Join us for our Life-Long Learning Lecture series

For the citizens of the Four Corners, the Professional Associates' best-known program is definitely our Life-Long Learning (LLL) lecture series. When school is in session, Thursday evenings are Life-Long Learning evenings at FLC.

Co-sponsored by the President's Office, this series offers free presentations on a wide range of subjects and is designed to enrich the intellectual life of the college and community alike.

The lectures begin Thursdays right at 7 p.m., and end at 8:30, including a 30-minute Q&A session. 

For the fall 2021 semester, all presentations will be provided as Zoom webinars, where you'll be able to see the speaker and visual materials. You'll be able to ask questions via the chat function.

Links to the lectures will appear below as they become available.

For additional information on the LLL series, please contact Professional Associate Gary Rottman at gsorcer@hotmail.com.


Life-Long Learning Series - Fall 2021

All presentations are held Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. All presentations will be provided as Zoom webinars. Check back here each week for a link to the current lecture.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2021

‘A MOST AWFUL AND SUBLIME SPECTACLE’: Steamboat Explosions, Train Wrecks, and the Meaning of Modern Danger in 19th Century America

Historian Paul Kuenker, assistant professor of History, will explore the ways that Americans, with both anxiety and fascination, collectively encountered, interpreted, and adapted to the new dangers of travel, all while making the technologies that created them evermore essential to modern life.

View Recording

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

FIRE AND STONE: St. Mark’s Church—The Building and its People in Early Durango

Since his retirement in 2017 as a family physician and ethics chair at Mercy Regional Medical Center, John A.K. (Kip) Boyd, M.D. has immersed himself in the archives of St. Mark’s Church in Durango. Boyd will explore the church’s history from 1881 through its destruction in the great fire of 1889, the construction of the new stone church in 1891-92, and its heyday in the 1950s.

View Recording

SEPTEMBER 16, 2021

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER: A Chautauqua Presentation by Doug Mishler

In collaboration with Colorado Humanities, Doug Mishler will present a living-history program acting as Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th U.S. president. Mishler, who has appeared before in Durango as Teddy Roosevelt and Nikola Tesla, teaches history at the University of Nevada and is the founder of Restless Artists’ Theatre.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2021

AMELIA EARHART: A Chautauqua Presentation by Elsa Wolff

Entertainer and educator Elsa Wolff has been performing living- history presentations for 17 years around the country. She has presented as Minnie Pearl, Maria Von Trapp, and Annie Oakley, and will now posture her interpretation of Amelia Earhart.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2021

WHY DOES DURANGO LOOK THE WAY IT DOES?

On July 1, 1889, a devastating fire swept through Durango’s business district. Out of the ashes, our town underwent a rebirth in the eclectic spirit of the late Victorian era. Join journalist Judith Reynolds as she explores nineteenth century architectural versions of a Renaissance palace, a Roman fortress, and a Gothic cathedral, and the meaning behind such extravagant eclecticism.

View Recording

OCTOBER 7, 2021

THE ORIGINS OF CIVILIZATION’S GHASTLY FUTURE

Eminent American biologist Paul Ehrlich, Stanford professor and National Academy of Science member, will present an exclusive webinar on the centuries-long, human-caused destruction of our planet. Since his and his wife Anne’s startling 1968 publication of “The Population Bomb,” Ehrlich has urged scientists to recognize and speak candidly about the seriousness of the situation, while provoking leaders to prepare for predicted disasters.

View Recording

OCTOBER 14, 2021

WOMEN’S EDUCATION, POVERTY, AND FERTILITY: It’s all connected

In recent decades, women’s education has advanced in all regions, and the education gender gap has narrowed or disappeared in many Latin American, African, and Asian countries. Advancements reduce birth rates, improve children’s lives, and reduce poverty. Economist and demographer David Lam will review trends, explore mechanisms, and discuss challenges that remain, especially in Africa and South Asia.

View Recording

OCTOBER 21, 2021

MYSTERIES CASSINI DID NOT SOLVE

Co-sponsored by Powerhouse Science Center

The U.S.-European Cassini spacecraft was launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004. University of Colorado Boulder professor and Cassini team member Larry Esposito will discuss how new data have shaped our understanding of the ringed planet and its moons. Discoveries include the age and mass of the rings, hot water plumes emitted from a subterranean ocean on the moon Enceladus, and other findings. The Cassini Mission ended in 2017 leaving many mysteries still to be solved.

View Recording

OCTOBER 28, 2021

THE ROMANTIC RICHNESS OF CHOPIN’S PRELUDES

Conductor Thomas Heuser will examine the 24 Preludes of Frédéric Chopin as a complete set of interwoven piano miniatures, the composer’s most personal and idiomatic works. Heuser, music director of the San Juan Symphony, will launch the orchestra’s 36th season the weekend of October 16-17, 2021.

Join via Zoom

NOVEMBER 4, 2021

HOW CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS WILDFLOWERS IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS

David Inouye, principal investigator at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, has conducted a 48-year study of the timing and abundance of Colorado wildflowers in combination with a 13-year study of bees, and decades of work on hummingbirds. Inouye will share his unique insights into how climate change is influencing their interactions and talk about his decades-long study of the growth and flowering of gentian and sunflower plants.

NOVEMBER 11, 2021

THE CHALLENGES OF DROUGHT IN DURANGO

The Western U.S. is entering its third decade of megadrought. Tree rings have recorded recurrent droughts in this region, but the present condition is exacerbated by climate change. Consequences include reduced snowpack and decreased streamflow, particularly in the Colorado River Basin. Dick White, professor emeritus at Smith College, will discuss efforts underway locally, regionally, and statewide to address water challenges and the uncertain future.

NOVEMBER 18, 2021

RESTORING OUR FORESTS AND IMPROVING PLANT DIVERSITY

FLC Biology Department Professor Julie Korb will discuss tree thinning and prescribed burns as a means to restore resilient ecological conditions. Korb has completed a 10-year comparison experiment finding that regardless of treatment there is little difference in understory richness, diversity, cover, or surface fuels. Such results are important for forest managers trying to sustain our mixed-conifer forests.

DECEMBER 2, 2021

TOURISM IN COLORADO: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY

So much of Colorado’s vacation allure seems natural: sunshine, powdery snow, trout-filled streams, spectacular scenery. University of Denver History Professor William (Bill) Philpott will tell how the country’s leisure appeal had to be cleverly packaged and marketed for masses of post-World War II tourists. Today’s environmental debates continue to echo the values that postwar tourists were “taught” to buy into – for better and for worse.

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