Story Preservation Initiative®

Preserving the Stories of Our Lives by capturing the voices, words, and meanderings of artists, scientists, writers, poets, musicians, and eyewitnesses to history. Listen, learn, and be amazed! WEB: www.storypreservation.org

Archive for ‘February, 2013’

The Forest Dumbledore

Called “The Forest Dumbledore” by Elizabeth Royte in a New York Times Book Review, Bernd Heinrich is considered by many to be the finest naturalist author now living. He has written about topics from bumblebees to raven behavior to the natural history of running. He is the author of eighteen books on the natural world and a frequent contributor to publications such as the New York Times, Scientific American, and Audubon.

In yet another New York Times review, David Quammen writes that “Heinrich has a rare ability to embed dense scientific explications within graceful, lightfooted nature writing. . . . The mind of Bernd Heinrich is a big, antic thing, like a raven, and meant to live outdoors.”

Add to this the fact that Bernd Heinrich is an ultra-marathoner.  He won numerous long distance running events and set a number of open U.S ultra-marathon and masters (40+) records throughout the 1980s. In his book Why We Run: A Natural History, Heinrich reflected on the sport of running as a scientist, and recounted his performance in the 100- kilometer race that ushered in his ultra-marathon career.

Heinrich studied at the University of Maine and UCLA, and is professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont. He divides his time between Vermont and the forests of western Maine.

To Listen to Bernd, click on the links below:

https://storypreservation.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/01-track-01-35.mp3

 

Copyright Story Preservation Initiative.  All rights reserved.

 

Stories Matter

A Conversation With Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell

Jonathan McDowell

What follows is taken from Jonathan’s self-described “Stuffy Biographical Summary.”

Dr. Jonathan McDowell is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA. A staff member of the Chandra X-ray Center, he studies black holes, quasars and X-ray sources in galaxies, as well as developing data analysis software for the X-ray astronomy community. Dr. McDowell has a B.A in Mathematics (1981) and a Ph.D in Astrophysics (1986) from the University of Cambridge, England, and has previously worked at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the Jodrell Bank radio observatory and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

The asteroid (4589) McDowell was named after him in 1993.

In our upcoming conversation, Jonathan will guide me (with a great deal of patience, I might add) and, ultimately you, through subjects that skirt the outer boundaries of human understanding.  Such things as what we have recently come to know about the universe, what these findings mean, and what we are seeking to discover.

We will touch on various subjects ranging from the history – and future – of the space program, to the search for black holes and understanding why we all are, in fact, made of stardust.

Jonathan will kindly walk me through the paces at the Harvard Observatory and I will have the distinct pleasure of viewing an exhibit of Jonathan’s photos of deep space.

Take a look “Behind the Science” 

http://www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/evolving-universe/science/prism.html

To listen to Jonathan, click on links below: 

https://storypreservation.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/01-track-01-intro-to-recording.mp3

Copyright Story Preservation Initiative 2012.  All rights reserved.

 

To inquire about Story Preservation Initiative Oral Histories in the Classroom, email us at: edu@storypreservation.net

Orion – A Star is Born, photo courtesy The Evolving Universe / Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

The Observable Universe

The Observable Universe – photo courtesy The Evolving Universe / Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

The Helix Nebula, Star Death - photo courtesy The Evolving Universe / Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
The Helix Nebula, Star Death – photo courtesy The Evolving Universe / Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

The Layout of the Galaxy - photo courtesy The Evolving Universe / Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
The Layout of the Galaxy – photo courtesy The Evolving Universe / Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory