The Sisters Science Club

We are a community based organization that strives to enhance science, math, and health in the schools and community through seven main areas.

CLICK ON ONE OF THE STARS on the image to the right & explore the club's activities.

Founded January 2011, the club is comprised of approximately 350 members - but there is no clubhouse, administration, or required annual dues. Rather, the club works by the community bringing volunteers and financial support to enhance the good ideas of the school's science teachers.

The club enjoys close support from Kiwanis, Rotary, The Roundhouse Foundation, The Sisters Garden Club, Energyneering Solutions, Saint Charles Medical Center, Cascades East Area Health Education Center (CEAHEC) and has been awarded grant support from the Oregon Community Foundation and the Meyer Memorial Trust.

Most importantly, numerous individuals see value in these programs and provide financial support through the Sisters School Foundation, a 501c3 organization. If you would like to join this effort, click here to reach our president!

The 2019 SciArt Contest top entries are shown in the movie below. As you can tell, we have some very talented students!

We also had a very successful science fair this year, where perhaps the biggest draw was the growing astronomy program at the high school. Instructor Rima Givot was instrumental in this as well as in obtaining another NSF grant for watching the night sky and engaging students in the RECON program ... helping characterize the Kuiper Belt that lies between Neptune and the dwarf planet Pluto. Stay Tuned!.

And in case you missed September's Frontiers in Science talk at the Belfry by Dr. Richard Spinrad, the event was captured by one of our members, Don Utzinger, and is presented below.

In some ways surprising, science has become controversial in a new way. Finally, some scientists are finding their political voices, and are determined to change the conversation. Click the picture to read about one such change.

Is this a good thing? Well, ready or not, we're about to find out.

The third presentation of the 2019-20 Frontiers in Science Monthly Symposium series in Sisters will be offered on November 19th at The Belfry ... and will be about how and why "climate change" has occurred in the past, and why understanding this process is important to us all.

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Is the climate actually changing ... or is it just "weather?" Are humans causing the changes we've noted, or is it just normal changes in the Earth's long term processes?

Here's what our own government scientists have reported: "Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. Global climate change has already resulted in a wide range of impacts across every region of the country and many sectors of the economy that are expected to grow in the coming decades."

This report is current, and is called the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), developed by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), is a state-of-the-science synthesis of climate knowledge, impacts, and trends across U.S. regions and sectors to inform decision making and resilience-building activities across the country. It is the most
comprehensive and authoritative assessment to date on the state of knowledge of current and future impacts of climate change on society in the United States. Explore the report and the data yourself by clicking here.

Is "the news" a good place to learn about this issue? If you think that it's only news in the US that's caught up in this "controversy," watch this news clip from "down under."

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Here is another look at this issue, and as you can see, it presents the topic in an entirely different way.

 

Dr. Daniele McKay is an adjunct instructor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon. She lives in Bend, Oregon and teaches online geology courses throughout the academic year, and field courses in central Oregon during the summer. Her research background is in physical volcanology with a focus on recent mafic eruptions in the central Oregon Cascades. She is also interested in how societies prepare for and respond to natural disasters, especially volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Dr. McKay will present a program called "Climate Change: A Geologic Perspective." She comments on her presentation, "Earth's climate has changed in the past, and it will continue to change in the future. Some of these changes occurred slowly over long periods of time, but other changes happened over relatively short periods of time and had catastrophic consequences. What can these periods of catastrophic change tell us about current climate change and about the ability of Earth systems to recover?

The talk focuses more on past climate changes and extinction events, and what caused them. There is also a section about how much fossil fuel is left, and a little bit about other energy options. But I don't really address solutions to current climate change (unfortunately!)."

Reviewing current media ... and political ... coverage of this topic, one can easily see how this timely science-based review of information related to climate change might be helpful in understanding our current situation. Read more from Dr. McKay here.

Understanding the Earth's climate is science that incorporates several distinct branches of physical science. And these are fields that are filled with scientific experts that frequently speak in terms unfamiliar to ordinary citizens. Fortunately, there are people dedicated to making this topic less opaque.

Yes, the Earth was once much warmer than it is now, but that's not nearly the end of the story. Click here to learn more about geological temperature trends, and how and why the extremes in temperatures changed our planet.

Although this cartoon looks pretty simplistic, it's based on actual science ... science that is explained in detail here, and in included studies. And though there is a good deal of uncertainty about ancient temperature, the science related to the spike at the end of the cartoon graph is solid, as explained here: "Given the uncertainty inherent in estimating ancient temperatures, the scientists conservatively concluded that the last decade has brought global average temperatures higher than they have been for at least 75 percent of the last 11,300 years. The recent increase in global average temperature is so abrupt compared to the rest of the time period that when the scientists make a graph of the data, the end of the line is nearly vertical."

Dr. Mckay's presentation is bound to be fascinating, and I suspect we will all, once again,come away knowing a lot more than when we entered The Belfry. General Admission: $5.00. Teachers and Students are free. Social hour begins at 6, and the lecture starts at 7. See you there!