This event honored the Forest's overall theme of World Friendship through Flight, including spaceflight and the increasing use of unmanned vehicles and remote sensing to address problems across borders. We honored the U.S. Coast Guard on the 100th anniversary of Coast Guard Aviation, and also celebrated our international friends and expanded our partnerships. Our distinguished speaker was to have been Capt. Barry Schiff, known for his "Operation Peace Flight," but he was unable to attend at the last minute. The keynote address was delivered by Ms. Tracey Tomme, Vice President of Education of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, who spoke eloquently about the Kansas Cosmosphere's attractions, exploration activities and learning programs.
In 2015, we honored foresters who fly, smoke jumpers, pilots and operators of fire tankers, those who have contributed to remote sensing of ecosystems and habitat monitoring, precision agriculture, etc. Our distinguished speaker was Dr. Greg Asner, Principal Investigator at Carnegie Airborne Observatory. Read his bio here, or watch his cool Ted Talk here.
This celebration had a particular focus on “Women of Discovery,” honoring the 29 women astronauts who flew on Shuttle Discovery during her 39 missions. The 2014 distinguished speaker was Sandy Magnus, the Executive Director of American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in Reston, Virginia. She is also a veteran of four space shuttle flights and an expedition on board the International Space Station.