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April 18, 2002

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-5026 or 604-9000

jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Release: 02-43AR



NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS:
You are invited to cover Earth Day 2002 events, including a bird hike photo opportunity, a street fair and talks about ‘green’ building construction and 'green' purchasing at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., from Tuesday, April 23 through Thursday, April 25. To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit from Highway 101, drive east to the main gate and the visitor badging office to get maps and directions to Ames Earth Day events. U.S. media representatives must have valid picture ID in order to enter Ames. Foreign media representatives must be escorted, if cleared for entry.

NASA EARTH DAY FEATURES BIRD HIKES, ‘GREEN’ BUILDING & BUYING TALKS

Hiking to see some of the many birds that live near south San Francisco Bay, a street fair and lectures about ‘green’ home building and 'green' purchasing are a few of many activities in which employees can take part to celebrate Earth Day during the week of April 22, at NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.

The theme of Earth Day this year at NASA Ames is ‘Sustainable Communities by the Bay.’ Although Earth Day is Monday, April 22, Ames’ events during that week begin on Tuesday, April 23.

"We want to sustain environmental quality, health, economic growth and prosperity by encouraging a life style that will decrease human use of Earth’s resources," said Julie Quanz of Ames, who helped organize Ames' Earth Day events. "At our street fair there will be people representing alternative fuel vehicle companies, local environmental educational groups, municipalities, pollution-prevention programs, the San Francisco Bay Trail and various Ames organizations." The street fair with about 25 exhibitors will take place on Durand Road at Ames from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., PDT Tuesday, April 23.

Also on Tuesday, Ames wildlife biologist Chris Alderete will lead two bird-watching hikes for employees and reporters. "During the walks, there's a good chance to see the burrowing owl, which is listed as a California species of special concern, a status that has legal implications," Alderete said. He expects that bird watchers could get as close as 50 feet to an owl. The morning hike will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. PDT, and the afternoon hike will be from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PDT. Both hikes will start at the soccer field next to Bldg. N245. Reporters may leave the walks early.

"The western burrowing owl population has been in serious decline over the past few decades in California. We have upland grassland habitat where 18 to 27 breeding pairs of owls live each year," Alderete explained. The small birds live in ground squirrel burrows and have long legs, buff white breasts and lemon-yellow eyes.

"We also might see golden eagles, red tailed hawks and loggerhead shrikes," Alderete added. "We have wetlands where four endangered species live, including salt marsh harvest mice, and three types of birds -- California clapper rail, California least tern and snowy plover."

‘Green Building Demystified,’ a talk by Darren Bouton, ‘green’ building coordinator for the city of San José’s Environmental Services Dept., will begin at 12:15 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, April 24, in the second floor auditorium in Bldg. N245. The city of San José defines a ‘green’ building as any building that is sited, designed, constructed, operated and maintained for the health and well-being of the occupants, while minimizing impact on the environment.

‘Green’ buildings promote resource conservation by including design features that encourage energy efficiency, use of renewable energy and water conservation, according to the city’s Web page. More information about the ‘green’ building program is on the World Wide Web at:

http://www.ci.san-jose.ca.us/esd/gb-home.htm

‘Green Purchasing at Ames,’ a one-hour presentation by procurement specialist Shannah Trout of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida, will start at 10 a.m., PDT Thursday, April 25, in Bldg. N239, room 39.

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