On April 17, 2016, the University at Albany held its fourth annual "Family Earth Day" event from 1 pm to 4 pm. This event was organized by the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (DAES) and the UAlbany Office of Sustainability Programs, with support from the Office of the Vice President for Research, University Auxiliary Services, Graduate Students for Sustainability, DAES, Atmospheric Research Center and New York State Mesonet.
It hosted over 192 guests from 56 families and 33 local schools, with a focus on families with young children aged ~5 - 12 years old. Many fun and hands-on activities and demonstrations introduced participants to environmental and atmospheric sciences, sustainability topics, solar physics and biology - ranging from solar ovens and water pollution to climate change and bird beak adaptations - as well as "gee-wiz" atmospheric science demonstrations, such as making a cloud in a bottle and tornado in a box. The kids even got the chance to observe sheep herding demonstrations, participate in weather balloon launches, see sunspots through solar telescope and discover the start-of-art weather instruments from New York State Mesonet! A total of 54 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty from seven departments and organizations across the university helped to make the event a success, and had the opportunity to share their knowledge and passion with their community.