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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Science Getaways: Take Your Brain on Vacation to an Oregon Volcano

By Phil Plait

[What follows is an unabashed plug. Fairly warned be ye, says I.]

Last year, my wife and I started a new venture: Science Getaways, where we take plain old vacations and make them awesome by adding science. Our first Getaway was to a ranch nestled in the Rocky Mountains. We were joined by 30 other science enthusiasts along with three professional scientists (including moi) to explore the biology, geology, and astronomy the area had to offer.

It was a huge amount of fun, so much so that we decided to go even bigger this year: Next up we have Science Getaways 2013âVolcanoes! From June 25­-30, 2013, weâre heading to the luxurious Brasada Ranch near Bend, Oregon for a week of good food (and local beer), great company, and gorgeous science. Weâll explore the volcanoes, check out the local ecosystem and geology during hikes, and at night Iâll be hauling out my Celestron 8â telescope to show you the wonders of the Universe. The night skies there are very dark, so thatâll be a treat.

We have three scientists joining us: me (duh), geologist Holly Brunkal, and naturalist Jack Newkirk. And if you just want to chat science, the three of us will be around the whole time; weâre part of this whole package! If youâve ever wanted a captive scientist to answer your burning questions, nowâs your chance.

There are plenty of other activities planned as well, check out our overview to see them. But one thing my wife and I are adamant about is that you do whatever you want to do, and donât do what you donât want to. We donât like being hustled around by tour groups, either, so we set this up so you can pick the activities in which you want to participate. Brasada Ranch is a very fine resort, and youâll find plenty to do on your own. We even have a leisurely afternoon blocked off where weâre just going to head into Bend to shop and see the local color.

Weâre very excited to be able to make this happen, and I plan on having a fantastic time. I hope youâll join us.

Because science!

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