Here’s the lineup for U’s Institute on the Environment spring lecture series

Beginning this week, the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment offers a banner line up of speakers for its spring Frontiers in the Environment lecture series.

Professor Craig Packer, renowned for his studies of lions in Tanzania, is to speak this Wednesday, Feb. 3, about The Whole Village Project, which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of foreign aid in sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty is the principal cause of habitat loss. More than 20 U of M researchers are working on the project in more than 240 villages throughout Tanzania.

John Sheehan, the institute’s Scientific Program Coordinator, is to speak on Feb. 10 about the explosive debate over biofuels. He takes the subject beyond food vs. fuel to look at the impact forests and other land.

Forest Resources Professor Peter Reich is to talk on Feb. 17 about science’s high-tech tools for understanding ecosystem responses to climate warming, rising CO2 levels and other environmental changes. He uses the tools to study grasslands and forests in Minnesota.

Will Steger, polar explorer and environmental advocate, is to talk on Feb. 24 about his own observations of global warming in Arctic regions. His program includes photos from his expeditions as well as satellite imagery and multimedia videos.

All lectures are scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. The Steger talk will take place at the St. Paul Student Center Theater. The others will be at the Institute’s Seminar Room 380, VoTech Bldg., St. Paul campus. They are free, with no registration required. They also will be webcast live.

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