WNC News & Notes: Jack C. Davis Observatory to celebrate total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 | NevadaAppeal.com

WNC News & Notes: Jack C. Davis Observatory to celebrate total solar eclipse on Aug. 21

Western Nevada College
WNC psychology professor Rebecca Bevans.
Courtesy |

Don’t have the time or means to travel to the pathway to view a total solar eclipse later this summer?

Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College has you covered when the moon covers the sun on Aug. 21.

Although Carson City will be hundreds of miles south of the path of totality and will experience a partial eclipse, the public can get a better view of the solar eclipse on that Monday morning at the observatory on the Carson City campus.

The observatory will be open from 8:30 a.m. to noon to capture an event that last happened in the U.S. 26 years ago and hasn’t included a coast-to-coast pathway in 99 years. Prime viewing locations across the country, such as Salem, Ore.; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Lincoln, Neb.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Charleston, S.C., will be able to enjoy seeing the moon enveloping the sun for more than 2 minutes in some places.

“In Carson City, we won’t be in the path of totality and we’ll only get about 80-ish percent coverage at maximum eclipse,” said Jack C. Davis Observatory Director Thomas Herring. “We’ll still be watching our live view and streaming video from one or more sites that are in the path of totality on our big screens in the observatory.”

For attendees who want safe viewing of the eclipse, Herring will provide a few telescopes with appropriate filters, as well as access to the Sunspotter.

“Don’t ever look directly at the sun without a proper filter during an eclipse,” Herring said.

Even if the weather turns overcast, Herring said the observatory will be open to “see whatever we can.”

The path of totality will enter the U.S. on the Oregon Coast and exit on the coast of South Carolina. It will take less than 2 hours for the entire swath of total eclipses to occur across the country.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Rebecca Bevans Wants Student to Learn More About Themselves

Through Dr. Rebecca Bevans’ psychology classes this fall at WNC, students will learn more than the subject matter. Ideally, they will discover more about themselves.

Bevans also wants to emphasize to students that there are many more opportunities for them after earning a psychology degree. She said many fields are utilizing psychology grads and they don’t have to follow a normal path of becoming a therapist or counselor.

WNC: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Bevans: Teaching is exciting to me! Students arrive with questions and we work on finding answers. I love assisting them in their acquisition of knowledge. My students don’t only learn about psychology, but they also learn more about themselves. It’s always rewarding when you see that “ah-ha” moment flash in their eyes. To me, that’s like fuel on a fire. It’s what keeps me going.

WNC: What do you hope to implement and accomplish in your classes at WNC?

Bevans: I am looking forward to bringing my knowledge and expertise to more courses and to strengthening the department. I want to continue to inspire students to pursue a degree in psychology. Many fields utilize psychology degrees; it is not just for counselors and therapists.

WNC: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Bevans: I read, a lot. Most of what I read is new research in psychology, but I try to fit in a science fiction novel here and there. Our family loves to travel. We love spending time together, so traveling is one way we get out and have some good family time.

WNC: Are you involved in community service or other philanthropy?

Bevans: Our family volunteers a lot. I am a board member of the Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum. I’m also the chair of the FNSRM Events Committee. We put on fun, educational events at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, such as the annual Steampunk event, the Harvest Train event and the annual Santa Train.

I am the president of Brain Matterz, a non-profit with a focus on brain injuries and disorders. We are currently focusing on research regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as studying the physical, psychological and neurological effects that artificial dyes have on children and adults.

I volunteer at Sassabration, an annual local event, put on by the great folks at Sassafras, to celebrate the diversity in our community.

I am also a member of the TEDxCarsonCity 2017 committee. Having been a speaker at last year’s TEDxCarsonCity event, I get to use my knowledge to help organize and coach this year’s great group of speakers.

Bevans has a doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience and a master’s degree in Child Development from the University of Nevada, Reno. Bevans also earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UNR.

Register Now: More Opportunities for Students in Fall

Now is an ideal time to enroll at Western Nevada College since more financial aid is available to students than in the past.

If you haven’t applied for financial aid, the time to act is now. More than $400,000 is available to students through the Silver State Opportunity Grant and other programs. Complete the FAFSA to apply for financial aid at http://www.wnc.edu/financial/aid/fafsa/.

WNC offers a number of degrees online, enabling individuals seeking to advance their education the ability to do so without commuting to campus.

Fall semester starts on Monday, Aug. 28. Continuing and returning students may register at my.wnc.edu. The first step for new students is to apply for admission. To learn more about enrolling go to http://www.wnc.edu/starthere/.