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Safety in the Outdoors

Safety in the Outdoors

This workshop will introduce a risk assessment and safety management model. Then that model will be applied as we investigate the most common dangers and hazards in the backcountry and explore steps to mitigate those risks. Topics will include: encounters with wildlife (snakes, bears, insects, etc.), lightning and weather related hazards, toxic plants, water crossings, sketchy humans, hazards in camp, sound decision-making, and more. Class sizes are intentionally small to offer participants guided hands-on practice. Visit our website to... Read More
PARI Summer STEM and Space Exploration Camps/Secrets of a Spy Station

PARI Summer STEM and Space Exploration Camps/Secrets of a Spy Station

PRESENTED BY PARI AND CLEMSON UNIVERSITY CRYPTOGRAPHY & SECRET MESSAGES SET IN A FORMER SPY BASE Campers will explore the origins of codes and ciphers and how they have evolved from written messages to complex digital encryption methods in use today. They will learn how to recreate these techniques themselves and crack the messages sent by their fellow cryptographers, all while reinforcing skills in math, language, and pattern recognition. What better setting than PARI, which once operated as a spy station for the Department of Defense during the Cold War, where messages were being intercepted and deciphered? Another element in the sending of secrets is how you transport them from place to place. We’ll take a look at the technologies, both past and present, that allow information to zip out to distant satellites and back down to Earth. How do we make sure our sensitive transmissions don’t end up in the wrong hands? From messages based on playing with words and numbers, to hiding information in plain sight in images and everyday objects, you’d never suspect all the ways cryptography is used all around us. Campers will leave with an understanding of the principles that drive the world and keep our data... Read More
PARI Summer STEM and Space Exploration Camps/Above and Beyond

PARI Summer STEM and Space Exploration Camps/Above and Beyond

Above and Beyond is PARI’s signature camping experience designed to immerse high school students in the world of space science and research while building confidence and critical thinking skills. Originally developed in partnership with Duke University and refined for nearly two decades, this space camp explores the universe through astronomy, physics, and astrobiology, while also providing time for adventure and fun. The process followed by scientists and researchers who’ve made space science their career is modeled to show how new discoveries are made about the universe. Campers are provided the tools and guided through the process by professionals who have made space their life’s work. From determining the expansion speed of a super-nova remnant, to characterizing an exo-planet or finding evidence of dark matter; your data will reveal and your conclusions will add to humanity’s knowledge of the... Read More
Geminids Meteor Shower Experience AT PARI

Geminids Meteor Shower Experience AT PARI

Have you ever wished upon a shooting star? Now is your chance! Enjoy an evening under the stars and observing the Geminids meteor shower at our historic, mountaintop, internationally certified Dark Sky Park! The Geminids meteors are often bold, white and bright. On a dark night, you can often catch 50 or more meteors per hour in a dark, moonless sky. These meteors are sure to dazzle brighter than the holiday lights. Grab your coats, hot coffee or hot chocolate, friends and family then come to PARI for an unforgettable winter night. The greatest number of meteors typically fall in the wee hours after midnight. Astronomers and telescopes will also be available earlier in the evening to view the dark skies. For additional information please email PARI at... Read More
Red Spruce & Carolina Flying Squirrel

Red Spruce & Carolina Flying Squirrel

Red Spruce & Carolina Flying Squirrel A 78-Foot Red Spruce from Pisgah Travels to DC as the US Capitol Christmas Tree The assortment of fir trees and evergreens that thrive in the higher elevations of Brevard and Transylvania County is one of the area’s most scenic and treasured signs of life in our mountains.  Among these, the red spruce stands tall and is particularly important not just to our area but to the region beyond. Known as the “Redwoods of the East,” North Carolina’s red spruce is the largest conifer indigenous to the Southern Appalachians. Its spindly, high-reaching branches rise up like an island in the sky over the high tops of the Blue Ridge, providing color and texture to the landscape and a critical pocket ecosystem for flora and fauna, among them Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels, which are listed as federally endangered. These delightful, furry aviators enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the red spruce via a particular underground fungus. These fungi provide water and nutrients for the trees and receive sugars in return. The squirrels then spread the spores through the forest, which helps the red spruce. Many decades of logging and wildfires led to a precipitous decline in the Appalachian red spruce by the middle of the 20th century. In 2013, Transylvania County’s Southern Highlands Reserve (SHR), a nonprofit, high-elevation native plant garden and research center, undertook a partnership with the Nature Conservancy to restore red spruce trees to the Southern Appalachians. Two years later, in 2015,... Read More
Be Waterfall Wise

Be Waterfall Wise

Be Waterfall Wise Waterfalls are part of the identity of Brevard and Transylvania County. There are more than 250 cascades scattered throughout the county, earning us the nickname “Land of Waterfalls.” While we encourage visitors and residents alike to enjoy these natural wonders, we also want to remind everyone to Be Waterfall Wise when you are in their proximity. Every year, people are seriously injured and even die around waterfalls. Over the past several years, the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority has worked closely with our forest and park managers and a variety of public safety organizations to raise awareness about the dangers of waterfalls by creating a campaign to promote safe practices around waterfalls. As a result, the number of injuries and fatalities has been dramatically reduced. But accidents still happen, and we’re committed to sharing our safety messaging to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you’re planning a trip to Brevard – or anywhere near waterfalls – please familiarize yourself with these seven simple waterfall safety tips: OBSERVE all posted signs leading to waterfall areas. DO NOT swim or wade upstream near a waterfall. STAY on marked trails and observation areas. WATCH for slick rocks around waterfalls. DO NOT jump off waterfalls or dive into pools. WATCH your children and pets at all times. DO NOT climb on rocks above waist height. Follow @explorebrevardnc on Instagram and @explorebrevard on Facebook to stay abreast of current conditions and the latest waterfall advisories. You’ll also find helpful... Read More