Morrill Hall's 'Sunday Scientist' to explore Platte Basin Time-lapse Project

Released on 12/04/2012, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012

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

Lincoln, Neb., December 4th, 2012 —
A view of the Audubon Society's Rowe Sanctuary on July 20, 2012. The camera looks down on the central Platte, near Kearney. (Michael Forsberg photo courtesy of the Platte Basin Time-Lapse Project.)
A view of the Audubon Society's Rowe Sanctuary on July 20, 2012. The camera looks down on the central Platte, near Kearney. (Michael Forsberg photo courtesy of the Platte Basin Time-Lapse Project.)
A view from Fremont Canyon. The camera shows Pathfinder Dam on the North Platte in Wyoming. (Michael Forsberg photo courtesy of the Platte Basin Time-Lapse Project.)
A view from Fremont Canyon. The camera shows Pathfinder Dam on the North Platte in Wyoming. (Michael Forsberg photo courtesy of the Platte Basin Time-Lapse Project.)
"Sunday with a Scientist" logo

            The University of Nebraska State Museum's next Sunday with a Scientist program for children and families will explore the Platte Basin Time-lapse Project. Museum visitors on Dec. 16 will learn where water comes from and how it is affected by natural events and human engineering. The event will be from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus. Museum Sunday hours are 1:30-4:30 p.m.

            The presenters will include:

  • Michael Farrell, television production manager for Nebraska Educational Telecommunications and adjunct professor in the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Farrell has developed documentaries about the culture, history, and environment of the Great Plains for the past 40 years. For more information, visit www.michaelfarrell.com.
  • Michael Forsberg, wildlife and conservation photographer and author whose work focuses on the Great Plains of North America. For more information, visit www.michaelforsberg.com.
  • Sara LeRoy Toren, teacher in the Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program, and several students in the program.

            Farrell and Forsberg will showcase their work on the Platte Basin Time-lapse Project. This collaborative project uses sophisticated time-lapse photography to show water from the Platte Basin in motion over time. The compressed images allow us to see and understand the natural and manmade processes that impact the Platte River as they unfold over days, months and years.

            Imagery will demonstrate the rise and fall of water from flood stage to drought, how snowpack builds in the Rocky Mountains, how dams and reservoirs move water, the cycle of the seasons in an irrigated cropfield, the change of the seasons on a wet meadow prairie, how cattle use a stock tank in the Sandhills, how sandbars move and how banks erode on the Central Platte, the seasonal use of sandhill crane roosts on sandbars, a restoration process at work on a prairie slough, and more.

            Toren and students from the LPS Science Focus Program will provide hands-on activities that explore watersheds in Nebraska.

            The Platte River provides water to major portions of Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming. The modern day Platte is the result of geologic processes caused by retreating glaciers 600,000 to 700,000 years ago and the water management activities that have taken place in the past century. The resulting dams, reservoirs, irrigation canals, and power plants were built primarily as a way of promoting agriculture and settlement in arid areas of the basin and to provide for municipal water, power and flood control.

            Scientists are only now beginning to understand the complex workings of the Platte River and its tributaries. This interconnected system of surface and groundwater is the lifeblood of a natural system that supports myriad plant and animal species, and an economic system that supports hundreds of communities across the region. In the coming decades, new research projects will help unravel the complexities of these natural systems. Our understanding of the geologic and hydrologic histories and present day realities of these systems will evolve just as our reliance on them will increase. For more information on the project, visit http://plattebasintimelapse.com.

            Sunday with a Scientist is a series of presentations that highlight the work of State Museum scientists and those from other UNL departments and institutions, while educating children 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 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.

            The 2013 Sunday with a Scientist calendar of events will be announced soon. For updates on the Sunday with a Scientist schedule through the year, visit www.museum.unl.edu.

            The University of Nebraska State Museum 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. Regular admission is $6 for adults (19 and over), $3 for children (5-18 years, 4 and under are free), and $13 for families (up to two adults and children). UNL staff, faculty, and students are admitted free with NU ID. Friends of the Museum are also free with valid membership card. There is an additional charge for planetarium shows. Parking is free in front of the museum. 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 email.

Writer: Dana Ludvik, Public Relations Coordinator, NU State Museum, 402-472-3779