Laurel Clark Environmental Education Fund

Columbia Astronaut Dr. Laurel Clark's parents, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Brown, along with Clark's siblings Lynne, Daniel and Jonathan Salton, announce the establishment of the Laurel Clark Environmental Education Endowment Fund in her memory. Dr. Laurel Clark, a captain in the U.S. Navy and a naval flight surgeon, was one of seven astronauts who were tragically lost on Saturday, February 1st, 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart upon entering the Earth's atmosphere.

The education endowment fund was initially established with the generous gifts of family and friends who were touched by Laurel's commitment to children and the environment. She had been a long-time enthusiast of the Desert Museum and would always attend when visiting her parents in Arizona.

"While she loved her career as an astronaut, Laurel's priority was her commitment to her family and her son," Mrs. Brown said. "Preservation of the natural world was so important to her, and she said that watching her son grow and learn was an incredible experience."

Proceeds from the endowment will support Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum educational programs on an annual basis. Desert Museum education programs range from on-grounds docent interpretations to school outreach programs that bring a science curriculum to life with the fascinating wildlife and natural history of the Sonoran Desert.

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“During our first visit to the Desert Museum in 1994 we agreed it was the best full spectrum natural history experience we'd ever had - and right here in our own backyard!
We've supported the Museum annually since then and encourage friends and business associates to do the same.”
--Jerry Weinert
& Marni Dittmar