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Media Advisory


NSF PA/M 03-11 - February 11, 2003

NSF Director and Speakers to Address Science Education, Gravity Waves and Vocal Learning at AAAS Meeting

This year's annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Denver will feature several National Science Foundation (NSF) speakers and organizers, as well as featured lectures by NSF-supported researchers. Many other NSF-supported researchers are participating in the AAAS meeting's seminars and symposia. The meeting is being held February 13-18 at the Colorado Convention Center, Denver Marriott City Center, Hyatt Regency Denver Downtown and the Holiday Inn Denver Downtown. To locate the room for a specific session, please refer to the meeting program.

NSF will also be hosting an exhibit (Booth #212) at the AAAS annual meeting's Exposition in the Colorado Convention Center. The exhibit "Where Discoveries Begin" will feature videos, a touch-sensitive display, and presentations on NSF's proposal process and funding opportunities. NSF program officers will be at the exhibit to meet with scientists and engineers interested in learning more about taking advantage of NSF opportunities.

NSF Speakers and Symposia Organizers

NSF Director Rita Colwell will discuss why science and technology education is no longer just for experts but essential for all citizens of the 21st Century in a session on "Making Science Relevant to Undergraduates." (Feb. 14, 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Colwell will also introduce a session on "Probing the Universe for Gravity Waves: A First Look with LIGO." The Laser Interferometer Gravity Wave Observatory (LIGO) is being built to detect gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, and it has the potential to become a totally new way to view the Universe. The LIGO construction is completed and a first look at early data will be presented. (Feb. 17, 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m.)

NSF's Lee Zia, program officer for the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), will present an overview of the NSDL portfolio of awards as part of a session on "NSDL: Progress toward Enhancing Education via Digital Libraries." The speakers will examine the progress by NSDL, a highly distributed development effort involving more than 80 principal investigators, toward its goal of large-scale enhancement to teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (Feb. 16, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.)

NSF program officer Daniel Burns will discuss NSF's Tribal Colleges and Universities Program in a session on "Science and Mathematics Education of American Indians and Alaskan Natives." (Feb. 16, 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

NSF's Wyn Jennings, program director for NSF's Graduate Research Traineeship Program, has co-organized a session on "Graduate Education: Building for the Future." (Feb. 17, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.)

NSF program officer Rachelle Hollander will lead a session on "Heroes and Heroism in Engineering" that will examine the potential for engineers, engineering organizations, other organizations that develop and use technologies, and the broader society to encourage engineering that can contribute to the public good, environmental health, and safety. (Feb. 16, 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Selected Lectures by NSF-Supported Researchers

Erich Jarvis, Duke University -- winner of the prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award, the NSF's highest honor for a young scientist or engineer-seeks to understand animal "language." Jarvis will discuss his studies of the brain system of vocal learning birds, for which he was selected to receive the Waterman award. (Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m.)

Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) senior scientist, head of NCAR's Climate Change Research Section and chair of the National Science Board, will discuss "Predicting the Climate of the 21st Century." (Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m.)

Barry Barish, Caltech's Linde Professor of Physics, professor of High-Energy Physics and director of the NSF-supported LIGO Laboratory, will discuss "Gravity -- Studying the Fabric of the Universe." (Feb. 17, 1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m.)

Kirk Johnson, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, will discuss "Tropical Rainforests, Dinosaurs, and Drinking Water: The Odd Urban Geology of the Denver Basin." (Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m.)

For more details on the AAAS meeting, see

For more information contact:

Media contacts:

 David Hart

 (703) 292-8070


 Bill Noxon

 (703) 292-8070

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