Science Getaways

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Dec. 7 2011 7:00 AM

Science Getaways

I am very pleased to announce the grand opening of Science Getaways, where you can take a vacation with your brain!

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Science Getaways is a new travel company, started by my wife Marcella and me, for science enthusiasts who want to do more than just take a vacation: they want to feed their brain, too. Over the years I've been to a lot of cool places, but I've always found my experience is enhanced a lot by learning about the science of the region: the geology, the biology, the connection to other sciences. Heck, when we visited the Galapagos Islands a few years back the whole thing was nothing but science -- and it was the vacation of a lifetime (as you can read here, and here, and here). Trips like this are becoming popular enough to get written up by the New York Times.

So we decided we wanted to do this too. Voila! Science Getaways, where we do all the work for you: find cool places to take a vacation, then bring along fun, outgoing scientists eager to show you the natural wonders of the region*.

Our first getaway is Science Ranch 2012, September 16 - 20, 2012, at the C Lazy U Ranch in Granby, Colorado. This is an authentic western ranch where you can ride horseback, fish, hike, mountain bike, and eat gourmet food (trust me on this; we sampled the food there and it was fantastic). We visited a lot of Colorado ranches, but C Lazy U was clearly the place that fits our needs best.

And we made it better: we added SCIENCE to it! We've invited Holly Brunkal, a geologist, and Dave Armstrong, a biologist and ecologist, to come along (we have their bios online). Both scientists are experts in the Colorado version of their fields, and have experience with tours. They'll be taking us on hikes in the valley where the ranch is located, so you can peruse the local rocks and biota, and they'll give talks beforehand to familiarize you with everything.

I'll be the third scientist; I'll give a couple of short talks and run a stargazing session every evening it's clear -- the skies in that part of Colorado are dark dark dark. When we stayed overnight at a ranch a couple of months ago, we went outside at around 10:00 p.m. and Marcella was stunned at how many stars she could see. It was magnificent.

If you read my blog -- and I see you there, admit it! -- then I suspect you love science and nature as much as I do. Science Getaways is a new way for me to bring the fun and wonder of the Universe to folks, and have a really great time while doing it. I hope to see you in September at C Lazy U!



* Just to be clear, this is something I'll be doing as well as writing this blog and everything else. I'm having way too much fun writing to stop now!


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