Cruising the Rivers of the United States

Presenter: Ken Johnson, Geologist Emeritus, Oklahoma Geological Survey

Class Size: 25

Class Date: Tuesday,  September 10

Class Time: 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Parkway, OKC Kairos Classroom

Class Cost: $5

Class Description: Cruising the rivers and inland waterways of the United States offers an excellent domestic experience, free of passport/customs problems, sea-sickness, and the possibility of entrapment on an ocean vessel that has lost power out on the open seas.  Also, if the boat sinks, or has a serious problem, land is just a few hundred yards away—and you can always SWIM to shore from a river cruise.  Major US and Canadian waterways where cruises are offered include: the Mississippi River and its tributaries (Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers); the Great Lakes; the St. Lawrence, Hudson, and Tombigbee Rivers; the Erie, Oswego, Welland, Delaware-Chesapeake, and Tenn-Tom Canals; the Intracoastal Waterway; the Canadian Maritime Provinces; and the Columbia–Snake River system in the Pacific Northwest.  River boats are much smaller than ocean vessels, typically with 50 to 200 passengers, and they generally make one or two stops every day at sites of national or local significance.  Dorothea (Sweetie Pie = S.P.) and I have been on 8 trips on US rivers and coastal waters over the years: we want to share some of our experiences with you, and show the benefits of this leisurely mode of domestic travel.

Whence Cometh Auroras er, Aurorae?

Presenter: Charles Wende, NASA

Class Size: 25

Class Date: Tuesday, October 1

Class Time: 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Parkway, OKC Kairos Classroom

Class Cost: $5

Class Description: From out of this world, well, at least off-planet. This lecture will begin with the history (some personal) of the exploration of nearby “outer space” -  the discovery of the radiation belts surrounding the Earth (Van Allen himself never called them  “Van Allen Belts”)  - and then segue to our understanding of a “solar wind” and then how mostly unseen activity on the sun affects our Earth. The most striking consequence is the Northern lights, or aurora, seen in polar regions both North and South. Yet these spectacular displays portend little known hazards and risks to us Earthlings. Could it be sleepless aurora-lit nights in Oklahoma? Lousy weather forecasts?  No satellite TV? Or something worse yet?