Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech
  Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech

Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech

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Courses

Fall Term Begins October 2, 2017
Catalogs Available Beginning August 21
Registration Available September 6

Most classes are 1 ½ hours, one day per week, for 4 or 6 weeks

Preview Fall 2017 Offerings:


View Course Descriptions
- or -
Download an updated Catalog: LLI-coursecatalogFall2017.pdf


Also check our events page for information about scheduled upcoming events.


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Archives


MONDAY

October 13 - November 13, 2017

Getting Your Ducks in a Row: Document Your End-of-Life Choices

Course #: 569047-001
Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Dates: 3 weeks: Oct. 23, 30, Nov. 13 (no class Nov. 6)
Location: Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, Hatcher Conference Room
Class Limit: 20
Cost: $35
Instructors: Isabel Berney, Sandy Schlaudecker

This three-session course walks you through preparation of your funeral plans so that they reflect your wishes and so that you don’t leave your survivors with difficult choices at a time when they are least able to respond. The instructors will guide a conversation with participants about these difficult topics.

TOPICS

  1. Using documents and tools to facilitate endof- life considerations including a “Dear Family” letter to share your most important memories and gratitude to those you love, an ethical will, and a designated agent
  2. Planning a funeral that reflects your wishes and comforts your survivors: What does a funeral cost? How much are you willing to spend and what can your family afford? What options and alternatives are there for burial?
  3. Writing and sharing draft obituaries and funeral plans; ways to save money; strategies for positive conversations with family members about your end-of-life choices

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October 2 - 16, 2017

Self-Portrait Picasso Style!

Course #: 569047-002
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 3 weeks: Oct. 2, 9, 16 (note that the class begins one week later than other LLI courses; no class Mar. 6)
Location: Blacksburg Community Center
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Instructor: Linda Olin

Learn how to draw realistic facial features using correct proportions, change them to look like yours, and finally “cube” your features to create a selfportrait— Picasso style. Students will use mirrors, pencils, markers, oil pastels, glue, and assorted papers to assemble a self-portrait.

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October 2 - November 6, 2017

100 Photographs that Changed the World: Historical and Visual Analysis

Course #: 569047-003
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor: Richard Straw

Photographs influence, guide, and fashion our most basic sense of reality. Photographs are matchless pieces of information, descriptions of things, scenes, and persons infinitely more vivid than words. This course will provide a detailed historical and cultural analysis of 100 photographs that Time, Inc. identified in 2005 as having “changed the world.” We will examine and analyze what came before and what has come after the photos to assess their impact. We will also look at other photos from the same period as each of the 100 to gain a perspective on the impact of the individual photos and of photography collectively as a cultural and historical force. Full class participation will be encouraged.

To see the images we’ll be talking about, see http://100photos.time.com/

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October 2 - November 6, 2017

The Supreme Court: Presidents, Justices, and Cases

Course #: 569047-004
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 32
Cost: $35
Instructor: Jack Call

This course will examine the role that the Supreme Court, and other courts, play in resolving issues of great national significance. It will review what the Constitution says about the Court, the Justices, and the kinds of cases that the Court may consider; the role played by the President in appointing Justices; how the Court determines which cases to hear; the internal processes by which cases are decided; and what the future likely holds for the Court.

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October 2 - November 6, 2017

Wine Appreciation

Course #: 569047-005
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6
Location: Vintage Cellar
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
(Wine fee: $100 payable to Vintage Cellar)
Instructor: Randall Horst

This class will explore a different type of wine each week, considering country of origin, specific areas/ wineries, type of grape, blends, and vintages. We will taste five or six different wines from all over the world each week to develop our palates and acquaint our noses with the aromas of wine and appreciate wine more fully. Join us again if you attended in Fall 2016—we’ll be tasting new wines this fall.

The wine fee for this course is $100. Mail a separate check for the wine fee only to Vintage Cellar, 1338 South Main St., Blacksburg, VA 24060. Note on your check that it is for payment for the LLI Wine Appreciation course. Credit card payment also accepted in advance (call 953-2675) or at the first class session.

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TUESDAY

October 3 - November 7, 2017

Dogs—Our Companions, Our Friends, Our Soulmates

Course #: 569047-006
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7
Location: Christiansburg Recreation Center, Senior Activities Room
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor: Ann Dunnington

This course concerns the joys and challenges of keeping companion dogs. Suggestions will be offered to help you choose the right dog, ensure that you have positive experiences with your dogs, and provide your dogs with a stable and comfortable home environment.

