Observatory volunteer to lecture about place that inspired love for astronomy

For Omar Garza, the Mount Wilson Observatory in Southern California was his torch for becoming passionate about astronomy and cosmology.

Garza’s lifelong love of astronomy has continued at Jack C. Davis Observatory, where he has served as a volunteer for four years.

“He has been an enthusiastic participant in science outreach and astronomy programs in particular,” said Jack C. Davis Observatory Director Thomas Herring. “He is one of my go-to volunteers when I want people to get excited about the night sky.”

On Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Garza will talk about one of his astronomy inspirations — Mount Wilson — during a lecture titled “Mount Wilson: Personal Insights” at Jack C. Davis Observatory, 2699 Van Patten Drive, on Western Nevada College’s Carson City campus.

“I love this place because it was the birth place of the science of cosmology,” Garza said. “I also love the science that was done here and being able to look through the big telescopes. The human history, how it came to be is also fascinating. “

Garza served as a telescope operator and docent at Mount Wilson for many years.

“I have a lot of inside information that people may find very interesting,” Garza said.

Mount Wilson is located in the San Gabriel Mountains, overlooking the Los Angeles Basin. It is named for Benjamin Davis Wilson, the grandfather of General George S. Patton. As the story goes, Wilson re-established an Indian trail to the summit as he searched for wood suitable to build casks. This trail eventually became a popular route for local hikers.

Today, the summit is home to the easier-to-reach Mount Wilson Observatory and its collection of historical telescopes, as well as hub for TV and radio relay broadcasting for Los Angeles.

Documentary Addressing Climate Change on March 27 at WNC

A dire 2018 winter snowpack in the Sierra reflects the overall message filmmaker Diogo Freire attempts to address in his documentary Saving Snow.

Climate change will be the focus of this Citizens’ Climate Lobby documentary scheduled for March 27 in Marlette Hall at Western Nevada College. Showings of Saving Snow are planned for 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Following the evening showing, climate change will be discussed by a panel of speakers, including Bradley Crowell, director of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the son of Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell; Squaw Valley Ski Holdings President and CEO Andy Wirth and Dr. Benjamin J. Hatchett, Desert Research Institute meteorologist.

The 53-minute documentary follows skiers, snowmobilers, sled dog guides and other winter sports enthusiasts from around the U.S. and focuses on people coming to terms with climate changes — financially and emotionally.

More importantly, the film also presents solutions. It highlights determined individuals and organizations who are working to reduce their communities’ impacts on the environment and raise awareness of the need for action.

Refreshments will be served.

Easter Fiesta on March 31

The Association of Latin American Students and nursing students are hosting WNC’s annual Easter Fiesta on March 31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Festivities will take place in Rotary Plaza on the Carson City campus, including an egg scramble on the ball field at 1 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets for games can be purchased for $1 apiece. Proceeds help fund student scholarships at WNC.

WNC Hosting Emergency Preparedness Class on April 11

When Kellogg Community College (Battle Creek, Mich.) Lifelong Learning instructor Kevin Boyd arrived in Santa Rosa, Calif., last fall to teach a class on emergency preparedness, he had no idea he’d bear witness to the beginning stages of the most destructive wildfire in California history.

The Tubbs Fire, which started and spread quickly in the nighttime hours of Oct. 8, ultimately resulted in the deaths of more than 40 people, the loss of 3,000 homes — 5 percent of the city’s housing — and $1 billion in property damage.

Boyd is offering that same emergency preparedness class to individuals in an upcoming Lifelong Learning class at Western Nevada College. The class, titled Emergency Preparedness “Grab & Go” Binder with Cloud Backup! will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. April 11. The one-day class costs $55.

The class will help participants determine which paperwork is crucial to have in the event of fire, flood, natural disaster or medical emergency, and guide them in organizing vital information into a Grab-&-Go binder. Class members will also learn how to convert everything to electronic documents and back it all up to the cloud using free, easy to use, drag and drop tools, and will learn about helpful free apps, preparation tips and evacuation routes.

“You never know when a disaster will strike — a fire, flood, earthquake, etc. Make sure you and your family are prepared,” Boyd said. “Let this expert help you to learn how to prepare and ease your mind.”

The class is offered through Continuing Education. To register, go to www.wnc.edu/wnc-edu-news-ce-class/.


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