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|August 27 - September 2, 2009
NCAR publishes solar study
The Boulder-based National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has released the results of its new study on the links between the solar cycle, stratosphere and oceanic connections. The study, titled “Amplifying the Pacific climate sysem response to a small 11-year solar cycle forcing,” appears this week in the journal Science. The research is aimed at helping scientists to predict the intensity of major weather phenomena, such as tropical Pacific rainfalls and Indian monsoons, years in advance.
The study sought to understand the effect of small variations in the solar cycle on the Earth’s weather patterns. To study this meteorological question, NCAR scientists used more than a century’s worth of weather observations combined with three developed computer modules.
The findings of the study indicate that this effect has much to do with the Sun’s impact on chemicals found in the stratosphere, as well as sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. In essence, it ascertrains that the sun, stratosphere and oceans are linked in ways that influence global weather, says NCAR scientist Gerald Meehl in a statement from the center. Meehl is also the lead author on the study and notes the effect studies such as this can have on meteorological awareness.
“Understanding the role of the solar cycle can provide added insight as scientists work toward predicting regional weather patterns for the next couple of years,” he says.
The study builds on other recent papers by NCAR scientists and colleagues and was funded by the National Science Foundation.
“Amplifying the Pacific climate system response to a small 11-year solar cycle forcing” can be found in the Aug. 28 publication of Science. For more information on it or other projects at NCAR, visit www.ucar.edu.
Men’s program gets coordinator
Boulder-based nonprofit Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) has hired a new coordinator for its men’s prevention program. David Hinojosa now heads Men Standing Up: Taking Action Against Sexual Assault, MESA’s program aimed specifically at men. Men Standing Up works in conjunction with MESA’s other programs and survivor services through presentations on the topic of preventing sexual assault, sexual harassment and dating abuse. The group is also responsible for a variety of outreach activities in the Boulder community.
Hinojosa is a student at the University of Colorado and is also a co-founder and leader of a men’s group on the CU-Boulder campus known as Masculinity Think Tank (MTT), an organization dedicated to understanding and examining the role of masculinity in sexual assaults, particularly in the university environment. He is the first paid male staff member in MESA’s 37-year history.
For information on the program or volunteer opportunities, please call 303-443-0400, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Training for new Men Standing Up volunteers will take place on Sept. 21.
New Swine Flu guidelines
On Aug. 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new information and guidance about the H1N1 virus known as swine flu. The information is coupled with recommendations for people, businesses and institutions concerning the virus.
Based on data from current H1N1 cases and potential cases, the CDC is recommending that state colleges and universities specifically take extra precautions and tweak their emergency planning to include the virus.
“We know from our summer experience with the H1N1 virus that college-aged students are at a higher risk for this illness, so it’s especially important for colleges and universities to be well prepared in terms of their strategies for combating flu on their campuses,” said Chief Medical Officer for Colorado Ned Calonge in a press release issued by the CDC.
Symptoms for the virus are similar to typical influenza symptoms and include high fever. It is suggested that any school faculty, staff member or student experiencing flu-like illness stay in their home, dormitory or other residence until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever of 100 degrees F or higher.
From the end of April through Aug. 15 of this year, four cases of H1N1 were confirmed in Boulder County, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.
In terms of prevention, the CDC suggests that individuals wash their hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid those with respiratory illnesses. Those interested in a H1N1 vaccine should contact Boulder County Public Health at 303-441-1100. For more information on H1N1, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website at www.cdphe.state.co.us or www.flu.gov.
There is an abundance of great artistic talent in the Front Range and for good reason — what better inspiration is there than the beautiful Rocky Mountain landscape that surrounds us? With that in mind, Estes Park will celebrate its annual Estes Park Plein Air (EPPA) festival on Aug. 27-29.
The EPPA invites local and national artists to the Colorado Rockies to create artwork based on their natural surroundings. Artists are allowed to create their work during a limited time frame (this year’s start date was Aug. 15) and using any medium.
Artists must, however, paint on location and choose a subject within a 50-mile radius that includes Rocky Mountain National Park, St. Vrain and Big Thompson River canyons and the people and places of Estes Park. Artwork must be turned in by Aug. 28, when it will be assessed and displayed for the Aug. 29 gallery exhibition. The exhibition, located at two Estes Park art galleries, will be on display for public view and purchase until Sept. 30. A gala reception and awards ceremony for the judged artists will take place at 4 p.m. on Aug. 29.
In addition, the EPPA will host a series of other events throughout the weekend. Included are Aug. 27 Paint Our Town event, which will feature more than 50 artists painting downtown activities as they occur; an Aug. 28 prelude which showcases typical EPPA work; and the Aug. 29 Quick Draw, where artists paint live models in a fast-paced 90-minute competition. For more information on the EPPA, visit www.estesarts.com, or call 970-586-9203.
On Aug. 29, you can watch as men chase women in skirts through the streets of Denver — or you can do the running/chasing yourself. The SkirtChaser 5K is an annual racing event that takes a different approach on the battle of the sexes. Launched by Boulder-based SkirtSports, an athletic apparel line that markets running skirts to women, the SkirtChaser 5K invites both men and women of all physical abilities to walk or run a 5K race. The format gives women a head start above the men, and with several of the ladies donning running skirts, men must literally chase the skirts to get ahead. The first person, male or female, to cross the finish line snags a $500 prize.
Regardless of who wins, all participants can enjoy a block party at the finish line that will include live entertainment, food, drinks (including beer from Oskar Blues), wild awards and a scandalous fashion show.
Charity runners are encouraged, and pledge forms are available online. To participate, visit Outdoor Divas (1133 Pearl St., 303-449-3482), or visit www.skirtchaser5k.com/denver/.
Prairie dog mitigation
The city of Boulder has plans to mitigate specific populations of prairie dogs after observations from Parks and Recreation staff members. Prairie dogs have been observed in areas west and north of Foothills Community Park, located at 800 Cherry Avenue in Boulder, encroaching on a detention pond and multi-use fields of the park. According to statements released from Boulder’s urban wildlife conservation coordinator Valeria Matheson, the prairie dogs have been expanding at an average rate of 12 feet per day in the past few weeks.
To help with the issue of encroachment, the city of Boulder is using non-lethal passive relocation efforts. This type of passive relocation deters the use of certain burrows by the prairie dogs. Temporary barriers are being created to deter prairie dogs from utilizing newly expanded colonies and to encourage them to return to their main colonies not in the developed park. The city has also advised users of Foothills Community Park to remain on established trails through the prairie dog colonies.
Open green buildings meetings
In an attempt to reduce energy usage and the carbon footprint of commercial buildings, the International Code Council recently launched an International Green Construction Code (IGCC). The models within the code are focused on such aspects of building design and performance and green building standards. The code is a collaborative effort by both the ICC, as well as the American Institute of Architects (AIA). To help guide and develop the first drafts of these codes, there will be a series of meetings in Denver on Aug. 27-29.
According to IGCC, approximately 40 percent of the nation’s carbon footprint is produced by buildings.
The meetings are open to the public, and will be held at the Doubletree Hotel (3203 Quebec St., Denver) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Aug. 27-28 and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 29. For more information, visit iccsafe.org/IGCC.
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