TOPICS

  • Choosing a puppy or dog who will be the best fit for your home and your personality
  • Shelter or breeder? Should I adopt or purchase?
  • Puppies: How do they develop and what makes them superb companions?
  • Dog activities: There are so many and they are such fun
  • Training techniques for different life stages
  • Impulse control, behavior synthesis
  • Conversations with dogs: What is your dog telling you and are you really listening?
  • Domestication, primitive dogs, development of breeds and their personalities

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October 3 - November 7, 2017

Saudi Arabia: Past and Present

Course #: 569047-007
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7
Location: German Club Manor
Class Limit: 50
Cost: $35
Instructor: William Ochsenwald

The modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is important because of its central role in Islam, its vast oil and natural gas wealth, its strategic importance in the Middle East, and its crucial relationship with radical Muslim terrorism. Saudi rulers in alliance with Wahhabi Islam established after 1744 a sequence of three kingdoms, the last of which still exists today. After World War II, Saudi Arabia has played a key role in world affairs while it underwent rapid economic, social, educational, and cultural changes despite preserving royal rule and a strict interpretation of Islam. This course seeks to expand understanding of contemporary Saudi Arabia by looking at its history and present-day developments.

CLASS SESSIONS

  1. The importance of Saudi Arabia; Arabian geography and political history; Saudi Arabia 1744–1932
  2. Saudi political history, 1932–2017
  3. Oil and the economy
  4. Women and gender; legal Issues; education and social change
  5. Wahhabi Islam; Shi`is; the radical opposition; social media and the arts
  6. Foreign policy and the future

RECOMMENDED READING

Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants, Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom in Peril (London: Hurst & Co., 2015)

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October 3 - November 7, 2017

Relief Printmaking

Course #: 569047-008
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7
Location: Christiansburg Recreation Center, Multipurpose Room 2
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35 - Materials fee: $35
Instructor: Rebecca Ghezzi

This course explores relief printmaking as a dynamic and thriving visual art medium. Students will create original prints utilizing the processes of woodcut and linocut. Study will include investigation of the evolution and historical significance of each process as well as contemporary trends in the world of printmaking.

SUPPLIES

The instructor will guide selection of paper, pencils, and water media. Approximate cost $20 (in addition to the materials fee payable at the time of registration).

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October 17 - 31, 2017

Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and Battery Electric Cars

Course #: 569047-009
Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates: 3 weeks: Oct. 17, 24, 31
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 50
Cost: $35
Instructor: David Roper

The three lessons about hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric cars will provide information about mechanical and electrical differences from gasoline cars and each other; advantages of these cars compared to gasoline/diesel cars, especially concerning the environment; and the different brands of these cars that are available for lease or sale.

RECOMMENDED READING

Three pdf web pages will show the slides used in the course: tinyurl.com/HEVsRoper, tinyurl.com/PHEVsRoper, tinyurl.com/BEVsPHEVs.

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October 4 - November 7, 2017

Great Writers and Their Lovers

Course #: 569047-010
Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Instructor: Michael Squires

Great writers seldom led simple lives. This course will examine three writers—one American, two British—whose marriages did not fulfill their needs and whose search for love, in the period 1850 to 1920, compromised their reputations. We’ll consider Charles Dickens and Ellen Ternan, Edith Wharton and Morton Fullerton, and D.H. Lawrence and Frieda von Richthofen.

READING

Book to be provided at the first class session for a small fee.

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WEDNESDAY

October 4 - 25, 2017

Tracing Your Family Genealogy

Course #: 569047-011
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Dates: 4 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25
Location: Corporate Research Center, 1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2018
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor: Linda Phillips

The course will cover internet sites that will help you build your tree and research your lineage. We will work primarily with Ancestry.com (paid subscription) and FamilySearch.org (free site).

TOPICS

You will learn how to use online resources and searchable databases to locate family records. Additional resources to trace your family genealogy include census records, vital records, federal records, land records, state records, church records, military records, and family records. You will learn how to search records at local courthouses and libraries. Class sessions will be used to build the family tree and trace genealogy.

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October 4 - 25, 2017

Sampler

Course #: 569047-012
Time: 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Sept. 27, Oct. 11, 18, Nov. 1, 8, 15 (no class Oct. 4, 25)
Location: Warm Hearth Village Center
Class Limit: 75
Cost: $35
Instructor:

This engaging sampler course treats participants to a wide range of speakers and topics—something different each week. Spend the morning with LLI by staying for “Scenes from the History of Virginia Tech” or special events.

