2024 Winter Lecture Series

Tuesday, January 9  •  1:00 PM
Presenter: Steven Podsiadlo

This presentation covers salt marsh features and vegetation. Salt marsh formation and its relationship to past and current sea level is included. Current marsh stressors will be reviewed.


Presenter: Steven Podsiadlo

Steven Podsiadlo has a long time interest in natural processes and leads salt marsh and shoreline tours at the Wells Reserve. He has experience in developing and providing technical training, and has worked with elementary STEM and English Language Learner students.

Tuesday, January 16  •  1:00 PM
Presenter: James Schneid

This lecture on common respiratory conditions explains some anatomy, physiology, presentation of illness and therapies. Conditions discussed include asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive lung disease, and vocal cord dysfunction including risk for aspiration.


Presenter: James Schneid M.D.

James Schneid M.D. is Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is the previous Program Director and Chair of the Maine Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency and is an Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. Jim has a lifelong interest in End of Life issues and in 2017 helped develop the first Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship for physicians at the Togus V.A. Hospital and Maine Medical Center. As the VA Hospice Medical Director he enjoyed teaching nurses, chaplains, social workers, medical students, Resident physicians, fellows and attendings the art of Palliative Medicine.

Jim is still a faculty member preceptor at the Family Medicine Institute in Augusta and on the active staff of Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice.

Tuesday, January 23  •  1:00 PM
Presenters: Carter Jones Meyer & Chris Williamson

Farnsworth Docents Carter Jones Meyer and Chris Williamson will return to UMASC for a presentation that focuses on the 1913 New York Armory Show. Those UMASC participants who have virtually ‘toured the Farnsworth Museum’ with Carter and Chris over the past three years will recall how often they have mentioned that an artist “was in the Armory Show.” Carter and Chris thought it would be fun to actually take a deep dive into the Armory Show: who organized it, who exhibited, why it was so important, and how it impacted art in Maine. Prior attendance in one of the earlier tours is not a prerequisite!

Presenters: Carter Jones Meyer & Chris Williamson

Carter Jones Meyer is Professor Emerita of History at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She received a B.A. in American Studies from Skidmore College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and earned both the M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies at Brown University. Carter specializes in and has published widely in the fields of late nineteenth and early twentieth century American cultural history, the history of the American West, and Native American history. At Ramapo, she served as chair of both the History and American Studies programs, and received awards for excellence in teaching and for significant contributions to the development of the College. In retirement she continues to pursue her interests in history, art, and culture, not only as a docent at the Farnsworth Art Museum, but also as a student and collector of Native art, including serving as a judge at Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest juried Native art show in the world. Most recently she has taught Native American history at the University of Southern Maine.



Christopher Williamson is a retired educator, including 23 years as a Head of School in two independent schools, Chris Williamson has been a docent at the Farnsworth Art Museum since 2015, returning to his early interest in the arts. He graduated from Williams College with honors in history in 1970, earned a Master’s Degree in English from The University of New Hampshire in 1975, and took graduate courses at Boston University in education and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in drama. After teaching, directing plays, coaching, and serving as Arts Chair, he took on various administrative roles prior to becoming a Head of School. Chris has presented at regional and national conferences, has served on several Boards, and has had articles published in professional journals. In addition to his on-going docent volunteering and training at the Farnsworth, Chris has taken the National Gallery of Art’s Teaching Critical Thinking Through Art course.

Tuesday, January 30  •  1:00 PM
Presenter: Mike Bell

Thaddeus Stevens was one of the leading congressional leaders in the congress during the Civil War. He was principled in his stands but willing to place country ahead of his own interests.  It’s called governing.

Presenter: Mike Bell

Mike Bell loves American history! With a master’s degree in both history and teaching, and an undergrad degree in political science, he has enjoyed a varied career in teaching and historical interpretation. Mike appeared on a History Channel special about PT 109, and for over 20 years, he has portrayed many historical figures, including Butch Cassidy and Sam Houston.

