PUBLIC INVITED TO FRIENDS OF PARI ANNUAL MEETING
(October 7, 2013) – Friends of PARI, the volunteer group supporting the mission and programs of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, will host its Annual Meeting Friday, October 25. This year the event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the PARI site and will feature a keynote presentation by nationally known space advocate Ed Buckbee, who will share firsthand knowledge and anecdotes of space exploration and milestones of the U.S. space program. Friends of PARI members will also be treated to behind the scenes tours of the renovated Research Building, StarLab planetarium programs and project demonstrations by students, researchers and PARI staff. Current Friends of PARI members and anyone wanting to join the organization are welcome.
“Most of the activities and programs at PARI involve volunteers in one way or another,” said Friends of PARI President Alex Alexander, “and membership in our volunteer association is open to all ages and interest levels. Our activities include conducting tours, assisting with events, supervising students on campus, cataloging and researching items in the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive and the Exhibit Gallery, installation and maintenance of equipment and instruments, and a host of other tasks that are vital to the operation of PARI and its mission. I encourage anyone who is interested in education, science or the history of this fascinating site to find out more about what we do and how to become involved. All are welcome and all are appreciated.”
The keynote speaker, Ed Buckbee, has been associated with the U.S. space program for five decades. He began his space career in 1959 when America’s first Mercury astronauts were selected. Buckbee attended the launches of Alan Shepard and John Glenn and was present when the Apollo astronauts lifted off for the Moon landings. Among his many accomplishments, in 1961 Buckbee was selected to work with rocket scientist Wernher von Braun at NASA’s newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center and was later named by von Braun to be the first director of the Alabama Space & Rocket Center. As a NASA public affairs officer, he worked with all the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts.
Annual memberships in Friends of PARI range from $50 for an annual associate membership to the benefactor level for contributions over $5,000. Anyone who joins Friends of PARI, at any level, is eligible to attend the annual meeting at no additional charge. Anyone wishing to join Friends of PARI can do so by clicking the DONATE button on the PARI web site, www.pari.edu. Any member wishing to attend the annual meeting can register via the web site or contact Dr. David Clavier at 828-862-5554 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a public not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) foundation established in 1998. Located in the Pisgah National Forest 30 miles southwest of Asheville, NC, the PARI campus was selected in 1962 by NASA as the site for one of the first U.S. satellite tracking facilities. Today, the 200 acre campus houses radio and optical telescopes, earth science instruments, 30 buildings, a fulltime staff and all the infrastructure necessary to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and research. PARI offers educational programs at all levels, from K-12 through post-graduate research.
PARI is home to the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive and a member of the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative. PARI’s Exhibit Gallery displays a collection of rare meteorites as well as NASA Space Shuttle artifacts, many of which have flown in space. For more information about PARI and its programs, visit www.pari.edu. Follow PARI on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Astronomy_PARI. “Like” PARI on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Pisgah.Astronomical.Research.Institute.