It’s Earth Day!!

2017-04-22 15:23:08.000 – Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT Specialist

 

Earth Day is a day to recognize the environment and raise awareness about pollution. The first Earth Day was in 1970 and was created after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was the first to propose a national teach-in on the environment because of all the disregard for the environment. Originally, the earth day protest were geared towards college students so April 22nd was between spring break and final exams. This protest actually brought many different types of people together including Democrats and Republicans, leading to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From 1970 to 1990, it was just an event that was recognized in the United States, but in 1990, Earth day became recognized internationally.  

This year, the March for Science has been organized to bring recognition to the importance of science in political decision making and the creation of policies. I personally would have attended a local rally if I was off of the summit because I enjoy learning now things and solving problems, thus the reason I got a degree in a scientific field! I hope this event will help inspire people as well as well as help increase funding for all sciences. Most research that is done takes years to finalize the results and so it is difficult to fund a project where the results are not immediate. The outcome of the project may not support the initial hypothesis proposed but disproving a hypothesis is still a scientific discovery, even though it may be seen as a waste of money. One thing that has come about recently is crowd funding and it will be interesting to see how that evolves in the future. Here at the observatory, due to how expensive operations are, we have been crowd funding for many years with our membership to help support the research we do! Thank you to all who are members of the Observatory!

Since it is earth day, what are some of the things that we do to help lessen our impact on the environment? We are on top of a mountain in a delicate environment so we must be careful in everything that we do to prevent damaging the ecosystem as much as possible. One thing is that we pack away all of our trash and take it down the mountain and separate out all the recyclables. The Sherman Adams Building was switched to grid power not too long ago so there are not generators running constantly anymore, but still used in the case of a power failure. We also do educational programs that teach about the climate. The Weather Discovery Center has a large solar array on the roof that produces quite a bit of power, you can check out the data here! One thing that I do personally, during the summer, I will usually try and get out for a small hike once a day. While on that hike I make sure to stay on the trail and not walk onto the alpine tundra. I also will pick up any trash that I find along the trail to try and keep the summit slightly cleaner.

  

 

Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT Specialist

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