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Saturday U Program Feb. 8 at Sheridan College

January 31, 2014

Area residents have the opportunity to go back to college for a day, with three professors from the University of Wyoming and Sheridan College lecturing Saturday, Feb. 8, in Sheridan for the spring term of Saturday U -- UW’s free one-day college education program.

Comparative psychology in the 21st century; landscape photographs in the 19th century West; and waterfowl management, conservation and hunting are topics that will be discussed at Sheridan College’s C-TEL. 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 8:45 a.m. The guest lectures begin at 9 a.m.

In its sixth 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. The program is free and open to the public.

Listed below are program topic descriptions and UW and Sheridan College representatives lecturing:

9 a.m. -- “The Thinking Animal: A Look at Comparative Psychology in the 21st Century,” Rachel Kristiansen, Sheridan College Department of Humanities/Social Science. Do animals think? Do some animals think like humans, at least a little bit? “If so, what can studying these animals reveal about how humans think?” Kristiansen asks.

She will explore these questions and will describe how animals perceive their world and how they learn from it by examining the ways they use tools, count and communicate. Her lecture delves into the new field of animal psychology and its future benefits.

10:15-11:15 a.m. -- “Making it Home: Landscape Photographs in the 19th Century West,” Rachel Sailor, UW Department of Art. Photographs of the Old West fill archives and special collections across America, but they are often overlooked outside the region where they were taken, Sailor says.

“These photographs can tell much more than the details of a town or homestead; they reveal that the camera was a settlement tool and that people used photographs to capture a sense of their place and of themselves within it,” she adds.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -- “The Future of Waterfowl Management, Conservation and Hunting,” Benjamin Rashford, UW Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Waterfowl management and conservation in America is a success story of the North American wildlife conservation model -- a globally unique model that manages wildlife as a public resource, using science and largely funded by hunters, Rashford says. Since 1846, hunters have played a critical role in developing and financing nearly every major waterfowl management and conservation initiative.

“But, can this continue?” he asks. “Complex forces, from demographic shifts and agricultural policy, to economics and climate change, cast an increasingly dark shadow over the future of waterfowl conservation.”

The spring Saturday U term continues with programs in Jackson March 8 and in Gillette March 29.

For more information, visit the Saturday U website at

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