September 27. A Brief Introduction to Islam
Islam, an ancient monotheistic faith, is the secondlargest religion and the fastest growing major religion in the world. Dr. Rakha will discuss the basic tenets of Islam as prescribed in the Quran as well as common misconceptions. He will also share his own experiences as a practicing Muslim living in America.

Instructor: Hesham Rakha

October 11. Perspectives on Cuba
Join fellow LLI members as they reflect on their recent experiences on a Road Scholar charter adventure in Cuba. Several travelers will share what they learned about Cuban history, geography, modern life, music and dance, healthcare, Cuba-U.S. relations, and more. Enjoy vicariously the wonderful people, food, and places of this vibrant and changing culture.

Then hear from Virginia Tech political scientist, Ilja Luciak, about gender in the Cuban Transition. He will reflect on how an independent women’s movement helps women achieve a role in political decision-making, while preserving the advances made in the social and economic arena.

Instructor: Hesham Rakha

October 18. FutureHAUS: Technology for All Ages
JFutureHAUS is a revolutionary prototype for the future of smart, sustainable housing. Some of its futuristic features include adaptable “flex space” rooms that expand or contract by moving walls and furnishings; a “Jetsons”-style automated closet with a smart mirror touchscreen for wardrobe management; and a high-performance exterior window wall that intuitively adjusts shading, privacy, and insulation for energy efficiency and comfort. Learn how smart design serves people of all ages and how student-faculty design teams have imagined and constructed a prototype that wowed the industry.

Instructor: Joseph Wheeler

November 1. Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory
stereotypes for people in Appalachia. Less familiar are the origins of these stereotypes, their antecedents from old world mountain cultures, and their similarities with mountain images worldwide. This discussion will introduce the ways these images reflect ambivalences toward mountain dwellers and the effects such images have on mountain regions.

Instructor: Jean Haskell

November 8. Rediscovering Indoor Plants
Houseplants are back in vogue and they’re good for you! Come learn how to select and care for indoor plants. Topics include choosing the right containers and media as well as lighting and watering requirements. Stephanie will share ideas for easy-tomaintain options as well as some that may surprise you. She’ll also discuss the benefits of nurturing your green thumb.

Instructor: Stephanie Huckestein

November 15. Troops, Trains, and Travel during WWII
This lecture covers the impact of railroads in the U.S. during the years of World War II. Topics include railroad strikes, travel restrictions, internment, the active role of women and minorities on the railroad, and postwar social and economic effects.

Instructor: Deena Sasser

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September 27 - November 15, 2017

Scenes from the History of Virginia Tech

Course #: 569047-013
Time: 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Dates: 3 weeks: Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Nov. 15
Location: Warm Hearth Village Center
Class Limit: 75
Cost: $35
Instructor: Peter Wallenstein

A white male military undergraduate agricultural and engineering teaching school emerges across its first 100 years as a coeducational multiracial mostlycivilian comprehensive research university.

This course will examine three eras in the history of Virginia Tech as a public land-grant institution: origins, 1865–75; new beginnings, 1887–1924; VPI becomes a university, 1948–72.

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October 4 - November 1, 2017

Intermediate Memoir and Essay Writing

Course #: 569047-014
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Instructor: Richard Gilbert

Revision is the basis of literary art—it’s where what people call “writing” (quality prose) happens. In this class, students will read innovative and awardwinning essays, revise their own, and share their work with classmates. The instructor will provide exercises to stretch the students’ range and develop a self-editing process. Based on the richly collaborative workshop model—receiving peers’ insights and commenting helpfully in turn—the class makes learning less narrowly instructor-based and brings more brainpower to each essay.

This intermediate workshop is aimed at students who have taken previous LLI personal nonfiction seminars, or other writing classes, or who have been studying and writing on their own and hope to take their work to the next level. No permission is necessary, however. Enthusiasm is the core requirement!

RECOMMENDED READING

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Mariner Books, 2007)

Richard Ford, Between Them: Remembering My Parents (HarperCollins, 2017)

Sven Bikerts, The Art of Time in Memoir (Graywolf Press, 2007)

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October 18 - November 8, 2017

iPad for Beginners

Course #: 569047-015
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 4 weeks: Oct. 18, 25, Nov 1, 8
Location: Corporate Research Center, 1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2018
Class Limit: 12
Cost: $35
Instructor: Carolyn Rude, Diana George

This course introduces the iPad for new users or those who are currently making limited use of their device and would like to learn more. Participants must bring their own iPad 2 or newer to use in class.

