October 2007 Meeting

We had quite a turnout! In addition to our guest speaker, Dr. Greg Jones, we also had another guest, Ryan Nurnberger.

Roger reported that we are positive in our accounts.

Dr. Jones spoke for about 30 minutes, using his own computer and projector.The group had lots of questions, and I think we all enjoyed the presentation!

Dan will post the meeting minutes (minus the details on the cash on hand) and agendas on the website, once April send them to him.

The Mars Society has suggested that clubs plan a Mars Phoenix Lander party on May 25, 2008. That’s perfect for us, since it falls on our regular meeting date! Derek will look into inviting DARS, Texas Astronomical Society, AIAA and other local groups to that particular meeting. We might be able to plan something special, like a Mars Underground showing.

The Science Channel will present Mars Rising over the next few weeks. Everyone is encuraged to watch it.

We decided to keep the business meeting as usual in January, and go to the planetarium at UNT earlier in the day to enjoy our guest speaker’s presentation there.

We also decided to keep our November 25 meeting, but not the December meeting.

Action Items:

* Add edited meeting minutes and agendas to our website

* Send Dan meeting minutes and agendas
* Coordinate with January guest speaker for planetarium presentation

* Contact DARS, TAS, AIAA about Mars Party in May

See you in November!

October Speaker

Please join the Mars Society this Sunday, October 28, at 6:30 pm for a special presentation: “Touring Mars On-line, Real-time, and in 3D for Educators and Students.”

Dr. Greg Jones will present a project started in 2003 that placed over 97% of Mars topography from NASA into an interactive on-line learning environment for use by educators and students connected to the Internet. The possibilities for bringing students into an immersive environment to discuss and participate in math and science are many.

Dr. Jones is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas teaching in the program of Computer Education and Cognitive Systems. His research interest is in expanding the way technology can be used to further the creation and distribution of knowledge and learning. His research focuses on the areas of emerging technologies for learning, which include visualization systems for education, virtual communities, telementoring, and multi-user 3D online learning environments (virtual environments). These technologies support learning by the distribution of interaction and feedback across both time and space via interactive forms of multimedia.

September 2007 Meeting

It was good to see everyone for our first meeting after the national Mars Conference! Kurt Chankaya sat in as master of ceremonies while Derek and April wait for April to burst.

Nine members showed up, including Denise Heiser and kids (Anna and John) while Jim was off to another conference.

The major discussion at this meeting was to discuss the conference, and our T-shirt situation, which it turns out is much better than we had originally feared.

For those who may not have heard yet, the conference was great: great speakers, beautiful accomodations and facilities, well organized, but unfortunately it was poorly attended: only 250 or so instead of the usual 350 to 400. The main culprit was suspected as being too late in the summer and over a holiday weakend. Well, lessons learned, and thanks to Maggie for holding another great conference! (Those who haven’t attended should consider trying it next year – it is worth it!). Next year’s conference will be at Boulder, and will be earlier in the summer: I heard it from Bob Z himself!

Due to the lower attendance our shirt sales were not as brisk as expected, but thanks to the great efforts of Roger and especially Mimi, who manned the table almost non-stop all conference long, we sold a bit over half, including the ones sold before the conference. We now have 41 left. The T-shirts did yield a profit. Combining that with the sales of buttons and bumper stickers, and Pam’s knick-knacks, our treasury reports a positive balance.
(special thanks to Pam and Mark for the donation of the artwork!)

As a result several motions were carried:
>Two T-shirts to be donated to Carol Johnson, and one to Bill Ledbetter, as thanks for all their support and teamwork in support of the Dallas Mars Society. Carol had offered to pay full price for the shirts, but we wanted to show our gratitude in this way.
>Ten shirts to be donated to Mars National as auction items for next year’s convention.
>the remaining 28 shirts to be sold at half price ($10) thru whatever means and venue (Fencon, e-bay, etc). We can discuss later if we want to offer them for sale at the next convention, since we will probably have our own 2008 shirts for sale then (it’s a tradition, now!)

Mimi mad a very interesting suggestion of having a ‘Mars Society outing’ to a local rocket launch – say a Dallas Area Rocket Society event or some such.

Curtis showed a quick DVD of a news item on the MER rovers. It was an interesting article, and now we know how the big TV works!

Only one action item: Roger and Curtis to coordinate so Curtis can help us sell the leftover T-shirts on e-bay (thanks for volunteering, Curtis!)

See you in October – remember, we have a guest speaker!