Presenter: John C. Priscu, PhD

Date: Monday, March 7

Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (note different time)

Location: Holiday Inn: 5 East Baxter Lane.

Antarctica is the highest, driest and coldest continent on earth, holdling 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of its freshwater. If the ice melts sea level will rise about 60 m and inundate more than five million square miles of land. Early explorers referred to it as a place devoid of life, and idea that persisted for more than 80 years. Recent research has shown that huge river basins and some of our planets largest lakes exist beneath more than 2 miles of Antarctic ice that subglacial ecosystems in Antarctica form the largest wetland on our planet. Microbial organisms mine the energy in rocks while mobilizing nutrients that fuel life in the coastal regions of Antarctica. Professor Priscu will present the events leading up to these discoveries and how they have transformed the way we view the Antarctic continent.

John-PriscuPresenter Bio: John Priscu, an MSU faculty member, is an internationally known scientist and explorer known for his research on Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems. He has spent 31 field seasons on the “ice” and has introduced more than 300 young investigators to this environment as members of his research teams. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Priscu has received numerous awards for his research, including the International Medal for Scientific Excellence from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and the E.O Wilson Pioneer award for his work on biodiversity in Antarctica. Priscu has authored more than 250 scholarly articles and edited 4 books. His hobbies include playing blues and jazz with his band and flying bush planes into remote Montana airstrips.


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 January Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on January 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust