Local climate scientist selected to help locate Amelia Earhart aircraft

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, July 21, 2016

Presentation about expedition is Aug. 5

As National Amelia Earhart Day approaches on July 24, an Asheville climate scientist and an international authority on the aviation pioneer are gearing up for an expedition to locate Earhart’s aircraft that mysteriously disappeared over the South Pacific nearly 80 years ago.

Climatologist L. DeWayne Cecil, Ph.D., and Ric Gillespie, founder and executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, will discuss the upcoming expedition at a presentation on Aug. 5 titled “The Earhart Project: Finding Amelia with Hard Facts and Sound Science.”

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Free and open to the public, the event will take place in the theater at The Collider, located on the top floor of the Wells Fargo building at 1 Haywood St. in downtown Asheville. Doors open at 6 p.m. The program begins at 6:30 and will conclude by 8 p.m.

With local craft beer donated by Hi-Wire Brewing for attendees to enjoy, the event is part of the “Beer City Science Pub” series of science education presentations organized by the Asheville Museum of Science also known as the Colburn Earth Science Museum.

Earhart, born July 24, 1897, was the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the U.S. In 1932, she was the first woman, and only the second aviator ever, to fly solo across the Atlantic. Five years later, during an attempted around-the-world flight, the world-famous Earhart, then one of the most admired women in America, vanished when her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.

Decades later, the mystery and fascination with Earhart has endured. Gillespie’s book, “Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance,” is considered to be the most authoritative account of the events surrounding Earhart’s 1937 disappearance. He has led 12 expeditions to the South Pacific, winning him distinction as DiscoveryNews.com’s Person of the Year in 2014. He will sell and autograph copies of the book following the presentation.

Gillespie’s next expedition will take place in the summer of 2017 with Cecil as a crew member. The founder and chief scientist of Sustainable earth Observation Systems LLC (SeOS), Cecil is also chief climatologist for Global Science & Technology, Inc. (GST), with offices at The Collider, a business, education and event space designed to accelerate the climate services industry. Cecil has led scientific expeditions to high-altitude glacial environments in remote parts of New Zealand, Siberia, Kyrgyzstan, the Tibetan Plateau, Norway, and Wyoming.

For more information about this event contact Mary Spivey, events and education manager at The Collider, at 828-254-6283, ext. 101, or email mspivey@thecollider.org or visit thecollider.org.

To learn more about the Earhart Project, visit tighar.org.

– article submitted

by Kathi Petersen