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Community Classroom Series Launched

By Molly Exner
UW-RF News Bureau

FEB. 4, 2005--The UW-River Falls College of Arts and Sciences will host a medley of captivating conversations as part of its Community Classroom series held in February, March and April, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the lower level of the River Falls Public Library on the corner of Division and Union streets. The lineup includes:

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, UW-RF anthropology Professor Ed Robins presents
"Beautiful Belize: Paradise Found or Paradise Lost?"
Robins examines Belize's dependence on its treasure trove of natural resources as well as recent concerns voiced by conservationists over transformation of the resource base. Belize, a small Central American country between Mexico and Guatemala, was once a refuge for pirates and buccaneers. Today, Belize has been transformed into the ideal retreat for tourists, is latest group of adventurers. Robins, the chair of the UW-RF department of sociology, anthropology and criminal justice, also directs an annual student study tour to Belize as well as student internship opportunities in Belize and a joint research program with Green Reef Belize.

On Thursday, March 10, UW-RF geography Professor Charles Rader presents "The American Landscape: Landscape Photography and the Creation of Place." Rader will talk about how the impressions we gain through our interpretation of landscape photography shapes our understanding of the natural and the human-made worlds and our perception of nature in the American context. An avid photographer, Rader combines his formal training in cultural geography with his passion for photography and depicts an insightful look at the relationships between imagery and geography.

On Thursday, March 31, UW-RF art instructor Steven Derfler presents "Progress into the Past: Rediscovering our Biblical Roots." Derfler will lead a journey through maps, plans and imagery to excavation sites in Israel, uncovering the existence of ancient civilizations such as those mentioned in the Bible. The goal of archaeological research is to put "flesh onto the bones" of ancient text, says Derfler, who believes that digging up our religious roots can be historically and spiritually connected. Derfler has been teaching about ancient civilizations for more than 25 years and also conducts study tours to Egypt, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.

On Thursday, April 21, UW-RF biology assistant Professor Scott Ballantyne presents "Lessons From the Human Genome Project." The sequencing of the human genome in April 2003 was considered the "moon landing" of the 21st century and heralded as the single greatest scientific feat of the decade. Ballantyne, who's been conducting molecular genetics research for more than 20 years, will review current discoveries, potential applications and mounting ethical concerns. While it was not entirely clear what scientists hoped to discover from DNA sequencing, Ballantyne will reflect on the benefits of this knowledge and what we've learned from this achievement.

No reservations are needed to attend the Community Classroom events, which are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the UW-RF Outreach and Graduate Studies Office at 715/425-3256 or 800/228-5607.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:19 Central Daylight Time

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