Newport/Derby/Stanstead Lecture Series

Fall 2014

Lectures are scheduled for Wednesdays beginning promptly at 1:00 p.m. Lectures will be in the Conference Room at the Hebard State Office Building 2nd Floor, 100 Main Street in Newport, VT. Site is handicap accessible with ample parking.

LECTURE 1 – Smuggling on the Vermont/Quebec Border

Scott Wheeler, Publisher, Vermont, Northland’s Journal
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 1PM
Hebard State Office Building – 2nd Floor

Smuggling along the Vermont/Quebec border has been a problem since the border was first formed. A presentation by Scott Wheeler of Derby will explore the history of smuggling on the border with an emphasis on alcohol smuggling during Prohibition.

LECTURE 2 – Cats Dogs and Origins of Civilization

Robert Chadwick, Ph.D., Co-Director Wadi ath-Thamad Archaeological Project, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 1PM.
Hebard State Office Building – 2nd Floor

The development of complex societies – civilization – is humanity’s greatest and most far-reaching accomplishment. Until recently, it was believed that humans alone were responsible for the great changes that first began in the Middle East more than 12,000 years ago, and transformed our species from hunters and gatherers into farmers and city dwellers. Now, recent genetic and archaeological research indicates that our household pets, cats and dogs, played a greater role in these monumental changes than previously thought. This illustrated talk will show how rodent control by cats, and the herding and guarding abilities of dogs, helped early farmers and herders laid the foundations of the first civilizations.

LECTURE 3 – The Art of Mime Marcel Marceau – A Tribute by Rob Mermin

Rob Mermin-Founder of Circus Smirkus
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Rob, who was a student of the legendary French mimes Marcel Marceau and his teacher Etienne Decroux, presents his memories of training with the masters. He will explore the metaphors of mime technique and show rare film clips of Marceau and Decroux performing and teaching., bringing to life the essence what Marceau called “the eloquent art of silence.” The legacy of Marceau encompassed not only his virtuosity in mime, but also his work in the French Resistance saving Jewish children from the horrors of WWII. Marceau’s life as artist and humanitarian earned him the respect of the world.

LECTURE 4 – Managing Nature’s Communes: Forestry and the Natural Communities of Vermont

Jayson Benoit, Director of the Forest Stewardship, Institute-NorthWoods Stewardship Center
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

A healthy forest with a diverse native flora and fauna is the primary goal for an increasing number of Vermont landowners, but the back forty can seem bewilderingly chaotic and the path forward unclear. This discussion will delve into representative natural communities of northeastern Vermont and show how their organization can guide forest management approaches that lead to healthier forests. Elements of northern forest ecology, history, silviculture, and forest pathology will contribute to understanding the challenges that landowners and foresters face, and to the most promising solutions.

LECTURE 5 – A Good Horse Has No Color: Searching Iceland for the Perfect Horse

Nancy Marie Brown, Author
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

In Iceland, the horse is “man’s best friend,” not the dog. When Vikings settled Iceland in the late 800s, they brought only the best of their herds. The Icelandic horse descends from these few horses from Norway and the British Isles, and has remained pure for a thousand years. Unlike more modern breeds, the Icelandic horse never lost the comfortable “traveling gaits” like the running wall, amble, or pace prized by medieval travelers who spent many hours in the saddle. Since Iceland had no “knights in shining armor,” and roads were not built through many parts of the island until the 900’s, the Icelandic horse was never bred to be larger or to emphasize its trot, a better gait for pulling carriages. Icelandic breeders also did not restrict the horses’ colors – like the breeders, for example, of the Norwegian Fjord horse. Icelandic horses retain the genes for every horse color and pattern except Appaloosa sporting. In A Good Horse Has No Color, Nancy Marie Brown introduces this rare and special breed, one she considers a “perfect horse”.

LECTURE 6 – Global Change over the Millenia

Steve Young
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 1 PM
Hebard State Building-2nd Floor

In historic times, the climate and other aspects of the global environment have been relatively stable. From a perspective of millennia, however, there has been enormous and constant change. Even in the recent past, 20,000 years of geological time, seas have drained and refilled, ice sheets larger than Antarctica have vanished, and whole ecosystems have migrated thousands of miles. Steve Young will call on a wide variety of recent research to describe and explain what has happened to the earth over the millennia, especially after the last Ice Age began to wane.

LECTURE 7 – Canadian-American Relations: Are the Best Days Behind?

Gilbert Gagné, Bishop’s University
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

The relations between the two North American neighbors are not as dynamic and close as they once were. This is manifested notably through divergences regarding continental defense cooperation, the lack of evolution of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the uncertainties over the Keystone XL project. This presentation will discuss the main reasons for the loss of momentum and/or enthusiasm that characterizes present Canadian-American relations and consider whether this reflects a deep trend.

LECTURE 8 – The Lion and the Lamb!

Dr. William Cotte, Professor
Lyndon State College
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Two of the 20th Century’s most gifted and noted (!) orchestral conductors, Arturo Toscanini and Bruno Walter, have often been perceived as ‘opposite musical temperaments’. However; as we see and hear them both ‘in action’, we will discover that they achieved their interpretive goals in much the same way, inspiring their players with integrity, passion and sheer genius! This will provide a visual and aural musical feast! Two of the Centuries ‘greats’!

LECTURE 9 – What is Modern about Modern Art?

Andrea Fairchild, PH.D.
Retired Professor of Fine Arts,
Concordia University
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Art historians have debated when exactly modern art started and how it can be defined. Essentially modern art is an art of rupture on many levels: the subject of pictures, the approach to pictorial space, the materials and means of the artist…all were challenged in the beginning of the 20th century. In this presentation we will look at the influence of Gestalt theory on how artists de-constructed the traditional picture plane and how this influenced new means of expression in the visual arts!

LECTURE 10 – The Importance of Oceans in our Climate System: A Look at a Few Past Climatic Events.

Dr. Elizabeth Levac, Bishop’s University
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Oceans play an important role in our climate system. In this lecture, we will first examine how large oceanic currents redistribute heat around the planet and how disturbances such as large meltwater inputs can disrupt our climate. We will then examine how we can go back in time and track changes in the oceans’ currents using fossils and various chemical tracers. Finally, we will examine a few climatic events triggered by changes in the oceans: the Younger Dryas and the Preboreal Oscillation.

Membership Information

Membership dues will support the development of the Institute’s future programs, which are shaped by the interests of our members. Payment of membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all 10 sessions in Newport as well as at the seven other Osher sites in Vermont during the Spring 2014 semester. Your active membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the new OLLI program on the UVM campus. Complete the membership form and send with your check for $40 USD (individual) or $70 USD (couple). Any two people who sign up for the semester as a team are considered a couple. Non-members may attend individual sessions for $5 per session.

Send your completed membership form and check payable to University of Vermont to:
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Greg Creswell, Membership
6193 Lake Road
Newport Center, VT 05857

CONTACT MEMBERS (for information on the Osher Institute or the upcoming semesters lectures.)

Penny Packard 819-876-5026
Greg Cresswell 802-334-9092
Ann Montgomery 819-876-7837
Marvelene Richards 802-334-1254
Barbee & Ron Bellefeuille 802-754-2219
Keith Richards 802-334-1254
Claire Strausberg 819-704-0569
Christine Gautier 819-843-4292

Become a member today!

Membership in the Newport Osher Lifelong Learning Institute entitles members to attend programs in other Osher Institutes established in seven other locations throughout Vermont, as well as EEE-Burlington (Elder Education Enrichment). Your active OLLI membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the OLLI on UVM campus programs. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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