Dr. Robert Ballard has been exploring the ocean since 1959. His discoveries have led to new scientific theories in geology, biology and chemistry. He has also uncovered shipwrecks and pieces of history in the waters of the world. Much of this work has been made possible by new technologies that include use of telepresence to explore the ocean floor. Exploration and science is shared to young people through the JASON project. Dr. Ballard will be speaking at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the Roland Hayes Auditorium on Thursday, February 16th at 11:00 am and also to a sold out crowd at the Tennessee Aquarium in the evening.
With groundhog day fast approaching the Tennessee Aquarium has put together their own weather forecasting team. Weather folklore and anecdotes abound using changes in animal behavior to announce coming storms or changing seasons and several of the animals at the Tennessee Aquarium are connected to weather folklore. Chattanooga Chuck is the Scenic City’s star on groundhog day and this year he has the weather forecasting talents of Brooke Trout, Larry Lobster, Terry Treefrog, Sandie Shark, and Harry Tarantula to join him. On Thursday February 2nd Chattanooga Chuck will make an appearance at the Tennessee Aquarium at 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.
The gentoo and macaroni penguins at the Tennessee Aquarium are ready to party and each day from December 26th through January 8th they will party with you. Activities in front of the penguin exhibit at the aquarium include making your own penguin feet and colored bands so you can dress like the penguins. The Tennessee Aquarium’s penguin mascots will be at the party to dance along. Penguin parties are scheduled daily from 10 to 11 am at the Ocean’s Journey building. The special Party with the Penguins package includes admission to the Tennessee Aquarium and tickets to the IMax theater to see Happy Feet Two in 3D.
Juliet Eilperin is an environmental reporter with the Washington Post and author of Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks. Her book takes a look at the history of mankind’s interaction with these deep sea predators from the honored status of gods to the modern image of a feared predator. Sharks have been hunted to near extinction for sport, food, or out of an unrealistic fear of a cold blooded killer. Through Demon Fish, Eilperin takes the reader along with her as she travels the globe and looks at the world of the misunderstood shark. Juliet Eilperin is the guest speaker at the Tennessee Aquarium on November 17, 2011 from 7:00 to 9:30 pm.
The annual Cast Iron Cookoff at the Chattanooga Market is Sunday, September 25. Local chefs will compete in the cook off with celebrity chef Alton Brown performing as Master of Ceremony. The contestants are given the main ingredient and have to shop at the Chattanooga Market for everything they will need to complete the meal. The Tennessee Aquarium’s Serve and Protect program is the focus for this event spreading awareness of sustainable seafood options.
The Harte Research Institute was established by a $46 million endowment from Ed Harte to study the Gulf of Mexico. The Harte Institute combines marine biologist and geologist with economists and specialists in marine law and policy to delve into a comprehensive view of the state of the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Larry McKinney, Director of the Harte Marine Institute visited the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga last April. Part of his lecture focused on the health of the Gulf of Mexico after the Deep Horizon oil spill of April 2010. The status of the Gulf of Mexico is impacted by more than just oil rigs. Runoff from the heartland of American ends up fouling the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the Harte Institute, over 280 trillion gallons of freshwater makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico through more than 150 different river and water systems in the United States. Runoff from agriculture and fertilizing home lawns all ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. Even prescription medications flushed into the sewer system may eventually end up polluting the waters of the Gulf
While visiting Chattanooga Dr. McKinney enjoyed the Secret Reef exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium that was designed based on the Flower Garden Banks. Dr. McKinney also enjoyed the rivers and lakes that make this region such a beautiful place to live. The health of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary located in the Gulf of Mexico is an indicator of the overall health of the Gulf.
The New River Market opens on March 19th, 2011 and will host 40+ vendors, mostly arts, crafts and horticulture and available agriculture, writes the Chattanooga Market. Early birds can enjoy local farm fare from 9 to 11 am and a free yoga clinic at 10am on the Plaza led by Chattanooga Yoga Collective. Live music will be presented by Chattanooga’s own, New Binkley Brothers and the afternoon can be spent perusing local arts and crafts.
Here’s what Frommer’s says about the Chattanooga Market:
Since opening in 2001, Chattanooga‘s seasonal Sunday market has been one of the region’s best places to find hand-blown glass necklaces, homemade salsas, organic fruits and vegetables, and artwork sculpted from recycled materials. To ensure home-grown authenticity, the market requires all 350 active vendors to be both the sole producers and retailers of their goods.
Some of the market’s best features are their weekly themes, which have included an Oktoberfest celebration and a Father’s Day Brew & Bluegrass. The season finale (held each December) is always an art-centric holiday market.
Where: Chattanooga When: Sundays (May-December); Organizers also host a Chattanooga River Market on Saturdays.
Groundhog day comes only once a year but all kinds of animals provide signs that the weather is about to change. In this interview experts from the Tennessee Aquarium share weather folklore and fact in celebration of Groundhog Day. Many of the proverbs we looked into were documented in a Journal by General William Babcock Hazen, a civil war general who went on to become head of the fledgling United States Weather Service in 1880.
Communications Manager Thom Benson provided this report direct from the Tennessee Aquarium.
Chattanooga Chuck’s 2011 Groundhog Day Forecast
Predicting the weather is said to be a groundhog’s calling,
but other animals may know when the barometer’s falling.
Before causing spring fever or winter delirium,
I checked with my pals at the Tennessee Aquarium.
The catfish had unusually thick belly skin,
a sign of cold winter to a woodchuck’s chagrin.
The sharks were all smiles and seemed to behave,
It’s said they go to sea before a cold wave.
Hundreds of butterflies thought my plight was quite funny.
“Silly groundhog,” they said. “Who avoids weather that’s sunny?”
“Today I do,” I began to exclaim.
“If I see my shadow – I’ll get the blame.”
No one wants six more weeks of what we’ve just had.
Except for the penguins who would be perfectly glad.
Just then my heart got a gigantic boost,
my amphibian friends were awake on their roost.
The Aquarium’s tree frogs were loudly calling galore,
old proverbs say that means weather changes in store.
Croak three times and I’ll know winter has broken.
Once, twice and that’s all that was spoken.
Macaws like to talk, but they couldn’t say,
If spring would arrive or winter would stay.
So I climbed on my perch of old hickory log,
and chuckled at the sight of a large prairie dog.
He looked mighty big staring at me from below,
No pup looking up – it must be my shadow!
I’ll stay warm if Old Man Winter won’t give in to defeat,
enjoying six more weeks of shut-eye in my underground retreat.
Unless space tourism becomes much, much, much, much cheaper, I’m not going to have a chance to visit space anytime soon.
But a new IMAX movie, IMAX: Hubble 3-D, gives an immersive experience of what it’s like to be in outer space. The documentary was shot by NASA astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle, and it chronicles the final Hubble Space Telescope repair mission.
Thom Benson, Communications Manager for the Tennessee Aquarium, joins us to talk about the film… along with special guest Roger K. Crouch, an actual NASA astronaut and Tennessee Valley native.