Jump to Footer

Eclipse Chaser to Discuss ‘Wow’ Factor of Eclipses, Being in Path of Totality

eclipse chaser kate russo

SUNY Plattsburgh School of Arts and Sciences will host Dr. Kate Russo, author, psychologist and eclipse chaser, Friday, Feb. 16, at 5 p.m. via Zoom as part of its year-long celebration of the April 2024 eclipse.

Participants will also be able to join the Zoom meeting as a group in Hudson 106.

Russo, founder of the eclipse consultant group, “Being in the Shadow,” will be logging in from her native Australia to speak on “The Wow of Eclipses: Delving Deep into the Totality Experience.” In addition to her professional credentials, she is an eclipse chaser who has seen 13 total solar eclipses from six continents over 20 years.

According to Dr. Genie Babb, associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, “Russo’s unusual combination of skills and expertise allows her to carve out a unique niche that includes eclipses, community development, and tourism development.

“Dr. Russo uses her academic and clinical skills to delve deep into the experience of totality, using these insights to help put words to the ineffable.”

‘Provides Compelling Insight’

Lisabeth Kissner, director of the Northcountry Planetarium and lecturer in physics, first heard Russo at a webinar held by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in August 2023. Kissner said that Russo “provides compelling insight into how a natural phenomenon such as an eclipse can evoke such a transcendent, transformative experience.”

“For me, science itself is beautiful,” Kissner said. “But for some that’s not the case. Dr. Russo speaks to those who might be put off by the science. She’s very good at presenting an alternative way of appreciating an eclipse.”

kate russo looking at eclipse“Dr. Russo takes the experience to the next step by doing research in brain function in response to awe,” Kissner said. Russo has surveyed and interviewed hundreds of people about their eclipse experience, and authored three books where she shares the awe, excitement, and wonder of the total solar eclipse worldwide. In Friday’s discussion, Russo will present findings from her research.

One of Series of Events

Russo’s lecture is one of a series of events held at SUNY Plattsburgh leading up to the total solar eclipse Monday, April 8 when at about 3:30 p.m. Plattsburgh will find itself in the path of totality.

“We’re thrilled to invite the North Country community to hear Dr. Russo and join us on that path in preparation for this once-in-a-lifetime event in April,” said Babb. Babb said to give you an idea of who rare these are, it will be 2044 before the United States witnesses another total eclipse.

For more information, contact Babb at 518-564-3150 or email [email protected]. Visit the SUNY Plattsburgh eclipse page for more information on upcoming events, including a link to the Feb. 16 Zoom gathering.

Back to top