Heads Up

UCLA alumni travelers have rare opportunity to view total solar eclipse

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Solar Eclipse
NASA

In 1941, UCLA launched a program for alumni who sought to travel with “like-minded” people — sojourners who share a passion for learning. In the 75 years since, UCLA Alumni Travel has led tens of thousands of alumni, family and friends on 2,500 eye-opening expeditions around the globe and has become one of the leading public university travel programs. More than 600 travelers have taken 23 sold-out trips to Cuba since November 2011 — more than any other university in the country. The program’s popular annual sojourn to the famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival is now in its 25th year. Seventy percent of the program’s travelers have taken multiple UCLA Alumni Travel trips.

In a one-of-a-kind tour next summer, travelers will explore the skies during Total Solar Eclipse, a rare opportunity to witness the extraordinary natural phenomenon on Aug. 21, 2017. This will be the first time in 40 years that a solar eclipse is visible in the continental United States, and only along a narrow track stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. Within that slender swath is the South Fork Lodge in Swan Valley, Idaho, which UCLA travelers will have exclusive use.

UCLA Alumni travelers on a recent trip to Antarctica

The Aug. 18-22 trip begins with naturalist-led tours of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks in Wyoming. Serving as guide to the heavens will be professor and cosmochemist Kevin McKeegan, chair of the UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, who will lead participants through the dramatic unfolding of the solar eclipse. He will also give a lecture on the phenomena of eclipses and “exoplanets” — planets orbiting around other stars – that were discovered when they produced eclipses with their host star.

Total Solar Eclipse is just one of 50 annual tours. Developed with an emphasis on culturally focused, enriching and educational travel — with faculty members often participating to contribute their expertise — the tours will traverse territory from Alaska to Antarctica, Machu Picchu to Tanzania.

UCLA Alumni Travel offerings are a benefit to members of the UCLA Alumni Association, their families and friends. Find more information on membership here.

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