Ken Austin, a researcher with UNAVCO whose work focuses on measuring plate boundary movement with hundreds of GPS systems, answers questions on Tuesday night. Sequim Gazette photo by Ross Coyle
Judging from the wall-to-wall and door-to-door audience at Lipperts' Restaurant on Jan. 8, the first Sequim Science Café could be considered a resounding success. No one is more relieved than organizers Dick Hughes and Jodi Olson, who were worried that only five or 10 people would show up.
“You don’t know if you’re going to have 10 people or 110!” said a smiling Hughes after the Science Café wrapped up. “But being so jammed is what we call a high-class problem.”
The crowd’s reaction to guest speaker Ken Austin, who spoke about his work measuring tectonic plate movement with GPS systems, was generally positive. Sequim resident Helen Erickson, a geology enthusiast, said she was happy to have learned new information about the geology of the peninsula.
Other visitors said that while Austin was knowledgeable about his subject matter, they would have appreciated more time on the basics of geology before he discussed measuring plate tectonics.
“It would have been better to talk more about the plate tectonics first,” said Ray Kawal, “and then get into how they measured the movement.”
Rachel Hughes said that she thinks the cafés will be a great opportunity for Sequim residents and that they’ll help fulfill another evening event need that the city has lacked.
SEF director Jodi Olsen said that she was amazed by the turnout and is working with Barbara and Michael Lippert to adjust the layout of the restaurant for next month’s event. Some of the adjustments include moving tables and chairs to make more room for visitors, as well as providing audio equipment to reach the packed audience.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
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