News Briefs

Solar design and homebuilding workshops target energy costs
Upcoming workshops offered by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will offer ideas and techniques to help residents lower their home energy bills.

Learn how to tap into the sun’s energy at a solar design workshop offered Saturday by Extension energy and housing specialist Rich Seifert. The solar workshop will run from 1-5 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium.

Seifert will discuss Alaska-specific solar aspects, recent experience with solar hot water installations, photovoltaics and optimizing passive design with energy conservation. There is a $10 charge for the course textbook, “A Solar Design Manual for Alaska.”

Seifert also will lead a cold climate homebuilding techniques workshop on Oct. 18. The workshop will focus on insulating homes and will cover options for retrofit, and radon and indoor air quality, ventilation, roofs and permafrost. The workshop will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium. Participants receive a free manual with a CD.

Pre-registration is requested for both workshops at 474-7401 or 474-6366.

Evening at Egan Lecture at UAS

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, utopian thinking in Western Europe had a ready outlet in the newly encountered Americas. Many utopian projects, such as those of the French Jesuits in the Great Lakes region and the English Puritans in New England, were intimately connected to the indigenous peoples of those areas. Paradoxically, idealistic literary productions such as Jesuit ethnographies and Puritan sermons had the effect of contributing to the genocide of Native Americans.

Ways in which this tragic result came about is the focus of the next Evening at Egan Lecture: “Renaissance Utopian Thinking and Genocide: Why is it still Relevant?” by Nina Chordas, Assistant Prof. of English, UAS. Nina Chordas earned her Ph.D. in English with a specialty in Renaissance Literature from the University of Oregon. Her book, “Forms in Early Modern Utopia: The Ethnography of Perfection” is forthcoming from Ashgate Press.

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The Evening at Egan lecture series is held every Friday at 7 p.m. through November 21, 2008. The October 3 lecture is “European Anthropocentrism vs. American Ecocentrism: Clashing Values Regarding Wolves” with Dr. Alex Simon, Assistant Prof. of Sociology, UAS. Dr. Simon will discuss his research about propaganda used to justify predator control programs in Alaska. Visit the Evening at Egan Website for all scheduled lectures at