St. Johnsbury Lecture Series


Fall 2016

Classes are held on Thursdays at 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. at Catamount Arts, 115 Eastern Avenue, St. Johnsbury*


Sept. 15 2016
Inaugural Luncheon at 12:30
Growing Organic Fruit

Todd Parlo

Todd is the founder of Walden Heights Nursery and Orchard, a certified organic farm specializing in rare apples. The presentation will explore all aspects of fruit growing in cold climates under organic management.

Sept. 22, 2016
The Forest Duff— an Unseen but Most Important World

Kurt J. Valenta

Kurt is the founder and president of Exordium, Inc. As part of Exordium’s Nature Series, this presentation is an investigative sojourn to the forest floor. One of the most distinctive features of the forest ecosystem, it teems with a wide variety of flora and fauna. The forest floor, with its vegetative matter, is a crucial component in the nutrient transfer to mineral soil. A vital part of the natural cycle, it is unseen and underfoot, but should be understood. You will never go into a forest the same way again!

Sept. 29, 2016
Orphan Trains in Vermont

Daniel Bean, PhD

Every city in America utilized these trains to serve their orphan population. This talk will address why the trains were used, how the New York trains were founded and what is known of two carloads of children sent to upper western Vermont in 1905. What little the speaker knows of riders to eastern Vermont, St. Johnsbury and the Newport area, will be discussed, and any information the audience can provide will be welcome and greatly appreciated.

Oct. 6, 2016
The Buzz of Our Natural Pollinators

Sara Zahendra

Bumblebees and other cute, fuzzy pollinators are essential to our food supply— but they are in trouble. Many species have been disappearing over the past few decades, and some have vanished altogether. We’ll learn about bumblebee life history, the role native pollinators play in our ecosystem, and we’ll discuss the current status of certain species in the Northeast.

Oct. 13, 2016
Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Lewis Chessmen

Nancy Marie Brown

The Lewis Chessmen are the most famous chessmen of all time. Found in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides in the 1800’s, these walrus-ivory figurines captivate visitors to the British Museum—- each face is individual, each full of quirks. Now thought to be carved by an Icelandic woman in about 1200, they present a capsule history of the Vikings in the North Atlantic, when the sea-road connected countless countries we think of as far apart and culturally distinct.

Oct. 20, 2016
Slow ‘n’ Steady’s Appalachian Trail Journey

Janet “Slow ’n’ Steady” Steinert

Upon retirement as a school administrator, Janet set out to complete the 2,185.9 mile trek from Georgia to Maine. She completed the Trail, but her goal changed as she traveled through the journey of a lifetime. Hear about her adventures, her challenges and her joys as she struggled to fulfill her dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Oct. 27, 2016
Landscape Change and the Coming of the Interstate Highway System

Paul Bierman, UVM Professor of Geology & Natural Resources

This presentation will examine the period from the late 1950’s to the early 1970’s when the Interstate Highway System came to Vermont. Prof. Bierman will use many images from the UVM’s Landscape Change Program ( archive to illustrate the changes that several decades of construction brought to the valleys and hillsides of the Green Mountain State.

Nov. 3, 2016
Around the World Adventures: Touching Upon All Seven Continents

Mary Gibbons

Mary Gibbons, a surgical nurse from Ashby , MA. Since childhood Mary has been a traveler and photographer. With some of her favorite stories and photographs she’ll take us  “Continent Hopping”, touching down in Alaska, Mongolia— to name just two!

Membership Information

Become a member today!

Membership dues entitle subscribers to attend all sessions and bring a guest to one of them.
Non-members may attend any single session for $6. Membership Dues are $30.00, mailed with the form or paid at the first session.

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure and see with fees to:

UVM OLLI Registration Office
460 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

Make checks payable to The University of Vermont.

Catamount Arts: (802) 748-2600 – after 1:00 P.M.

Membership in your local OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) entitles you to attend programs at any of the other 7 OLLI sites 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 programs on the UVM campus. 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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