Fresh faces in ‘Frontiers’ lecture series at the U

IonE welcomes public figures, professors and executives to speak.

by Emily Cutts

Frontiers in the Environment, the Institute on the EnvironmentâÄôs  lecture series, will see some fresh faces this spring.
Organizers have brought in speakers from outside the University of Minnesota to cover a variety of topics.
The speakers range from associate and McKnight University professors, company executives and even former WCCO  anchor Don Shelby.
They also hope that by limiting presentations to 25 to 30 minutes and keeping slides at a minimum, the lectures will be more interesting and less dry than typical lecture series.
âÄúWe try to make sure they are little bit more basic âĦ more for a general audience,âÄù said Stephanie Szurek, events coordinator  for the Institute.
The series is scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 2. The first lecture will be given by Terje Mikalsen, CEO of Tysvar LLC, a Minnesota-based firm that focuses on sharing clean technology knowledge between the U.S. and Europe.
This time around, attendees can expect to see a balance between University faculty and outside speakers.
âÄúWe started it really to bring the University of Minnesota community together around some really important environmental topics,âÄù said Todd Reubold,  spokesman for the Institute. âÄúWe started the series as a way for them to get together weekly, hear from experts in the field both at the University and outside the U.âÄù
What they have found out is that the series reaches farther than the University and Minnesota. Through UMConnect, which streams and then archives the videos, viewers around the country and the world can watch the lecture and ask questions. In the past, moderators have taken questions from California and the United Kingdom.
In physical attendance, the lecture sees about 50 to 80 people each week. But the first two weeks draw the largest crowd. Reubold recommends getting there early for the second week when Shelby will be speaking about the difficulties in talking about science in his lecture titled âÄúThe War of Words about Science.âÄù