EAP: A Pacific Adventure in a Gooney Bird

Evening at PARI: A Pacific Adventure in a Gooney Bird

Please join us on Friday, March 9th, as we welcome Lieutenant Colonel William David Clarke III, USAF (retired) to our campus. Lieutenant Colonel Clarke’s presentation will cover his amazing 13-day adventure in June 1966 across the Pacific to Saigon in a 35 year-old twin engine Gooney Bird aircraft (one of 53 Puff the Magic Dragon gunships deployed to support efforts in the Vietnam War). Prior to the presentation, we invite our guests to enjoy a relaxing dinner from 5:30pm – 7:00pm at PARI’s new restaurant, Smiley’s. At the conclusion of the presentation, guests will enjoy a campus tour and trip to PARI’s exhibit galleries. Weather permitting, the evening will conclude with a trip to our Sky Deck, where PARI astronomers and volunteers will point out the constellations and use PARI’s telescopes to view the night sky.

“We are extremely excited to have Lieutenant Colonel Clarke as our special guest for the evening.” said PARI Director of Learning Experiences Christi Whitworth. “This is certain to be one of our most entertaining Evening at PARI programs, so we encourage everyone in the family to attend.”

The event will take place regardless of the weather, so attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately and wear comfortable walking shoes. Each participant will also have the opportunity to have a photo taken with a PARI telescope and will receive a subscription to the PARI newsletter.

Reservations are required and will be accepted until 3:00 p.m. the day of the event. The cost is $20 per adult ($35 including dinner), $15 for seniors/military ($30 including dinner), $5 per child ages 6-10 ($13 including dinner). Children 5 and under are admitted free (dinner is free). Register and pay using the PARI Event Calendar at www.pari.edu or call (828) 862-5554. For additional information contact Chelena Blythe at cblythe@nullpari.edu.

2018 Fellowship Program

2018 PARI Fellowships

PARI is currently accepting applications for our 2018 Fellowship Program.  PARI will award three scientific study experiences for undergraduates: The J. Donald Cline, Jo Cline and Jim Falls Fellowships (please see full descriptions below).  The Fellowships will offer students an opportunity to become a vital member of the team as they assist in key scientific study roles within the PARI organization. To apply, complete our online application by March 16, 2018. Please contact John Holloway at jholloway@nullpari.edu for additional details or questions.

2018 PARI Science Fellowships

An undergraduate student with a fellowship at PARI becomes part of the research team, contributing original studies in science, technology engineering, math, earth and environmental science, and photographic plate archiving.  In 2018, PARI is offering three science fellowships for undergraduates, although we may post additional opportunities by the end of February, 2018 on our website.  The fellowships are eight weeks and will occur in the months of May, June, July and August.  Any student may apply if they meet the following requirements: full-time rising sophomore, junior, or senior in the 2018-19 academic years; a US citizen; GPA of 3.0 or higher; a major or minor in physics, astronomy, engineering, technology, mathematics, earth science or science education.  Fellowships receive a $2500 stipend*, meal vouchers for PARI’s restaurant, plus room**.  Details for the internship positions are given below.

(* A minimum of 320 hours must be met for full stipend amount.)

(** PARI accommodations will include a shared room(s) with other Fellows on campus during their stay.)

For more information, contact:

John Holloway
Managing Director
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
One PARI Drive
Rosman, NC 28772
Office: 828-862-5554 Ext. 720
e-mail: jholloway@nullpari.edu

In addition to the research associated with each mission, the students also assist with high school summer resident education programs, including the Duke Talent Identification Program Summer Field Study in Astronomy, Physics, and Astrobiology. All students also assist with public outreach programs involving science education programs for all ages. Occasionally, students may be asked to perform tasks with the staff outside of their core field such as crowd control and parking during events, offloading a large shipment, representing PARI at an event or an exposition, and other such short-term tasks. Fellows’ weekly schedules and work hours will be determined by the mentor(s).

The three fellowships are in honor of the three people listed below (including additional requirements for each fellowship):

Donald Cline Fellowship: May 13 – July 6, 2018
Polaris Photometry Investigation
– The Fellow will use an observational telescope to collect and store image data of the northern sky including Polaris. A dedicated telescope at PARI will image this area nightly for the numerous images needed for this process. The image data will be analyzed for magnitude of Polaris as compared to other stars in the field.  The Fellow will create a light curve of Polaris’s variations in magnitude over the 8 week period of the Fellowship term, write up the results of the analysis of the curve and build a poster for this process and analysis to be presented at the 223rd American Astronomical Society meeting to be presented in Seattle, Washington during January 6-10 2019. Air travel, food and hotel accommodations will be included.

