President's Newsletter

President’s Newsletter – October 2016


Lannutti Lecture Series

The 2016 Lannutti Lecture series will be held on November 2nd and 3rd.  Mark your calendars and plan to attend one or both of the lectures. This year’s presenter is Dr. Robert Williams, who is Astronomer Emeritus at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Williams’ research specialties are nebulae, novae, and emission–line spectroscopy and analysis.  He is a strong advocate for science education and outreach.  He has lectured around the world on recent discoveries from the Hubble Telescope and other forefront facilities on the ground and in space. He was awarded the Beatrice Tinsley Prize of the American Astronomical Society for his leadership of the Hubble Deep Field project, which revealed information about the early universe.  For this project he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. His public Lecture will be November 2nd at 7:00 pm in the College of Medicine auditorium and is entitled “Hubble Space Telescope: Piecing Together the Universe”. The Physics Department Colloquium will be November 3rd at 3:45 PM (with free refreshments starting at 3:15 PM) in the Undergraduate Physics Laboratory, room 101 and is entitled “The Hubble Deep Field and its Legacy”.  The public is invited to the Colloquium as well.

Horizons 2017

The Horizons 2017 series is coming together nicely and it will be a very educational and entertaining schedule.  Tickets will be available by the end of November, so those who might like to purchase tickets as gifts for the holiday season can do so. The season will kick off February 23rd with a presentation by Bruce Means, local naturalist, who will discuss his study of rattlesnakes in our area.  His study is the most comprehensive study of any reptile species in the world.  He will have his book on the study available for sale before the presentation. March 23rd, Dr. Gail Skofronick-Jackson, a highly accomplished and well-regarded NASA scientist, will take the stage at the IMAX theater.  Her area of expertise is measuring climatic changes from space.  She may be able to address our concerns about how global warming will impact our area. Jeffrey Shanks, archeologist for the National Park Service, will bring us details on the newly excavated indigenous site on St Marks Wildlife Refuge, known as Byrd’s Hammock.  The site has been investigated enough to give us an understanding of the inhabitants and their way of life.  April 27th is the date for this event. The speaker on May 17th will be Dr. Don on Chambers, Marine Scientist.  His research focuses on quantifying and understanding sea level variability, especially trying to separate natural climate variability from anthropogenic climate change. You will receive notice when more detailed information is made available on our web page and when tickets become available.  For now, mark your calendars for the dates of the Horizons 2017 events.

STEM Science Festival

For several years, a successful STEM Science Festival has been held at Lake Ella in late summer.  The driving force behind the event was Bill Grace.  Bill has moved away but wanted to ensure that the festival continued.  The Tallahassee Science Society was approached to take a leadership position and so have several other community organizations.  Nothing definite has been decided but your Society sees the festival as fulfilling its mission and will be a part of it in the future.  We may take a leadership role, but in any case, we will be a participant in the festival as we have been the last couple of years.

Science Oriented Field Trips

Your board of directors has been planning a new initiative for the benefit of our members.  The idea has been to offer field trips that have a scientific element, be of interest to our members, and acquaint participants with projects or services in our community.  A committee has been working on ideas for field trips, looking a practical logistics, and lining up a few trips.  Our plans include trips that will be attractive to our youth as well, so these can be a family outing, with the added benefit of encouraging our young citizens to consider a career in science. More will be reported as this endeavor kicks off.  It is the committee’s hope that you will find this project of value to you and your family.  As we go along, the project will be modified by your feedback and adjusted accordingly.

Regional Science & Engineering Fair

Every fall, schools in our area hold their annual science fairs. Many teachers participate in these fairs, helping students develop quality science projects; however, many teachers (and subsequently their students) do not participate. This is because teachers feel overwhelmed and participation in the fair becomes simply one more duty they don’t have the time to undertake. TSS has been advised by those in the know that if teachers had some volunteers to assist them, they may be more likely to have an active science fair at their school. Primarily, they are looking for volunteers to help set up the night before and on the day of the fair (most science fairs take place in late fall). They also need judges and will train on the criteria for judging projects. If you would like to get involved, please contact Shelly Hatton:; 850-661-3803 Bob Henderson, President,; 850-575-6610