The Academy’s commitment to lifelong learning includes a healthy menu of field trips too. Here is a sampling of recent excursions enjoyed by ASA members:
Kitt Peak: Kitt Peak National Observatory, part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun.
Biosphere 2: The mission of this Earth systems science research facility is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and lifelong learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. Best known for its geodesic dome structural components, the facility was designed by a student of Buckminster Fuller.
The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab: This world-famous lab has provided large, high quality optics for the Multiple Mirror Telescope on Mount Hopkins, the Magellan Telescopes in Chile, and the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham. The Mirror Lab is developing the world’s largest spin-cast mirrors for the next generation of large telescopes, including the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Giant Magellan Telescope.
The Mexican border: Immigration theory and practice come together along the Arizona-Mexico border, just 75 miles south of Tucson. ASA members toured the border area and heard from ranchers, Border Patrol Agents, Drug Enforcement Agency personnel and migrant labor experts.
The Laboratory of Tree-ring Research: The University of Arizona’s Tree-Ring Lab is recognized worldwide as a preeminent center for the advancement of tree-ring techniques and the broad application of dendrochronology in the social and environmental sciences.
Bird Watching: Arizona is one of the top 10 places in North America for birdwatching. Southern Arizona is a hotbed for avian species, from those that reside here year-round to others that pass through seasonally. ASA members have organized bird-watching excursions on numerous occasions.
The Arizona Center on Aging: The ASA maintains an ongoing relationship with the center, whose mission is to promote healthy and functional lives for older adults through comprehensive programs in research, training and clinical care.
Waste Management: ASA members recognize their role in the proper disposal of materials produced by human activity. A recent field trip followed the journey of waste products that began with our curbside pickup. Members saw some of the modern efforts used to dispose of trash without jeopardizing health, the environment and aesthetics.
The University of Arizona Poetry Center: Long supported by ASA member contributions, the Poetry Center offers opportunities to enjoy readings and lectures, classes and workshops, library exhibitions, field trips, K–12 educational resources, discussion groups, or just a quiet place to sit and read a book. It is, as beloved teacher and friend Steve Orlen said, “The best living room in America for reading poetry.”
The University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography: It’s hard to resist the urge to take pictures when you live in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. A tour of the UA Center for Creative Photography gave us a look at some of the world’s greatest photographs by masters such as Ansel Adams, W. Eugene Smith and Richard Avadon and amateures like Barry Goldwater.
The University Museum of Art: Dedicated to enhancing art appreciation across the UA campus the museum is proud to have evolved “from caretaker of objects to caretaker of ideas, as well as the contextual environment of the idea’s creation.” Docents from the Museum of Art are frequent lecturers at the ASA, and members have returned the favor with field trips to the museum.
The Arizona Historical Society: ASA members interested in the history of Arizona have a treasure in the AHS, which has been fulfilling its mission to collect, preserve, interpret, and provide access to the history of Arizona since 1864.