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National Seashore 50th Anniversary Celebration to Focus on 50 Years of Science in September

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Date: August 22, 2011
Contact: Mark Adams, 508-487-3262 x 0501
Contact: Judith Oset, 508-487-3262 x 0507

An exhibit, interactive science activities, and public science forum will highlight Cape Cod National Seashore's 50th anniversary celebration in September.

On Saturday, September 10 the National Seashore's science staff will host a Science Fair and Public Science Forum. All activities will be held at Salt Pond Visitor Center and are free, accessible, and sponsored by Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM there will be a Science Fair with interactive science exhibits for children and adults at Salt Pond Visitor Center. Topics include: seafloor mapping with GIS and GPS; kettle pond water quality equipment; tracking turtles and snakes; automated water quality chemistry lab; precise salt marsh elevation measurement for sea level rise; greenhouse experiments in the interaction of crabs, salt marsh grasses, and more.

From 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM there will be a Science Forum with a panel of distinguished scientists and National Park Service staff from the 1970s to the present who will discuss their research experiences at Cape Cod National Seashore. Topics will include the "sea changes" over the years when management and public consensus changed course as a result of scientific results; how scientific questions are formulated; how findings are communicated to the public and National Park Service managers; and how science in the National Park Service has changed over time. Panelists will also take questions from the audience. Panelists will be Graham Giese, coastal geomorphologist with the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies; Mike Soukup, ecologist,former National Park Service Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, and now at the SERC Institute, Acadia National Park ME; Paul Godfrey, plant ecologist, U. Mass, Amherst, Emeritus Professor; Bill Patterson, forest ecologist, U Mass, Amherst; John Masterson, hydrologist, USGS Water Resources Division; Charles Roman, Research Coordinator and Coastal Ecologist, NPS Northeast Region; John Portnoy, ecologist, former Cape Cod National Seashore research scientist; Hilary Neckles, wetland ecologist, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Moderators will be Bill Burke, Cape Cod National Seashore Historian, and Mary Foley, Chief Scientist, National Park Service, Northeast Region.

Also, in recognition of the work of NPS science staff, academic staff, and student researchers since 1961, an exhibition of art and posters will be displayed through the month of September at the Salt Pond Visitor Center. The exhibition is one of several throughout 2011 that will commemorate Cape Cod National Seashore's 50th anniversary. The exhibit highlights big themes of scientific findings that have driven the seashore's polices and management plans, including a better understanding of ecological links, wetlands productivity, groundwater, landscape change and coastal processes, as well as the new technologies used to study the resources in the long term to anticipate change and prevent degradation of the National Seashore's resource values.

If you go: Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at the intersection of Route 6 and Nauset Road in Eastham and is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5 PM.The center includes a lobby with expansive views of Salt Pond, Nauset Marsh, and the Atlantic; a museum featuring the park's natural and cultural stories; staff to assist with trip planning, and a store with books, maps, puzzles, games, t-shirts, and 50th anniversary commemorative items. There are short films shown throughout the day. The Buttonbush and Nauset Marsh Trails, and the Nauset Bike Trail are located nearby. For more information on Cape Cod National Seashore programs visit the park's website, www.nps.gov/caco. Follow us on Twitter @CapeCodNPS.

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Did You Know?

Marconi Wireless Station, circa 1903

In 1903, Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first transatlantic wireless message from the United States to Great Britain from Cape Cod.