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Faculty Noon Seminar Series returns

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The University of Maine at Presque Isle's Faculty Noon Seminar Series returns for the Fall 2011 semester with presentations on everything from climate change in Central Asia and the Chinese public education system to research on branchiobdellidans and slave hiring in Antebellum Virginia.

Seminars generally will be held on the final Thursday of every month from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Normal Hall Faculty Lounge, unless otherwise noted. Presentations will be 20-30 minutes in length with a discussion period to follow. Faculty, students, staff and community members attending are welcome to bring their lunches and join in the discussion.

The series will kick off with a presentation on Oct. 20 by visiting scholar Professor Huijun Gao titled Synopsis of the Chinese Public Education System. Professor Gao is currently serving as Vice Dean in the Department of Public Administration at Communication University of China in Beijing. She will discuss five major topics relating to public education during her presentation including: policy and administration; category and characteristics; enrollment; introduction to teaching and training undergraduates in the university setting; and evaluation of the Chinese education system.

On Oct. 28, Dr. Stuart R. Gelder will present Crayfish worm research; a multi-disciplinary education. Dr. Gelder, an Emeritus Professor Biology at UMPI, is one of the world's top researchers in the field of branchiobdellidan biology. He will discuss how art, sociology, culinary customs, applied science, foreign perspectives, law and law enforcement all play a part in biological research which has involved undergraduate students at UMPI over the last 25 plus years.

On Nov. 17, David Putnam and Aaron Putnam will present Tides of Grass: Cultural Responses to Climate Change in Inner Asia. David Putnam is a lecturer of science with UMPI's Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program. His son Aaron Putnam is a post doctoral research associate with the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. They will discuss paleoenvironmental data collected over the past two summers in northwestern China. Direct evidence of increased moisture over the past 1,000 years is correlated with a southern expansion of the steppe biome that increased carrying capacity for horses and favored nomadic pastoralists over farmers in the arid mid latitudes during the Little Ice Age. This presentation will be held in Folsom Hall, room 105.

On Dec. 8, UMPI History Professor Dr. John Zaborney will describe parts of his forthcoming book with Louisiana State University Press, Slaves For Hire: Renting Enslaved Laborers in Antebellum Virginia. In his book, Dr. Zaborney explores some long-held assumptions about slave hiring in Antebellum Virginia and brings to light some important and sometimes unexpected realities of the practice. Major themes include the 19th century origins of slave hiring; the hiring of women (including pregnant women), children, and elderly slaves; hiring's impact on slave families; and connections between slave hiring and white society and Virginia's economy on the eve of the Civil War.

The purpose of the Faculty Noon Seminar Series is to foster awareness of research and teaching activities taking place on campus and to provide a forum for dissemination between faculty members. The series also offers the opportunity to network and encourage transdisciplinary scholarly activity. As a campus wide forum, students, faculty and administrative staff are invited to present their work during the seminar series.

For more information about the Faculty Noon Seminar Series, contact Charles Johnson at 768-9598 or Tomasz Herzog at 768-9429.