Tuesday, February 6  •  1:00 PM
Presenter: Laurence Wade

Told from a unique perspective that most folks have never heard of, this fun and fast-moving lecture (with lots of pictures) describes the loading of 75,000 metric tons of hard red winter wheat in Washington State and delivering it to Ethiopia during their civil war. This is only one of many trips delivering grains …including to India, Bangladesh, Yemen, Russia, Turkey, Eritrea, Egypt and Pakistan.


Presenter: Laurence (Larry) V. Wade,
Commodore, USMS, 

Laurence Wade received his BS from Maine Maritime Academy in marine science and his master’s in international logistics management with port management certification. He sailed commercially for 35 years — 25 years as master and licensed first class pilot, followed by a second career as Master of Training for the ship State of Maine and as a MMA professor. He has been the MMA chair and a member of multiple marine societies. Larry retired in 2011 and now serves on the board of the Maine Maritime Academy Alumni Association.

Tuesday, February 13  •  1:00 PM
Presenter: John (Jack) Sutton

This talk traces railroading in Maine from the early days of steam locomotion, through its explosive growth in the early 1900’s, to its changed role today and its future.

We will look at John A. Poor’s 1843 winter sleigh ride from Portland to Montreal to secure Canada’s outlet to the Atlantic through Portland. We will also discuss the two-foot narrow gauge railroads that arose in the late 1800’s to support Maine’s industries and passenger demands; and the standard gauge railroads which showed heavy use during and immediately following WW2.

Presenter: John (Jack) Sutton

Jack Sutton graduated from M.I.T. in 1955, joining Alcoa as an industrial engineer in Edgewater, N.J., receiving his MS degree from Stevens College in 1962 and moving to Keyes Fibre Company in Waterville, Maine. At Keyes (now Huhtamaki) he served 30 years in industrial engineering, engineering and management roles, retiring from Keyes in 1993 as Vice-President Technical Services.

His civic activities included chair of Associated Industries of Maine prior to AIM’s affiliation with Maine Chamber of Commerce; Maine Better Transportation board, Town of Belgrade select board, long range planning, budget and road committees. He served as a trustee of Kennebec Valley Community College Foundation and as a Belgrade Regional Health Center director. Reflecting his long-standing interest in railroads he is pastpresident of MRG, Inc. (Maine Rail Group) where he remains a director of that non-profit organization.

Tuesday, February 20  •  1:00 PM
Presenter: Patricia Sullivan

Early steamship travel posters, followed by ocean liner and airline advertisements, often featured local animals and plants in their art.  This talk highlights some of the many late 19th-mid 20th century travel posters featuring local natural attractions.

The speaker explores the motivations for plants and animals being considered important to encourage tourism, and presents examples from around the world.


Presenter: Patricia Sullivan

Patricia Sullivan received her B.A. and M.A. in History from George Washington University. She directed three notable American historic house museums and later became a consultant for the American Association of Museums and the Institute of Museum Services. In addition to curating several exhibits and developing major collection management strategies, Sullivan also developed the action and operating plan for the Newseum, a Washington DC museum of journalism, and she created future operating plans for the U.S. Mint (Bureau of Engraving and Printing) and the Museum of Latin American Art, both in Washington D.C.

Sullivan established the Museum of Maritime Pets in 2006, and is its Chief Operating Officer. The Museum has a world-wide following and as of September 2021, shares space and collaborates with the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland.

Tuesday, February 27  •  1:00 PM
Presenter: Elizabeth Reinsborough

This is the story of a journey from New Delhi, India to Kathmandu, Nepal.  We will visit several World Heritage Sites, view the Himalayan Peaks including Mt. Everest, sail on the sacred Ganges River, admire the Taj Mahal, trek through mountain villages and search for endangered rhinos.

Presenter: Elizabeth Reinsborough

Elizabeth Reinsborough was born in Northern Ireland. She was educated at Queens University, Belfast and University College, London. She has worked in a plant breeding program in Tanzania and taught biology in Maine for 20 years. Elizabeth has traveled widely both in the United States and around the world. She enjoys hiking and for 20 years was a maintainer on the Appalachian Trail in the 100 mile wilderness.