Science

The City of Grand Rapids is launching a new web app that will allow residents a digital way of conducting business transactions with the city. In a partnership with cloud-based mobile government and payment platform Technology Company, ‘Pay It,’ the city is launching a new app called “GR Pay It’ that links water, refuse and property taxes into a single account, giving residents the ability to pay and manage their bills through the application as well as settle outstanding parking tickets.

Delivery without drivers: Domino's, Ford team up for test

Aug 29, 2017

Forget the delivery driver. Ford and Domino's Pizza are teaming up to see whether customers like having their pizzas delivered by driverless cars. Starting Wednesday, some pizzas in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will arrive in a specially designed Ford Fusion outfitted with radars and a camera used for autonomous testing. For this test, a Ford engineer will be at the wheel. But customers won't be interacting with the driver.

Exhibition to highlight work of sculptors including Rodin

Aug 28, 2017

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will host the work of 17 contemporary figurative sculptors alongside that of influential French sculptor Auguste Rodin. "Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition" includes loans of several of Rodin's works from the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The University of Michigan is partnering to create a digital encyclopedia of thousands of 3-D vertebrate specimens. The Ann Arbor school says a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant will launch oVert, a new initiative to scan about 20,000 vertebrates and make the data-rich, 3-D images available to researchers, educators, students and the public.

Wildlife biologists are stepping up efforts in southern Michigan to monitor ospreys. The birds of prey had all but disappeared from the area because of pesticide pollution but are coming back. Four osprey chicks were fitted this year with "backpack" GPS units enabling scientists to track the birds' movements and seasonal migration patterns. 

Patrick Center

The great American solar eclipse has come and gone. It was a rare astronomical event and one that I  shared with my daughters. With solar eclipse glasses protecting their young eyes, this was their first solar eclipse experience captured in this audio diary. 

“Norah, what do you see?”

“It looks like a moon.”

“Whoa!” Shrieked her sister, Sienna, “It’s a moon! It’s the moon!”

I had to explain it’s the moon passing in front of the sun. Also, reminding the girls to keep the solar eclipse glasses covering their eyes.

Grand Rapids Public Museum hosts eclipse watch party

Aug 21, 2017

As the United States experienced its first coast to coast solar eclipse in nearly a century, the Grand Rapids Public Museum and Grand Valley State University’s Physics Department hosted an official eclipse party at the Museum to take in the once in a lifetime event. The last time a solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast in the United States came on June 8th, 1918. 

Dr. Bradley Ambrose teaches Physics Education at Grand Valley State University.

Wikimedia Commons

Coming this Monday, August 21st North America's eyes will turn to the skies taking in the solar eclipse. Here in West Michigan, if the weather cooperates, you'll witness an 85 percent solar eclipse. For more on when and how best to view it we turn to Dave DeBruyn, Curator Emeritus at the Grand Rapids Public Museum's Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium who also considers himself a coronafile.

Grants available to support urban forestry projects

Aug 15, 2017
Pine trees at the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan.
Joseph O'Brien | Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / USDA Forest Service

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is taking applications for grants supporting tree plantings and other activities that boost urban and community forest growth. Officials say up to $90,000 in federal funds is available for projects around the state. Applicants can seek up to $20,000, depending on the project type. All grants require a one-to-one match of funds. They can be cash contributions or services. 

Michigan State University extension experts say they think this year's Michigan apple harvest is ahead of schedule.  The MSU extension says data collected from around the state suggest the apple harvest will be significantly early for certain varieties in some parts of the state. 

The data show that predicted peak harvest dates will fall anywhere from a few days to an entire week ahead of normal. For example, MacIntosh apples are ten to 11 days ahead of normal in parts of Michigan and a few days ahead of 2016.

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