Mesa Public Library Presents Program About Motorless Aviation And Ballooning In The West Aug. 25

Dr. Gary Fogel, author of ‘Sky Rider: Park Van Tassel and the Rise of Ballooning in the West’, will give a virtual talk in a Mesa Public Library program slated for Aug. 25. Photo Courtesy LAC


Balloon Fiesta is only five weeks away, and the staff at Mesa  Public Library is excited to welcome Dr. Gary Fogel for the occasion! On Thursday, Aug. 25 from 7 to 8 p.m. Dr. Fogel will give a virtual author talk about his latest book, Sky Rider: Park Van Tassel and the Rise of Ballooning in the West. Attendees will learn the fascinating legacy of  the P.T. Barnum-like character who—in addition to co-inventing the parachute—took his  concept of aerial exhibition on the road and set the stage for one of New Mexico’s most beloved  events. 

Fogel teaches aerospace engineering at San Diego State University and holds 12 world records  and over 60 national records for aeromodels. His Altostratus I radio-controlled model sailplane is  on exhibit at the National Aerospace Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia as an example of  rapid, low-cost, low-risk prototyping. He has many interests including the evolution of flight, the  use of biomimicry for aerospace engineering, and has authored several books on the history of  aviation. In addition to serving as CEO of Natural Selection, Inc., a company focused on broad  applications of machine learning, he is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics  Engineers and the Academy of Model Aeronautics. He is also an associate fellow of the  American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 

This free public program is made possible by Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries and will  be livestreamed via Zoom. Registration is required to attend. Please visit the library’s event  calendar for more information. Questions? Please contact Mesa Public Library’s Program  Specialist, Jessica Jenkins at or (505) 662-8257.