Stars, oceans focus of talks in Forks starting Saturday

The Olympic Natural Resources Center will host a mobile planetarium Saturday, and on Sept. 13, a talk will be given on ocean acidification and algal blooms.

FORKS — The Olympic Natural Resources Center will host the University of Washington’s Astronomy Program, complete with the Mobile Planetarium, on Saturday.

On Sept. 13, an Evening Talk at the center at 1455 S. Forks Ave., will be on Ocean Acidification and Harmful Algal Blooms on the Washington Coasts with the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography’s Parker MacCready.

Programs are free, funded through the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund. Refreshments will be served and a potluck of favorite desserts is encouraged.


During Saturday’s interactive program, University of Washington graduate students from the Department of Astronomy will lead a science-based experience to discover more about the skies above.

Two programs are planned: a family-focused program from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and a program specifically for adults from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both afternoon and evening programs will be in the Hemlock Forest Room.

The planetarium shows are about 20 minutes long so groups of people can cycle through the performances or come back in for a repeat viewing.

In addition to the planetarium show there will be other activities, including a PowerPoint presentation and the use of a telescope.

The afternoon session will include child-focused presentations and activities, while the evening session will include more in-depth presentations.


The volunteer presenters are Rodrigo Luger, John Lurie, Margaret Lazzarini, Phoebe Sanderbeck and Diana Windemuth.

Luger is a fifth-year doctoral student searching for planets around other stars and trying to understand whether they might be habitable.

His interest is in binary systems and the structure of the Milky Way.

Lazzarini is a second-year doctoral student focusing on high-energy astronomy, currently working to categorize the X-ray source population in Andromeda.

Sanderbeck is a fifth-year doctoral student whose research forces on the physics of the early universe.

Windemuth is a fourth-year graduate student working on detecting and characterizing extra-solar planets orbiting binary stars.

The planetarium’s dome, created by the company Go-Dome, is an inflatable room resembling an igloo.

About 10 feet high and 20 feet across, the dome can fit about two dozen viewers.

It is a fully functional planetarium that offers many of the same images as the high-tech planetarium located on university campus.

The planetarium runs Microsoft Research’s World Wide Telescope software on a laptop computer.

A large hemispherical mirror projects the high-density image from the back of the dome across three-quarters of its interior.

Sept. 13 talk

On Sept. 13, MacCready will speak beginning at 7 p.m. in the Hemlock Forest Room.

The coastal waters of Washington are highly productive because of the upwelling of nutrients.

However that same upwelling also brings water that is naturally more acidic than surface waters offshore, according to MacCready.

This combined with ocean acidification because of increased carbon dioxide has caused serious problems for shellfish growers because larval oysters often cannot survive the corrosive conditions.

Another threat, especially for razor clams, is the harmful algal blooms that often close beaches to shellfish harvesting.

MacCready will describe a new tool to respond to these issues: the LiveOcean daily forecast model. LiveOcean makes a three-day forecast of ocean conditions every day, much like a weather model, including biological and chemical properties.

MacCready has been on the faculty at the UW School of Oceanography since 1994, specializing in the physics of ocean circulation in coastal and estuarine regions.

He collaborates with chemists and biologists to build computer models of ocean circulation and biogeochemistry.

He received his doctorate in 1991 from UW, a master’s from California Institute of Technology in 1986, and is an author listed on more than 50 publications.

More in News

U.S. Air Force veteran Robert Reinking, left, receives a lapel pin from Holly Rowan, president of the Clallam County Veterans Association, during a Vietnam Veteran Commemorative Ceremony on Wednesday at the Northwest Veterans Resource Center in Port Angeles. A total of 22 Vietnam veterans and six surviving spouses of veterans were honored with pins and certificates in an event sponsored by the veterans association and the Michael Trebert Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Veterans lauded in Port Angeles

U.S. Air Force veteran Robert Reinking, left, receives a lapel pin from… Continue reading

Danny G. Brewer
Active search suspended for Sequim man

The active search for a 73-year-old man reported missing south… Continue reading

Interest high in housing facility

Dawn View Court to open in April

Savanna Hoglund of Spokane takes a photo of her son, Lincoln Hoglund, 2, as hit sits on a wooden cougar sculpture in the Discovery Room on Tuesday at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles. The center features a variety of displays that provide a sampling of what can be found within the park, as well as interactive exhibits for children. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Park exhibit

Savanna Hoglund of Spokane takes a photo of her son, Lincoln Hoglund,… Continue reading

Port Townsend City Council approves zoning changes

Reforms seek to increase housing density

A crew from Jefferson County Public Utility District works to replace an old pole with a new one on the corner of Scott and Lawrence streets on Monday in Port Townsend. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Replacing a pole

A crew from Jefferson County Public Utility District works to replace an… Continue reading

Clallam County to provide PUD with funding

Rescue Plan dollars to aid water quality

Port of Port Townsend considers hiring second engineer for projects

Agency has $47M capital budget, faces ‘unprecedented’ volume

Most Read