Making better decisions, getting to net zero, the dilemmas of local media and the importance of national security, not to mention vaccines, critical race theory and the greenhouse effect. These are some of the topics to be explored in the free Fort Lewis College winter-spring lecture series beginning Jan. 20.
“We’re now in our 22nd year,” Gary Rottman said of the long-running town-gown lecture project. “Our team has worked hard to invite a variety of faculty and other experts who will discuss current issues.”
Rottman is a member of the FLC Professional Associates and leads a team whose goal is to develop a variety of relevant and interesting programs. The free lectures are co-sponsored by the Office of the President.
“Once again, our presentations continue in a virtual format as webinars,” Rottman said. “They begin promptly at 7 p.m. Thursday evenings. You will view the speaker and all visual materials and be able to ask questions via the chat function. This winter, we’re pleased to have five faculty members from the college, academic experts from other colleges and two medical doctors, among others, as speakers. Most presentations will be recorded and available for one week after the initial offering.”
Scheduled lectures are:
- Jan. 20: Habits – A Blessing and a Curse. Registered dietitian and certified health and wellness coach Nicole Clark will explore the role of habits in our lives.
- Jan. 27: Today’s Life Saving Vaccines. Infectious disease specialist Jennifer Rupp, M.D., will describe types of vaccines and the mechanisms by which they work.
- Feb. 3: Why Pay Attention to National Security. Capt. Gail Harris, U.S. Navy (retired) will discuss how a failure to effectively deal with national security threats has the potential to make our daily lives a nightmare.
- Feb. 10: Salmon, Sovereignty and Alaska Natives. Bridget Groat, assistant professor of history and Native American studies at FLC, will discuss the ecology, culture and economy of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.
- Feb. 17: Local Media: Readers, Listeners and Uncertain Revenues. Richard Ballantine, chairman, The Durango Herald, will discuss the issues facing local media as digital-only start-ups attempt to gain visibility and followers without the costs of a print component.
- Feb. 24: Feeding the Birds: Fuel Reduction Treatments. Retired professor of biology, ecology and environmental science Herb Grover will discuss the findings that suggest a rapid recovery in the number of bird species and composition after prescribed fire.
- March 3: Celebrating American Composer Amy Beach (1867-1944). Holly Quist, FLC adjunct professor of music, will premiere the pilot episode of her educational video series “Celebrating More at the Piano.”
- March 10: The Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect. University of Colorado professor Peter Pilewskie will explain what the greenhouse effect is not, then lay the groundwork for a simpler yet physically correct definition.
- March 17: The Importance of Critical Race Theory. FLC professor of sociology Katherine Smith will inaugurate a discussion about CRT from an African American perspective in order to inform and engage the audience.
- March 24: Spring break, no program.
- March 31: Partisan Gridlock and American Democracy. FLC assistant professor of political science Paul deBell will examine the origins of our current partisan gridlock and look at political innovations like open primaries and ranked choice voting.
- April 7: The Science and Politics of Abortion. Warren Hern, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., opened his private medical practice in Boulder in 1975 and will speak about the science and politics of abortion since then.
- April 14: Getting to Net Zero: It’s Not that Hard. Retired architect Rich Farrington and retired professor of biology Deborah Lycan will share what they have learned from building their carbon-free, net-zero energy home here in Durango.
- April 21: Decisions: Stand Back or Step Aside? Retired engineer and FLC adjunct faculty member Chuck Carson will explore how the tendencies of logic and intuition can help us make better decisions.