Pinheads hosts an astronomically great evening, 1/14

Pinheads hosts an astronomically great evening, 1/14

[click “Play” to listen to Joe Tanner’s conversation with Susan]


155944main_jsc2006e32109_med2 kicker: Fundraiser in support of Scholars in the School and other programs

Telluride’s Pinhead Institute has its feet on the ground, but its eyes on the stars this one particular night.

Friday, January 14, 2011, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Pinhead hosts an “Astronomical Evening” of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and conversation with NASA Astronaut Joe Tanner.

Tom Wolfe loosely defined the type in his prize-winning novel. “The Right Stuff” is an ineffable quality that guarantees at least a place in line for a plum job. Today, there are many civilian recruits, but Joe Tanner is somewhat of a throwback to the days astronauts were celebrities who largely came from the ranks of fighter pilots – (our neighbor) Armstrong, Shepard, Grissom, Glenn – top dogs in a dog eat dog world.

Tanner joined the Navy after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1973. He went on to earn his Navy pilot wings in 1975 before serving as an A-7E pilot with Light Attack Squadron 94 (VA-94) aboard the U.S.S. Coral Sea. Tanner finished his active service as an advanced jet instructor pilot with Training Squadron 4 (VT-4) in Pensacola, Florida.

Tanner started working for NASA in 1984 as an aerospace engineer and research pilot. He became an Astronaut in 1992. A veteran of four space flights, Tanner logged over 1069 hours in space, including seven space walks.

He retired from NASA in August 2008. Tanner now works as a Senior Instructor in the University of Colorado Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department, Boulder, Colorado, teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in space systems design. He is also a self-employed aerospace systems consultant.

At Pinhead, the right stuff begins with bio-literacy. The wide array of programs for young people and adult orchestrated by this Smithsonian affiliated non-profit institute are based on the idea science literacy is a fundamental human skill, essential for making wise conservation choices for our communities, our region, and our planet. The evening at the Conovitz home is the icing on the cake. The primary reason Tanner is in town is the Pinhead Institute’s Scholars in the Schools program. 

Throughout the school year, the Pinhead Institute brings internationally renowned scientist into our regional schools to lead labs, experiments, workshops, and field expeditions for students in grade school through high school. The program enables students from rural communities to interact with PhD scientists from around the world specializing in everything from nanoscience to biochemistry, field biology, climatology, and more. Tanner is scheduled to lead an all-assembly at Nucla and Norwood High School and work with students in Telluride at the Mountain School and Telluride Middle School/High School.

Join Pinhead and guest Joe Tanner for a fundraiser that promises to be out of this world.

For further information or reservations, call (970) 708-7441.

For a preview, click the “play” button and listen to Joe Tanner’s interview.

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