Biologist, adventurer and star of Discovery’s “Biggest & Baddest” to open annual Kern County Science Fair
Canadian-born biologist, adventurer and TV personality Dr. Niall McCann will provide the opening address to kick-off the 26th annual Kern County Science Fair March 18 at the Rabobank Convention Center. The annual event is the culmination of months of hard work for hundreds of local 4th through 12th graders who have risen through their school and district ranks for a chance to showcase their science projects and compete at the county level.
McCann will open the day at 9 a.m. as he shares his exciting life story. McCann studied Zoology at the University of Bristol, completing a PhD at Cardiff University, studying Baird’s Tapir, the largest mammal in the neotropics and one of the most threatened species in the Americas.
McCann has dedicated his life to seeking out adventure on six continents, either in combination with his zoological studies, or on stand-alone adventures. These adventures have included a month-long cycling excursion in the Himalayas and crossing the Khunjerab Pass, the highest paved pass in the world. McCann has since cycled the highest road in the world, canoed the River Yukon, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean and skied across Greenland.
In his career as a zoologist, McCann has specialized on working with endangered species and has conducted zoological research in the UK, Italy, Mauritius, Bolivia, Namibia, Guyana and Honduras; spending over 21 months living and working in remote and challenging parts of the world. As well as his involvement in research, McCann is actively engaged in ongoing conservationprojects in Honduras, Nepal and Guyana, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
McCann made his television debut in 2011 with the PBS documentary “Lost in the Amazon: the enigma of Col Fawcett,” which aired in the History Channel in the UK. As a result of the success of this documentary, which won two international awards, he landed a six-part wildlife adventure series with the Discovery Network’s “Biggest and Baddest.”
After McCann’s address, judging of student projects will commence at 10 a.m. The public is invited for viewing of displays from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Judging will concentrate on scientific thought/engineering goals, creativity, organization, completeness, clarity, effort and motivation. Students have to explain their displays, log books and hypothesis to a panel of judges.
Awards ceremonies will be held at 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
First or second place finishers may be eligible to compete in the 63rd annual California Science Fair to be held at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on April 28-29.
The Kern County Science Fair is administered by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools with primary sponsorship provided by Aera Energy LLC. Additional sponsorship and support is offered by Chevron North America Exploration and Production, Occidental of Elk Hills, Kern County Science Foundation, Tejon Ranch Company, Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center, Bakersfield College and TYBRIN Corporation.
For more information, please contact Eldred Marshall, KCSOS mathematics/science coordinator, at (661) 636-4640.