In the beginning, it was tough to bring the content in Earth from Space down to a level that most of us could understand. Let's face it, the hard science of what makes space satellites tick isn't exactly the kind of thing most people study on a daily basis. But what everyone can appreciate are the images that those machines zip back to Earth. I mean who wouldn't find a picture of New York City from 500 miles above the planet as least as cool (or more so) as an image of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie walking down the red carpet? How about the perfect geometry of the Great Pyramids as viewed from hundreds of miles above the Earth? In a word, "awesome."
You can imagine that we were elated when we heard that Earth from Space, an exhibition that almost didn't happen, received the 2007 Shoemaker Award for Communications Product Excellence. The award recognizes materials that effectively "communicate complex scientific concepts and discoveries into words and pictures that capture the interests and imaginations of the American public." The judges included writers, designers, and scientists from the both the public and private sectors. Dirk Kempthorne, the current Secretary of the Interior, presented the award to the project team, which included Devra Wexler, Jennifer Schommer, Andrew Johnston (NASM exhibition curator), Frederic Williams, Miriam Keegan, Ron Beck (USGS), and Marissa Hoechsetter.
The whole group had a fantastic time working on this exhibition. Most of all, we were thrilled with the help that NASA, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, and USGS provided to make it all come to life. Check it out in your corner of the world!
-Heather Foster Shelton, SITES writer/editor