Evening Speaker Series Examines State's Natural Resources

Evening Speaker Series Examines State's Natural Resources

September 7, 2007

Nebraska's rich natural resources will be highlighted in a series of three evening public lectures at the UNL's newly renovated Hardin Hall.

The lectures, one each on Tuesdays in September, October and November, all will be at 7 p.m. in the first-floor auditorium of Hardin Hall, the former Nebraska Center for Continuing Education, on the northeast corner of North 33rd and Holdrege streets on UNL's East Campus. Renovations to the 1960-vintage building, which had a long history of hosting conferences and UNL Extension events, were completed last year and the rededicated facility now houses faculty, staff and students in UNL's School of Natural Resources, which is part of the university's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

"We have a wonderful teaching, research and office facility that we want to share and one way to increase its exposure to the public is through the fall speaker series," said SNR associate director Ed Harvey.

Harvey kicks off the free public lecture series on Sept. 18, speaking on "Groundwater and Salt — The Life Blood of Eastern Nebraska's Saline Wetlands." Much of Harvey's research in the field of hydrogeology centers on understanding how water moves and behaves, its interactions and potential for use by people and ecosystems and its vulnerability to contamination and degradation.

On Oct. 16, Robert B. Kaul, a retired UNL botany professor and now research professor and curator of botany at the University of Nebraska State Museum, will talk about "The Flora of Nebraska." Kaul recently co-authored a book by the same title with retired UNO biology professor David M. Sutherland; and Steven B. Rolfsmeier, a botanical consultant and manager in Chadron.

The nearly 1,000 page book includes information on past, present and potential future status of all plant species in Nebraska, along with keys, descriptions and distribution maps for all native and introduced Nebraska plants growing outside cultivation.

Kaul will sign copies of the book following his lecture.

On Nov. 6, plant and ecosystem ecologist Dave Wedin and geologist Jim Swinehart will present "The Stability of Nebraska's Sand Hills — Insights from Ecology and Geology."

The two have organized and conducted years of research into various aspects of the formation, evolution and ecological significance of the Sand Hills.

"These three lectures form an introduction to the wide ranging environmental research performed by faculty, staff and students within the SNR. We hope these topics will intrigue the public as well," Harvey said.Public parking next to Hardin Hall will be available and refreshments will be provided following the lectures. SNR's Nebraska Maps and More store, adjacent to the auditorium, will be open during and following the lectures.