Monthly Archives: February 2015

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TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “The Onondaga Lake Remediation; A History-Making Environmental Cleanup Right Out Our Front Door”

Saturday – February 21, 9:30-11:00am

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY

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Have you driven along Route 690 and noticed all the activity happening on Onondaga Lake? What you’re seeing is one of the largest and most complex environmental cleanup projects ever undertaken. The Onondaga Lake cleanup is the result of more than two decades and millions of hours of intensive effort under the supervision of state and federal regulatory agencies, and in cooperation with local elected officials and the community. Hundreds of local scientists, engineers, and skilled craft laborers are working with Honeywell, achieving significant progress implementing lake improvement plans. The Onondaga Lake cleanup is a model for how math, science, and engineering can be used to restore a vital asset to the community. Best of all, it’s all happening right our backyards! In this presentation, our speakers will discuss how the remedy is being implemented and how cutting-edge engineering and construction techniques are being used to achieve significant progress.

People interested in learning more about the Onondaga Lake cleanup are invited to attend the free Junior Cafe presentation on Saturday, February 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse’s Armory Square. Walk-ins are welcome, but we ask that people RSVP by emailing by February 17, 2015.


2015feb9_tacnyjrcafeDavid Smith graduated from Northeastern University with a BS degree in civil engineering. His career includes cleanup of multiple Superfund sites and environmental remediation projects. Mr. Smith came to Parsons in 2009 specifically for the Onondaga Lake Cleanup project. He worked on the design of the required dredge and cap, and then transitioned into the field at the start of the remediation project.

Tom Drachenberg graduated from Clarkson University with a BS degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering. He has worked for Parsons since graduating, and has worked on numerous environmental cleanup projects, a majority of which dealt with contaminated sediment. Mr. Drachenberg has been working on the Onondaga Lake Cleanup project in 2003, beginning with the Feasibility Study, and continuing on with the remedial design, infrastructure construction and the implementation of the remedy.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit

NASA News Digest: Space Science For 27 January – 9 February 2014 – Dwarf Planet-Centric!

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

The NASA News service provides up-to-date announcements of NASA policy, news events, and space science. A recent selection of space science articles are provided below, including direct links to the full announcements. Those interested in receiving these news announcements directly from NASA can subscribe to their service by sending an email to:

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Captures Best-Ever View Of Dwarf Planet

RELEASE 15-014 (Click here for the full article) – 27 January 2015

2015feb9_15_014NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has returned the sharpest images ever seen of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on Jan. 25, and represent a new milestone for a spacecraft that soon will become the first human-made probe to visit a dwarf planet.

“We know so little about our vast solar system, but thanks to economical missions like Dawn, those mysteries are being solved,” said Jim Green, Planetary Science Division Director at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

At 43 pixels wide, the new images are more than 30 percent higher in resolution than those taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in 2003 and 2004 at a distance of over 150 million miles. The resolution is higher because Dawn is traveling through the solar system to Ceres, while Hubble remains fixed in Earth orbit. The new Dawn images come on the heels of initial navigation images taken Jan. 13 that reveal a white spot on the dwarf planet and the suggestion of craters. Hubble images also had glimpsed a white spot on the dwarf planet, but its nature is still unknown.

The new Dawn images are available online at:

To view the images taken by Hubble, visit:

More information about Dawn is available online at:

NASA Spacecraft Returns New Images Of Pluto En Route To Historic Encounter

RELEASE 15-018 (Click here for the full article) – 2 July 2014

2015feb9_15_018NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft returned its first new images of Pluto on Wednesday, as the probe closes in on the dwarf planet. Although still just a dot along with its largest moon, Charon, the images come on the 109th birthday of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the distant icy world in 1930.

“My dad would be thrilled with New Horizons,” said Clyde Tombaugh’s daughter Annette Tombaugh, of Las Cruces, New Mexico. “To actually see the planet that he had discovered, and find out more about it — to get to see the moons of Pluto– he would have been astounded. I’m sure it would have meant so much to him if he were still alive today.”

New Horizons was more than 126 million miles (nearly 203 million kilometers) away from Pluto when it began taking images. The new images, taken with New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, are the first acquired during the spacecraft’s 2015 approach to the Pluto system, which culminates with a close flyby of Pluto and its moons on July 14.

To view the Pluto image online and see the mission timeline for upcoming images, visit: and