The American Museum of Natural History has produced a short documentary film on climate change and is distributing it online to students and teachers, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation.
The film was developed and produced as part of the museum's digital media project, "Science Bulletins," and is being made available via the Web to hundreds of thousands of educators and 6th-through-12th-grade students to enhance their understanding of the scientific aspects of climate change.
The seven-minute, high-definition film explores the NASA GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission and resulting climate-change research.
The detailed measurements produced by GRACE have been used by scientists for studies of the movement of water around the planet and changing ice mass, both imperative to the understanding of global climate change and its impacts.
For example, analysis of the GRACE Gravity data has revealed that the ice loss in Antarctica has increased by 75 per cent in the last 10 years due to an increase in the flow of its glaciers, and is now nearly as great as the ice loss observed in Greenland.
The film is part of the EarthBulletin series, being shown at American Museum of Natural History and 22 additional museums and science centers (including 6 NASA visitor centers) throughout North America, bringing its audience reach to more than 7 million. The documentary also is being distributed as HD mpeg-2 files to the museums and science centers.
The film and its associated media and related educational materials are being provided free of charge for teachers and students in middle schools and high schools across the country, and reaches additional audiences via the museum's Science Bulletins Web site, www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins.
"We are proud to partner with the American Museum of Natural History and NASA on this important project," said Andrés Irlando, president of the New York region for Verizon. "Climate change affects all of our lives and the life of our planet, and through this research thousands more people will become aware of its increased impact."
Said Rosamond Kinzler, senior director, National Center for Science Literacy, Education and Technology for the museum: "Communicating current scientific research in important areas such as global climate change is of utmost importance to the museum and is central to the goal of the Science Bulletins program. The Verizon Foundation's support of the GRACE documentary feature has been critical to our ability to reach out to and engage young people, their teachers and their families with this vital information."
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to explore and interpret human cultures and the natural world through a wide-reaching program of scientific research, education, and exhibitions. The Museum accomplishes this ambitious goal through its extensive facilities and resources. The institution houses 45 permanent exhibition halls, state-of-the-art research laboratories, one of the largest natural history libraries in the Western Hemisphere, and a permanent collection of more than 30 million specimens and cultural artifacts. With a scientific staff of more than 200, the Museum supports research divisions in Anthropology, Paleontology, Invertebrate and Vertebrate Zoology, and the Physical Sciences. The Museum shares its treasures and discoveries with approximately four million on-site visitors from around the world each year. AMNH-produced exhibitions and Space Shows can currently be seen in venues on five continents reaching an audience of millions. In addition, the Museum's Web site, www.amnh.org, extends its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond the Museum's walls.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 87 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.