Presenter: Robin Patten

Date: Monday, Oct. 31st

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: Holiday Inn

New Zealand’s natural world evolved in near-isolation over millions of years, resulting in a unique ecosystem dominated by birds and home to ancient species from carnivorous snails to giant insects. New Zealand was also the last major landmass to be inhabited by humans. With Māori ancestors’ arrival in the 13th century and later European colonization, the country’s environment went through dramatic transformation, with impacts that exemplify many of the global environmental issues of today. The survival of many native species now rests on extreme conservation measures, such as aerial poison drops across wildlands. Through historical and ecological narratives along with her own New Zealand experiences, Robin Patten will share the beauty, diversity and fascinating environmental story of New Zealand.

Presenter Bio:  Robin Patten is a naturalist and writer working from her home on the edge of Yellowstone Park. She holds a Ph.D. in ecology, with further graduate studies in environmental history and cultural geography. Patten was in New Zealand in spring, 2015, trekking and volunteering as a Department of Conservation hiking-hut warden.

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Kathryn Earley 2When my husband and I were looking for our place to retire, one of the places we visited was Bozeman.  While we were here we went to the library, where I happened to pick up a Wonderlust brochure.  Here was university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects.  No homework, no exams, no papers, just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It was also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.  I was hooked! Over the past several years, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting this valuable community resource for lifelong learning, and fortunately there’s a community of dedicated volunteers who feel the same way.

This past year was our first as Friends of MSU Wonderlust, whose mission is to support and promote MSU Wonderlust.  We’ve contributed funds to getting a new projector at Hope Lutheran Church, where many of our classes are held, and to Gallatin Community Radio, which broadcasts many of our Friday Forums.  We’re also sponsors of and taking part in Active Aging Week and the Prime Age 50+ Expo.

In September Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on September 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  Also in September we’ll be a sponsor of the Bozeman Public Library’s celebration of Yellowstone National Park, Our Yellowstone.  

On October 3rdand 4thMSU Wonderlust is hosting an interactive symposium for practitioners and lifelong learners, Lifelong Learning: New Opportunities for Aging Communities.  This symposium, sponsored by Friends of MSU Wonderlust and MSU’s Office of Research and Development, will provide an opportunity to share knowledge, experiences, innovations, and strategies.

Save the dates: Wednesday, October 3, 5 pm – 7 pm, for the opening reception and presentation featuring Dr. Renee Reijo Pero of MSU and Dr. Rick Knopf of Arizona State, and Thursday, October 4, 9 am – 4 pm,for in-depth sessions on various topics, featuring speakers from across Montana and the U.S.  For details on the symposium and on all MSU Wonderlust program offerings, see www.montana.edu/wonderlust   

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust