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The Book Show

The Best of Our Knowledge # 926

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-717498.mp3

Albany, NY – PRESIDENTIAL SERIES

ONLINE HIGHER EDUCATION, Pt. 2 of 2,
MILITARY AND MILITARY SPOUSES EDUCATION

While politicians in Washington continue to haggle over details of new
educational assistance for members of the military, other areas of the
government and private industry are moving ahead with efforts to do
something immediately.

In the public sector, the U.S. Departments of Defense and Labor have
joined forces and just begun what's known as The Military Spouse Career Advancement Initiative. This test program offered at 18 sites is designed,
through higher education, to enable military spouses to develop the skills
needed to start, navigate, and advance their careers. DOD statistics show
97% of military spouses are women, and because of frequent moves from
duty station to duty station, they are often under educated and under employed.

In the private sector, Excelsior College has launched its Military Spouse
program. Spouses of military personnel from all branches are now eligible
to receive the same reduced fees, course registration, degree and certification opportunities, that are available to service members through Excelsior
College's online and distance learning programs.

About one-third of Excelsior's 35-thousand students come from the military. Earlier this year, the college was ranked by Military Advanced Education as
one of the top ten colleges nationwide for service to the U.S. Military. Plus,
U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges has repeatedly
recognized Excelsior College with top rankings.

TBOOK talks with Excelsior President, Dr. John Ebersole, for more details
on higher education programs for military spouses.

Glenn Busby reports. (10:50)

** (For more information about Excelsior College, the website mentioned
at the conclusion of the above story is: www.excelsior.edu.) **

ORIGINS OF LIFE - SCIENCE RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES

COSMOLOGY , Pt. 2 of 2, LIFE -

Astrobiology is one of the hottest areas of current research. It reflects not
only impressive advances in the understanding of the origins of life, but also
the discovery of over 150 extra-solar planets in very recent years.

As an example, just late last month, we witnessed the Mars Phoenix Lander touching down in the north polar region of Mars. The spacecraft is on a three-month science mission to dig through the Martian topsoil, lift out samples of
water-ice, and examine them for evidence of the building blocks of life.

Similarly, our Origins of Life story today is titled: Cosmology and Life. It
features leading researcher, Dr. Mario Livio, a Senior Astronomer and the
former head of the Science Division at the Space Telescope Science Institute. The Institute conducts the scientific program of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Last week, Dr. Livio talked about space, gravity, dark matter, dark energy,
and black holes. This week, TBOOK completes its discussion by exploring
the requirements for carbon-based life, potential implications for the
emergence of life in the universe, the question of the rarity of intelligent life,
and even the possibility of other universes existing.

Glenn Busby reports. (6:42)

The preceding material is supported by the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration.

**(Attention Program Directors and Listeners. For more information
about this story, or any of the other 140 stories featured in this exclusive radio series, or if you would like to hear them again via your computer,
the website mentioned at the end of the above segment is: www.origins.rpi.edu.)**