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Chad Orzel, associate professor and chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department, gave two talks as part of Physics Day at Space Center Houston last week. The Space Center is the museum and education center associated with NASA's Johnson Space Center, which has been Mission Control for human space missions since the 1960s. The presentations, to school groups from the Houston area and the museum-going public, explained the science behind and connections between space travel, Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Earthbound navigation using the Global Positioning system. 

Teresa Meade, the Florence B. Sherwood Professor of History and Culture, presented a paper at the European Social Science History Conference. “I'll Probably Survive Capitalism, but Will the Planet? Sustainability and Capitalism in the 21st Century,” examined the traditional standards of gauging economic development in Latin America in light of the harmful effects of climate change. It focused specifically on off-shore oil exploration in Brazil, hydrofracking in Argentine natural gas fields and extreme water shortages in Andean nations as a result of declining glaciers. The conference took place in Vienna, Austria, April 23-26. 

John Garver, professor of geology, was featured in a Times Union story discussing the changing climate and weather patterns in New York’s Capital Region. Garver, who studies the rainfall patterns in the Mohawk River Valley, said that he has seen a change in extreme weather events of storms that drop two inches of rain or more. Read the article here

Hilary Tann, the John Howard Payne Professor of Music, was the Composer of the Week for Radio Indonesia, a worldwide music station. Eight of her recorded compositions were featured in four broadcasts (see those at the link here). www.radio.artsindonesia.com Also, an interview with Tann is in the May issue of The American Organist, previewing the premiere of her composition “Embertides.” The piece was commissioned for the 2014 American Guild of Organists' National Convention in Boston in late June. A new CD of chamber music is about to be released from Centaur Records. "The Musical Landscapes of Hilary Tann” features eight chamber works performed by Eastman School of Music graduates Eunmi Ko (piano), Sini Virtanen (violin), Andrew Barnhart (cello) and Albert Kim (piano). The current issue of the Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music contains a conversation about nature and music by Tann and music theorist Arthur Margolin. 

Submit your items to People in the news to Christen Gowan at gowanc@union.edu.