type of cyanobacteria, are the only kind of algae that have the ability to produce toxins.
The presenters will bring photos and samples of different types of algae for visitors to touch and examine with microscopes, and to clarify which types are toxic and nontoxic. They will also discuss the causes of extreme algae blooms and the harmful effects they can have on the environment and our health, such as disruption of the food chain, livestock and pet deaths, fish kills, and human illness.
Sunday with a Scientist is a series of presentations that highlights the work of museum scientists and those from other institutions, while educating children and families on a variety of topics related to science and natural history. Presenters share scientific information in a fun and informal way through talks, demonstrations and 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: 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.
For more information about toxic blue-green algae and other water issues, visit http://water.unl.edu/lakes.
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 website or Mueller Planetarium's website, www.spacelaser.com, or contact Kathy French, education coordinator, at (402) 472-6647 or by e-mail.
WRITER: Dana Ludvik, Public Relations Coordinator, NU State Museum, (402) 472-3779
News Release Contacts:
- Kathy French, Education Coordinator, NU State Museum
phone: (402) 472-6647