CLASS SESSIONS

  1. Device controls; apps—opening, closing, organizing, downloading; uses for the iPad
  2. Settings: making the iPad work the way you want it to; syncing devices; traveling with an iPad; security
  3. Communication: email, texting, FaceTime
  4. Photos: taking, saving, editing, and organizing pictures

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October 4 - November 1, 2017

Introduction to Japanese Flower Arranging

Course #: 569047-016
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1
Location: Blacksburg Community Center, Community Room
Class Limit: 12
Cost: $35 - Materials fee: $35
Instructor: Suzi Austin, Betsy Risen

Come and learn the artful way to arrange flowers in the Japanese style of Ikebana. There will be hands-on experience with materials and guidance from Ikebana practitioners. Begin to acquire arranging skills, and learn to appreciate this fresh and refreshing way to view flowers.

CLASS SESSIONS

  1. The meaning, history, and principles of Ikebana, with a demonstration
  2. The Moribana style with practice period
  3. The Negaire style with practice period
  4. Choice of style to practice and introduction to style variations
  5. Presentation of the group’s arrangements and conclusion

SUPPLIES

Scissors, water pitcher

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October 4 - November1, 2017

War and Foreign Affairs in the Constitution

Course #: 569047-017
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor: Sidney “Al” Pearson

How does the Constitution shape the conduct of war and foreign policy? What is the relation of theory and practice? What did the Founders have in mind, how did they view the world, and how did they propose to shape how war and foreign policy would be linked to the nature of the regime? Using the Federalist Papers and Debates of 1793–94, we’ll examine the Founders’ arguments on these questions, review how actual practice has been shaped by those arguments, and assess whether the founding arguments are adequate for the conduct of American foreign policy in the 21st century.

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October 4 - November 8, 2017

Novels of Marilynne Robinson

Course #: 569047-018
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 155
Class Limit: 16
Cost: $35
Instructor: Tom Gardner

Marilynne Robinson is one of our most important contemporary novelists. Her work is lyrically beautiful, dense with thought, and deeply engaged. Her novels are the sort that people fall in love with and give to their closest friends. We will be looking at her first novel, Housekeeping (1980), a firstperson account of a young girl learning to see and make her way through a world filled with loss and possibility, and her second novel, Gilead (2004), another first-person account, but of an older man, looking back over a life filled as well with wonder and loss.

In class, we will look closely at key passages, unfolding the way these two narrators make sense of the world, and we will think about the implications of the way these two novels respond to the world’s beauty and fragility.

REQUIRED READING

Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping and Gilead (Picador Press)

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October 4 - 18, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Montgomery County Government

Course #: 569047-019
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 3 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18
Location: Onsite tours at various locations.
Class Limit: 20
Cost: $35

How does the county assure the integrity of the voter registry and determine where polling locations will be? Where does our water come from and how do we keep it safe for drinking? How does our water system cope when all the toilets are flushed simultaneously during halftime at a football game? What happens when a lost dog or cat is picked up? Come behind the scenes to tour county facilities and talk to those who manage these critical services.

CLASS SESSIONS

  1. Montgomery County Government Center in Christiansburg. You’ll get a brief overview of county government and then focus on the Voter Registration office.
  2. NRV Regional Water Authority. You may never have thought about water and sewer issues, but this is a fascinating place and process.
  3. Animal Care and Adoption Center, a brand new, state-of-the-art facility with room for 64 dogs and 68 cats.

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THURSDAY

October 5 - November 16, 2017

Global Change III: Addressing Social, Policy, and Practical Issues

Course #: 569047-020
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Dates: 7 weeks: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16
Location: German Club Manor
Class Limit: 75
Cost: $35

This course is the third in a series on Global Change.

CLASS SESSIONS

October 5. Technological and Policy Innovations in the American Electric Power System
Richard Hirsh, Professor, History, Virginia Tech

This history-based lecture will examine the close connection between technological innovation and policy in the electric utility system. It will explore the formation of natural monopoly power companies early in the twentieth century, when centralized, large-scale technology helped push down the cost of producing and delivering electricity, and states sought some control through regulation. Technological and policy changes late in the century created pressure for deregulation and increased deployment of renewable energy technologies to produce electricity.

