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Kauffman Museum exhibit explores climate change, renewable energy

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A new special exhibition at Kauffman Museum at Bethel College explores the impact of global climate change and highlights research on renewable energy sources being conducted in the state of Kansas.

“Climate and Energy Central: Doing Science in Kansas” is open now through Jan. 18, 2015.

The exhibit features profiles of Kansas scientists who are working together to assess the extent of climate change and to address challenges faced in the development and implementation of renewable energy sources.

Collaborators include researchers at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Haskell Indian Nations University and Wichita State University. Funding for their research came from the National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF-EPSCoR).

Highlights of the climate change portion of the exhibition include a timeline tracking increases and decreases in the earth’s temperature over the past 450,000 years and an installation exploring how center pivot irrigation systems used in agriculture could be concealing evidence of temperature changes in the state of Kansas.

Additional features are Graphic Information System maps developed from satellite images that track how Kansas farmers use land, and studies based on indigenous realism – the idea that Native American traditions can be used to return us to a balanced relationship with nature.

There will be two special presentations in connection with the exhibit, by Thad Miller of Lincoln, Nebraska-based LI-COR Biosciences and John Harrington, professor of geography at Kansas State University.

Miller will speak on “Measuring the Carbon Cycle 101,” Oct.18 at 11 a.m. (as part of Bethel’s Fall Festival), and Harrington will present on “Global Climate Change: What It Might Mean for Kansas,” Nov. 9, at 3:30 p.m. as a Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program.

Both lectures will take place in the Kauffman Museum auditorium and are free and open to the public.

“Climate and Energy Central: Doing Science in Kansas” was designed and produced by Flint Hills Design of North Newton in collaboration with Kauffman Museum.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to “Climate and Energy Central: Doing Science in Kansas” as well as the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website, www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/, or Facebook page.

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