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Release Date: 05/06/2005
Contact Information:

Environmental News
Dale Armstrong
(913) 551-7316


May 6, 2005


May is National Science Month, and a variety of events and great photo ops are open to Kansas City area news media the week of May 9. EPA will emphasize the importance of good science to EPA and its Region 7 office in Kansas City, Kan., during the events.

Events range from a tour of EPA’s airborne chemical detection system at the downtown airport to EPA employees helping students work on the banks of the Little Blue River, to demonstrations of vehicle emissions testing and gas cap testing at the Discovery Center.

A two-day Science Forum will take place at EPA’s new Science and Technology Center in Kansas City, Kan., with presentations such as the use of remote sensing to characterize the landscape effects of urban sprawl on the in the metropolitan Kansas City area. The second day will be devoted to a product expo demonstrating how EPA science and engineering tools can be used to generate data critical to important environmental decisions.

Here are just a few of the scheduled highlights:

Tuesday, May 10

10 a.m. – noon: Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford will recognize the restoration work of the Little Blue River Watershed Coalition and its partners and then join EPA volunteers and students from the Center School District Environmental Club as they continue the restoration. The event will be near the trail head of the Little Blue Trace bike trail off Interstate 70 at the Little Blue Parkway exit. (May is also National Wetlands Month.)

1 p.m.: Dr. Wei Ji of the University of Missouri, Kansas City, will discuss characterizing the landscape effects of urban sprawl in the metro area using remote sensing and landscape metrics. The presentation is part of the Science Forum at Region 7’s Science and Technology Center.

Wednesday, May 11

10 a.m.: EPA Regional Administrator Gulliford will join the Mid-America Regional Council and several of its partners during a news conference at the Discovery Center. The conference will focus on designation of Kansas City as in compliance with the eight-hour ozone standard and the metro area’s Clean Air Action Plan. Demonstrations of vehicle emissions testing and gas cap testing in the Discovery Center parking lot will follow the conference.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Demonstrations of scientific equipment during the product expo at the Region 7 Science and Technology Center. This is EPA’s third annual expo, and the first in Kansas City. Participants will be able to explore product uses and applications directly with EPA scientists, including detection of lead-based paint on walls and detection of black mold.

Thursday, May 12

10 a.m. – noon: Tour of ASPECT, EPA’s airborne chemical detections system. ASPECT stands for Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology -- sensors mounted in a twin-engine airplane. It can detect chemicals and several different radiological materials. ASPECT can also collect high-resolution digital photography and video and can take thermal and night images by using instruments that track differences in heat below the airplane. Region 7 scientists who staff ASPECT will be available to the news media during a stopover en route from imaging work in Ohio to the plane’s storage facility in Dallas.


The Little Blue River restoration site: Exit I-70 at the Little Blue Parkway and go north one-half mile. Cross the river, and parking is available to the west.

Discovery Center: 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Mo.

ASPECT tour: Starts in the lobby of Executive Beechcraft just off the Broadway bridge downtown.

EPA Region 7 Science and Technology Center: 300 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

    • Driving west on I-70 entering Kansas, keep right onto US-24 toward US-24/Minnesota Ave/Washington Blvd.
    • Keep right on local roads toward Third Street.
    • Bear right (east) onto Washington Boulevard, then immediately turn right (south) onto North Third Street.
    • Arrive at 300 Minnesota Ave.

    • Driving east on I-70, take the Fifth Street exit and proceed north on Fifth past Minnesota Avenue to Washington Boulevard.
    • Go right (east) on Washington and merge to the right lane, which is Minnesota Avenue/Fairfax District exit.
    • Proceed on this exit about one-eighth mile. The Science and Technology Center is on the left just before you get to the stop sign at Third Street.
Parking: Available in front (the south side) of the Science and Technology Center. Pull up to the intercom by the gate and push the button to communicate with the security guard. Inform the guard that you are here to attend the Region 7 Science Forum. The gate will then open and you will be able to park. If the south lot is full, pull up to the gate on the north side of the building (along Third Street) and use the same the process.

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