October 12. Ecosystem Health Integrated with Public Health
Kathleen Alexander, Professor, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech

This presentation explores the factors that influence emerging and re-emerging diseases and their persistence at the humanwildlife environmental interface. A systems biology approach to ecosystem health, integrated with public health, allows scientists to examine hostpathogen dynamics and the human communities living with wildlife. This approach integrates critical crosscutting elements that can influence infectious disease dynamics such as culture and behavior, gender dimensions, and climate change.

October 19. Sustainable Development in the Anthropocene
Bruce Hull, Professor, Forest Research and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech

Humanity is on course to end poverty and welcome billions into the urban middle class. This pivotal time will place enormous pressures on already stressed water, food, climate, urban, and energy systems. These challenges are so complex, uncertain, dispersed, and interconnected as to require new ways of problem solving. This presentation will review these challenges and innovative responses by businesses and cities. We will drill down into how Arlington, Virginia, is addressing energy-driven climate challenges and how Cargill and The Nature Conservancy are addressing agriculturally-driven Amazon deforestation.

October 26. Watershed Management to Reduce Pathogen Risk under Extreme Weather Events
Leigh-Anne Krometis, Assistant Professor, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech

Over 1 million miles of rivers and streams and 18 million ponds, lakes, and reservoirs in the United States have been designated as “impaired”: they do not meet statedesignated uses such as swimming or fishing. The most common cause of water body impairment and human health risk is elevated concentrations of fecal indicator organisms, such as E. coli. Given that storm water discharges of agricultural and urban pollution are the leading sources of microbial loadings to surface waters, more extreme rainfall patterns predicted with climate change are expected to increase risks to downstream users.

In this talk we will discuss the relative sources and magnitude of dry weather vs rainfall event loadings of pathogens, the downstream consequences, and the challenges of upland strategies to reduce downstream risk.

November 2. Managing the Impacts of Natural Hazards
Chris Zobel, Professor, Business Information Technology, Virginia Tech

As the earth’s population grows, so does the risk to communities, businesses, and critical infrastructure from natural hazards. Although we typically cannot prevent such hazards, we can try to manage the resulting societal impacts by developing approaches to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from them. These efforts can be difficult because of their inherent complexity and uncertainty; however, even small improvements in our ability to manage these impacts can save lives and preserve livelihoods. This presentation explores research efforts focused on managing impacts, and it discusses how an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving can enhance the effectiveness of the solutions.

November 9. Ecology, Extinction and Conservation of Fish and Fisheries in Relation to Global Change: A Case Study of Arapaima in the Amazon
Leandro Castello, Assistant Professor, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech

Arapaima are one of the largest and most historically and economically important fishes of the Amazon Basin. With escalating pressures and ineffective management, their populations have become overexploited and even locally extinct. Fortunately, the air-breathing behavior of arapaima allows monitoring them with unparalleled accuracy. Arapaima also possess migratory and reproductive characteristics that are conducive to sustainable management. In places where local fishers monitor arapaima populations and follow management rules, arapaima populations have been rebounding. The question remains as to whether increases in sustainably managed populations will compensate for losses from continued overexploitation and extinctions.

November 16. Genetics of Adaptive Tradeoffs by Plants
David Haak, Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Tech

Food security remains challenging for both developed and developing nations, particularly in light of a changing climate. Plant pathogens alone account for an estimated 10–16% of global harvest losses, and the additional effects of drought stress and annual crop losses are estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars. Mitigating these effects via sustainably adapted crops relies on altered management practices and suitable genetic variation for novel resistance or tolerance. We will explore the use of natural genetic variation to introduce stable traits in high performing cultivars, with an aim toward providing sustainable, secure food for the world population by 2050.

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October 19 - November 16, 2017

Embracing Life Fully with Mindfulness

Course #: 569047-021
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Dates: 4 weeks: Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 16. (No class Nov. 9.)
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor: Angela Cardenas

This four-week course provides participants with practical application and understanding of mindfulness through the introduction of meditation practices and the theory and science they are based on. Through guided exercises and conversation, participants will explore and discuss mindfulness practices incorporating sitting, walking, written passages, and gratitude. These practices have been shown to enhance one’s sense of well-being and ability to engage in life fully.

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October 5 - November 9, 2017

Learn about Sustainable/Organic/Natural Growing

Course #: 569047-022
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 32
Cost: $35

CLASS SESSIONS

October 5. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Kelli Scott, Extension Agent, Montgomery Cooperative Extension Service

Is a CSA for you (what are the rules and what do the terms “organic,” “natural,” “locally grown,” and “sustainable agriculture practices” mean and what are the dynamics of providing weekly food boxes to customers)? Is your local CSA a food-selling cooperative of different growers (“aggregator style”) or a “growing cooperative” where different people work on a single farm?