Jo Cline Fellowship: May 29 – July 20, 2018
Scientific Instrument Interface Developer – this mission focuses on existing PARI instruments to include some if not all of the following: weather stations, lightning detectors, a geomagnetometer, a seismometer and possibly other systems. The goal is to understand the reporting and communication structure of these instruments and author programs to capture their data and store it so that it may be incorporated into a software package such as Excel. If time permits, the programs will also detect when instruments have stopped logging and will post a notification so the staff knows to attend to the instrument.

Jim Falls Fellowship: June 10 – August 3, 2018

Science Data Analyst
– this mission utilizes PARI instruments and archived data. The student will learn the operation of weather stations, lightning detectors, a geomagnetometer, a seismometer and possibly other systems. Working with a PARI mentor and other students, the goal is to capture historic raw data and capture the data into a package such as Excel in a way that the data can be managed, manipulated, sorted, searched and graphed.

All Fellows must complete a report and poster for the North Carolina Astronomer’s Meeting in September (travel not provided). The J. Donald Cline Fellowship will also require an additional poster completed for the annual American Astronomical Society meeting (travel provided).

Of the missions listed above, three will be selected depending upon PARI’s needs and our ability to match our missions to applicant’s abilities.

Please note additional Summer internships will be posted in the upcoming months.  Stay connected with us on social media and pari.edu for upcoming details.


PARI Awarded IMLS Grant

PARI Awarded IMLS Grant

PARI has been awarded a Museums for America Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The $24,475.00 grant comes as a direct result of an APDA (Astronomical Photographic Data Archive) Stewardship Proposal by PARI Consultants Dr. Mike Castelaz and Thurburn Barker. The funds from the grant will help develop a standards-based EAD3 compliant online digital finding aid that links to APDA’s online public access digital catalog of astronomical plates and films for research, education, interpretation, publication, and study.

“With support from the Institute of Museums and Library Services we will be able to make the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at PARI visible to the world. Astronomers anywhere in the world can access finding aids describing the contents of APDA, request which of the 50 collections of ~340,000 astronomical photographic glass plates and films may contain images of celestial objects they are studying,” says Dr. Mike Castelaz. “This new database resource is critical for APDA’s recognition as one of the largest collections of astronomical photographic data in the world. We are very excited by the receipt of the IMLS grant and greatly appreciate their confidence in our work.”

This year IMLS received 558 applications requesting $104,538,159. Of these, 132 projects were selected to receive funding totaling $19,189,929. IMLS’s peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete grant applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program and project category. IMLS staff presented this information to the IMLS Director, Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, who then made the final funding decisions.

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said Dr. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”


Stargaze at PARI

Public invited to SkyTrek stargazing events

Join PARI astronomers the first and third weekends of every month as they gaze skyward and point out the prominent features of the night sky. Use PARI telescopes or bring your own. The night skies are constantly changing, so come often and bring the entire family.  Before our Saturday sessions, enjoy dinner a delicious buffet dinner at our new restaurant, Smiley’s!

Reservations are required and will be accepted until 3:00 p.m. the day of the event. The cost is $15 per person (optional dinner not included in the event fee). Children 10 and under are admitted free. Register and pay using the website Event Calendar or call (828) 862-5554. If inclement weather prevents the outdoor observations, this program will be cancelled and registrants will be notified by 4 p.m. the day of the event. PARI will apply any payment toward another evening special program or provide a refund upon request.

15 Carat Emerald now on Display

One of NC’s largest faceted emeralds now on display

North Carolina is the only state in the U.S. where large gem-grade emeralds are found. The 15-carat faceted specimen currently on display in the PARI Exhibit Gallery is one of the largest ever cut.

The PARI collection also includes hundreds of other museum-grade specimens from North Carolina and other sites around the world.

The meteorite section of the Gallery includes a specimen from 1492 that is a piece of the very first meteorite documented to have fallen to earth. The Gallery includes meteorite specimens that have been gathered from around the world and includes pieces of Mars and the Earth’s Moon.

Located in the Cline Administration Building, the Exhibit Gallery is open 9-4 Monday through Saturday and is included as part of the campus general admission fee: $6 per person ($18 max per family), children 10 and under free.