Natural History Museum to host discussion on weather, climate

Natural History Museum

JOHNSON CITY (April 15, 2014) – A panel discussion on weather and climate featuring a local meteorologist and climate scientists will be presented as a part of the 2014 Earth Day celebration this Saturday (April 19) at 1 p.m. at the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Natural History Museum and Visitors Center at the Gray Fossil Site.

In addition, the museum will be open for tours and have activities for all ages from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The panelists are Jeremy Eisenzopf, a meteorologist with WJHL-TV 11; Dr. Andrew Joyner, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at ETSU; and Dr. Ingrid Luffman, a lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at ETSU.

Eisenzopf is the morning meteorologist for WJHL.  He earned his B.S. in meteorology, with minors in communication and mathematics, at Florida State University and has worked in broadcasting for over 13 years.  His research interests include disaster preparedness, as he worked and lived through major hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. 

Joyner is a graduate of Louisiana State University and the University of Florida.  His research includes the geospatial analysis of climatic events, such as hurricanes and windstorms, and the impact of climate change on species and disease distributions.

Luffman’s research interests lie in the areas of physical geography and hydrology, which includes studies on interactions between erosion, water quality, land use, human health and flooding.  She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa in Canada and the University of Tennessee.

“We are so excited to have these panelists with us,” said Dr. Blaine Schubert, museum director and professor of Geosciences at ETSU.  “With a meteorologist and two instructors from ETSU’s Geosciences Department, we have folks with different areas of interest, and it will be a fascinating discussion.  As paleontologists and archaeologists, we at the museum study how things like climate change have impacted the evolution of life on Earth.   Through our understanding of the past and the present, we help inform conservation efforts today and in the future.”

Visitors can also watch paleontologists excavate on the Gray Fossil Site, weather permitting. This will be one of the first weekends of the 2014 dig season, when scientists hope to uncover many new fossil finds.

All-access admission to the museum is $3 for children and $6 for adults. The museum is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is located 1.8 miles off Exit 13 on Interstate 26.

For more information, call (866) 202-6223 or visit  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.
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