North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences announces opening of Nature Research Center (NRC)

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has announced the opening of it’s new 80,000 square-foot Nature Research Center (NRC) bringing research scientists and their work into the public eye, help demystify what can be an intimidating field of study, better prepare science educators and students, and inspire a new generation of young scientists.

Rendering of the Nature Research Center and Daily Planet

The centerpiece of the NRC will be the SECU Daily Planet, an immersive, three-story multimedia space that will link virtual to real nature and be the site of live programming on breaking science news. At regular intervals during the day, scientists will present to NRC visitors using the cutting edge technology and media of the SECU Daily Planet and its 40×40-foot, high-definition screen. These presenters will discuss the science research behind current issues and their societal impacts. At special times, this venue will transmit programs into schools, libraries, senior citizen centers, hospitals and other community organizations through the Internet. Periodic Global Town Halls will also be held in the SECU Daily Planet to have conversations with science researchers and youth engaged in Citizen Science projects worldwide.

Dr. Meg Lowman has been named Director of the Nature Research Center Lowman is internationally recognized for her pioneering research in forest canopy ecology, and often called the “mother of canopy research” as one of the first scientists to explore this “eighth continent.” For 30 years, Canopy Meg has helped design hot-air balloons and walkways for treetop exploration in an effort to solve the mysteries of the world’s major rain forests — Africa, Australia/Asia, and the Neotropics (including the Amazon). She relentlessly works to map the canopy for biodiversity and to champion forest conservation around the world. –

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