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Saturday U Program Feb. 7 at Sheridan College

January 30, 2015
man with blindfolded moose in snow
Matt Kauffman, director of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at UW, will discuss his research on how and why ungulates -- such as moose, deer and elk -- migrate during a Saturday U event in Sheridan Feb. 7. (UW Photo)

Area residents have the opportunity to go back to college for a day, with three professors from the University of Wyoming lecturing Saturday, Feb. 7, in Sheridan for the spring term of Saturday University -- UW’s popular, free, one-day college education program.

Tracing Charles Darwin’s roots; adopting an African’s approach to social integration; and discussing research of Wyoming’s big game populations are topics that will be discussed at Sheridan College’s Whitney Academic Center Atrium. The program is free and open to the public.

The half-day of college classes and discussion begins with refreshments at 8:30 a.m., followed by a welcoming address at 8:50 a.m. The guest lectures begin at 9 a.m.

In its seventh year, Saturday U is a collaborative program that connects popular UW professors with lifelong learners. Offered six times a year -- twice each in Jackson, Gillette and Sheridan -- Saturday U is sponsored by the university, the UW Foundation and Wyoming Humanities Council, and is presented locally by Sheridan College.

Participants may attend one, two or all three lectures in Sheridan, plus the final luncheon and roundtable discussion at 12:30 p.m.

Listed below are program topic descriptions and UW professors lecturing:

9-10 a.m. -- “The Descent of Darwin,” Caroline McCracken-Flesher, UW Department of English professor.

Where did Charles Darwin come from? What was his line of descent? McCracken-Flesher will trace Darwin’s lineage, from his prominent family through his education and influences, and will show how “Darwinism” was in the air, for shepherds, scientists and poets from the 18th century on.

10:15-11:15 a.m. -- "‘Hello’ or ‘How are the Children?’: An African Approach to Social Integration,” John Kambutu, UW-Casper and College of Education associate professor.

Maasai warriors of Kenya and Tanzania are well known for their courage and willingness to confront other ethnic groups. However, Kambutu says the Maasai are rarely recognized for their fondness with children, a fact that is evident in their traditional greeting of, “And how are the children?” Kambutu explores what might happen if Americans adopted this Maasai mindset in their efforts to address the social challenges currently facing American children and families.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -- “The Migrations of Wyoming’s Deer, Elk and Moose: Ecology and Conservation amid Changing Landscapes,” Matt Kauffman, UW Department of Zoology and Physiology professor, and the director of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, located at UW.

Kauffman leads a scientific team that has broken new ground exploring the long-distance migrations of Wyoming's iconic large ungulates including deer, moose and elk. The research focuses on how and why ungulates migrate by evaluating the role of forage, movement, fat dynamics, reproduction and survival. Kauffman will explain how migrations are being altered by landscape changes such as drought, predation by newly restored wolves and grizzly bears, and rapidly expanding energy development -- as well as new efforts to conserve the migration routes. For more information, visit

The spring Saturday U term continues with programs in Gillette Feb. 12 and Jackson March 7.

For more information, visit the Saturday U website at

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