October 12. Are We Going to Lose our Honey Bees?
Rick Fell, Professor Emeritus, Entomology, Virginia Tech

This presentation will examine the role of the honey bee in agriculture, the problems facing the beekeeper and the impacts of using pesticides. Annual honey bee colony losses in the U.S of over 30% have generated concern not only within the beekeeping industry but also among growers who rely on honey bees for the pollination of their crops.

October 19. A Realistic Approach to Small-Scale Beef and Egg Production
Marilyn Griffin, Co-owner, Griffin Farms

This presentation will identify questions you might ask farmervendors about how they produce the local meat and eggs they offer for sale. It will also explore the meaning of labels you might see on local meat and egg products (e.g., grass-fed, grass-finished, natural, pastured, free-range, humane, fresh), and discuss the challenges facing small-scale producers of meat and eggs who sell directly to consumers.

October 26. Native Plants in Gardening and Landscaping
Ian Caton, Co-owner, Wood Thrush Native Plant Nursery

This presentation will cover native plants and how to use them as a sustainable environmental alternative to traditional gardens and lawns.

November 2. Growing Berries for a U-Pick Farm: What Hummingbirds, Beneficial Insects, and other Pollinators Have to Do with It
Irene Lamb and Bill Sembello, 3 Birds Berry Farm

When we started growing berries we thought we would just have to manage soil pH and weeds and learn how to prune blueberries. We came to learn that there was an enchanting hidden world of birds and insects in the background, and by caring for these creatures they would care for our farm and for us.

November 9. Growing for the Belly and the Soul: Raising Vegetables and Flowers for Market
Gwynn Hamilton, Co-owner, Stonecrop Farm

Stonecrop Farm has made it 13 years in the flower and vegetable business. Get a sneak peek at our farm and consider the big questions that we have faced regarding organic certification and all its repercussions.

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October 5 - November 9, 2017

Women Living Well at 50+

Course #: 569047-023
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Instructor: Janelle Anderson

This course guides women into the “Living Well Zone,” where unhealthy habits die. You will learn new ways to live, think, and BE. The habits you form will become lifelong patterns that will not only improve your overall well-being, but also increase satisfaction in all areas of your life and your relationships. The instructor-coach will lead students through individual and group exercises, brief presentations, and small group discussion to develop an understanding of the foundations and areas of influence on well-being, the effects of stress on well-being and how to respond to it, ways to create more engagement and energy in your life, and how core emotions affect behavior and wellbeing. Participants will develop a personal plan for whole hearted living.

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October 5 - November 2, 2017

U.S. Immigration and Refugee Policy and Issues

Course #: 569047-024
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 50
Cost: $35
Instructor: David Clubb, Ian Leuschner, Rachel Thompson

Interested in a discussion of one of today’s most important federal policy and human rights issues? Want to learn how these policies impact students, faculty, and families here in Blacksburg? Join the experts and those living the reality of these policies in lively conversation about immigration, refugee resettlement, and the implications of changing policy.

We’ll learn about our country’s immigration history, the varied classifications and justifications of immigrants and non-immigrants, and about refugee resettlement locally. Hear, first hand, the experiences of refugees and immigrants – what brought them here and why they do or do not want to stay. Bring your questions and join the conversation.

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FRIDAY

October 6 - November 10, 2017

Watercolor: Ideas and Inspiration

Course #: 569047-025
Time: 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10
Location: Blacksburg Community Center, Community Room
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35 - Materials fee: $35
Instructor: Jesi Pace-Berkley

Abraham Maslow wrote, “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” But why must we paint? What motivates you to go to your workspace and create?

Are your paintings more a result of careful planning/ technique /execution/critique? Must you begin with an emotional response? Or does your work include dynamic “happy accidents” and unpredictable luminous textures that only watercolor can produce?

No matter where your final inspiration comes from, your work is an important response to life’s mystery, beauty and light. Only you can express your unique vision.

TOPICS

In this class, as we examine the nature of watercolor itself and share our personal inspirations, we will explore a myriad of ideas, including:

  • A moment of natural beauty
  • A unique event
  • Special objects
  • A special place/travel
  • A significant message
  • The imagination/beautiful design

SUPPLIES

A list of supplies will be distributed in advance or at the first class meeting.

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