ESSIC gears up for Maryland Day 2012

ESSIC hopes to make another great splash at this year’s University of Maryland “Maryland Day,” with an interactive exhibit and scientific demonstrations.

The event is a yearly chance for the communities of greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to connect with the University of Maryland, through exhibits, workshops, performances and more.

It’s also an opportunity for current and prospective University of Maryland students, faculty, and staff to learn more about the university, and for UMD ESSIC, it’s an opportunity to further its community outreach efforts.

For more than a decade, the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center has participated in the Maryland Day event, presenting exhibit themes like hurricanes, the Chesapeake Bay and aerosols over China.

As with previous years, ESSIC plans to engage the public with hands-on demonstrations, discussions about sea surface temperature and presentations on the ever popular (and newly upgraded) ESSIC Magic Planet. ESSIC scientists will also be on-hand to answer visitors’ earth science questions and supervise activities.

And of course, there will be a multitude of souvenirs, including pins, calendars, stickers, postcards, multi-colored Frisbees (stamped with the NEW ESSIC website URL), make-your-own weather satellite booklets, a Hurricane Katrina, cloud charts, as well as posters provided by NASA and NOAA.

Lynn Harbinson, a representative from the Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education Assessment and Research(MADE-CLEAR), will be joining ESSIC again this year, with Chesapeake Bay posters.

The ESSIC display will be located this year at the Earth Science tent (in front of the Glenn L. Martin Building), which is part of “Science and Tech Way” on Campus Drive. The tent, which is about 60-by-40 feet, will house ESSIC, the Mathematics Department, and the Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Department.

According to ESSIC event co-organizer Maureen Cribb, the ESSIC exhibit will be available from about 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with the biggest crowds anticipated during the morning hours.

Cribb, who’s involvement with ESSIC’s Maryland Day dates back to 2001, found her first experience with the event to be a great vehicle for meeting new colleagues and acclimating to the area.

“I’d just moved to the university, and I thought it would be a good way to meet people in the department,” said Cribb. “It gave me a feel for the community.”

Cribb, who is co-organizing the ESSIC event with Center Assistant Director Andy Negri again this year, stated that Negri typically sends out a “call for volunteers” email message about a week before the event.  ESSIC volunteers will be required for event set-up, exhibit staffing during the event and the break-down of the exhibit at the event’s conclusion.

Professor and ESSIC Executive Director Raghu Murtugudde said he continues to volunteer at Maryland Day for the opportunity to highlight ESSIC’s research and to expose current and prospective students to various aspects of the University of Maryland.

“For me, Maryland Day is part of education  not only for our [department’s] students, but also for students of other departments and future students. So when parents come, they expose their kids to the university,” Murtugudde said. “We want to highlight what we do, so it’s not only educational, but it also includes research because we show what we’re doing for things like global warming and climate change.”

Cribb also mentioned that UMD employees who have volunteered at Maryland Day for 10+ years, will receive a special commemorative pin and a personal thank you letter from University of Maryland President, Wallace D. Loh.  And as you can see from the included image at the top of this article, President Loh is no stranger to the ESSIC exhibit at Maryland Day!


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Visitors look at the Magic Planet sphere at the ESSIC Maryland Day 2011 exhibit.

ESSIC Maryland Day imagery from previous years:
(courtesy of M.Cribb)

ESSIC and Maryland Day 2005

ESSIC and Maryland Day 2006

ESSIC and Maryland Day 2007

ESSIC and Maryland Day 2008

ESSIC and Maryland Day 2009

ESSIC and Maryland Day 2010

ESSIC and Maryland Day 2011