Great Central Valley Bioneers Conference coming to University October 19-21

Environmental, social, human rights, and a variety of other topics will be discussed by a number of experts as the California State University, Stanislaus Council for Sustainable Futures hosts the Great Central Valley Bioneers Conference on October 19-21.

CSU Stanislaus will be one of 19 sites all over the nation participating in the first annual satellite broadcast during the three-day conference. Daily satellite broadcast sessions from conference headquarters in San Rafael are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 167 of Demergasso-Bava Hall. Cost of the three-day program is $20. Advance reservations and information are available by e-mail at: bioneers@csustan.edu or by calling CSU Stanislaus Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Administration David Colnic at (209) 667-3520.

Highlighting the CSU Stanislaus program will be a 5:30 p.m. presentation on Friday, October 19 by featured speaker Gerald Haslam, an author and retired Sonoma State University English Professor who will read from his work focusing on the Central Valley. A native of the San Joaquin Valley, Haslam celebrates California's rural and small town areas, its poor, and working class people of all colors to explore the human condition in his writing.

Other speakers on the opening-day October 19 sessions are Meg Gonzales, Director of Outreach Education for the Central Valley Tuolumne River Trust, and Lynn Hansen, a retired Modesto Junior College biological sciences instructor. They will address the topic "Reading, Writing & Restoration: The Educational Value of Teaching Rivers."

Saturday's afternoon program will feature CSU Stanislaus Department of Teacher Education Chair Nancy Jean Smith and Veray Wickham of the San Joaquin County Office of Education Regional Service Learning program. Their topic of discussion will be "Teaching with a Green Thumb -- How to Utilize a Community Garden to Teach K-12 Students." Other afternoon breakout program topics include special sessions for teachers on Earth sciences, environmental values, and utilization of a garden to teach students as well as other discussions on San Joaquin Valley air quality, solar and alternative energy, carbon footprint, water issues and conservation, food production, and use of the Geographical Information System for land use planning.

A "Wild and Scenic Film Festival" featuring movies with environmental themes will be featured on Friday and Saturday evenings and music will be provided by History Professor Sam Regalado. Food will be available from vendors on campus during the conference and tours will be conducted in the University's BioAg sustainability garden area. The program is funded by the CSU Stanislaus Office of the Provost and the Office of International Education through the Global Learning in the College Project of the U.S. Department of Education.