2023 Winter

Winter programs are free of charge.
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2023 Winter Lecture Series

Instructor: Listed with each lecture below

9 Tuesdays, 1 Thursday • 1/10/23 – 3/7/23 • 1:00-2:30 PM

Class size 50-210 students
3 seats remaining
Location: Zoom only


Tues., January 10 at 1:00 pm:

The Aleutians are a chain of volcanic islands that stretch from the Alaskan Peninsula west some 1,200 miles across the North Pacific to Russia.  They are some of the most remote and inaccessible inhabited lands in the world and house the largest wildlife sanctuary in the United States.  Residents of its few towns make a living primarily from fishing. Their ancestors, who first inhabited this region over 8,000 years ago, are the least known of northern peoples.  Please join us for a brief look at the Aleutian Islands, their people, geography, and history.

About the Presenter:

Dave Hobbins is a retired Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. He lives in Fort Kent with his wife of 30 years and pursues his interests in hiking, history, backyard astronomy, native bees, and working his woodlot.

Tues., January 17 at 1:00 pm:

Maine is home to several species of secretive marsh birds: rails, bitterns, herons, and snipe. Even the most focused birder may have trouble finding them amongst the cattails and reeds. Learn what makes these birds unique, why they still remain a mystery to most scientists, and how to increase your chances of hearing or seeing one.

About the Presenter:

Danielle D’Auria is a wildlife biologist working in the Wildlife Research and Assessment Section of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Bangor. Her education began with a bachelor’s degree in biology from State University of New York at Geneseo, followed by a master’s degree in wildlife science from New Mexico State University. Her professional career began with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System where she focused on threatened and endangered species, habitat restoration, conservation planning, invasive plant management, and a variety of wildlife and habitat monitoring. As a biologist for MDIFW, Danielle now focuses on statewide populations of colonial wading birds, secretive marsh birds, black terns, and loons, as well as land management issues affecting wetland habitats.

Tues., January 24 at 1:00 pm:
MAINE'S ANGEL OF BATAAN with Walter Macdougall

Author Walter M. MacDougall will present a slide show and lecture on the life and service of Alice Zwicker. Alice grew up in Brownville, Maine and served as an army nurse in the Philippines at the opening of World War II. Captured by the Japanese, she was a prisoner for three years. She returned home as a hero where she fought against the tuberculosis she had contacted as a prisoner and emerged a victor due to her indomitable spirit and faith.

About the Presenter:

Walter Macdougall graduated from the University of Maine with a BA in philosophy and English literature. He earned an MA in teaching science and a DEd. Walter taught science in public school and at the University of Maine where he was a member of the graduate faculty and taught a graduate course in educational philosophy. After retirement he taught in Honors College at the University of Maine.  I have written a number of books including Angel of Bataan.

Tues., January 31 at 1:00 pm:

A native of Maine, and descended from a Mayflower arrival, Silas Soule would grow up to become a freedom fighter, soldier, and in the end die a martyr’s death in far-off Colorado. In the years leading to the Civil War, Soule befriended John Brown. But it was his actions related to the infamous Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 that shook the foundations of Colorado, and lead to his murder on the streets of Denver. To this day, Soule is honored by native peoples for his courage and integrity. If you love history with intrigue, true love and skullduggery – this is a tale you won’t soon forget.

About the Presenter:

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.

Tues., February 7 at 1:00 pm:
with Frank Johnson

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was one of the most intriguing figures in American music. He became blind as a young child but developed into a talented multi-instrumentalist. His vast knowledge of jazz and its history enabled him to be proficient in forms ranging from Dixieland to the avant-garde. While his dominant instrument was the tenor sax, he also played the flute, clarinet and two other unique reed instruments: the manzello and the stritch. He developed a technique of circular breathing and fingering that enabled him to play three instruments (tenor sax, manzello, stricth) simultaneously. Kirk played with Charles Mingus and others but most of his career was as a leader of his own ensembles.  Rahsaan was an influential and highly-respected musician from the late 1950s until his death in 1977. He has become something of a forgotten figure in recent years but his unique story is worth re-visiting.

About the Presenter:

Frank Johnson has a lifelong passion and interest in African-American music: jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, soul, and Afro-Latin. He has a collection of over 4,000 albums covering these genres. In addition, he has a personal library of over 250 books on African-American musical styles, musicians, and cultural influences.

Tues., February 14 at 1:00 pm:
with Peter Rosenberg

Consider a century starting in 1846, as a fictitious young surgeon named Dr. Hartmann did. This was the year of the discovery of anesthesia and the possibility of operating painlessly. “Everything that went before was but a night of ignorance, of torture, and of fruitless wandering in the dark.” Dr. Hartmann not only witnessed the delivery of ether anesthesia but follows the discovery of sepsis, bacteria, discovery of forceps and other surgical instruments, antiseptic surgery, removal of gall stones and the appendix, and the development of X-rays. This is a wild but true tale that includes heroes and villains.

About the Presenter:

Peter Rosenberg was born and bred in Poughkeepsie, New York. He is a graduate of Poughkeepsie High School, 1957, Princeton University, 1961 and Tufts Medical School in 1965. After two years of Surgical Residency, he trained in Otolaryngology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and became Chief of ENT at Fort Bragg. Following thirty-one years of practice in Norwich, Connecticut Peter moved to Maine to practice Otolaryngology at Togus VA Medical Center for a decade. His motto is “Why do one thing well when I can do a bunch of things poorly?” As an example of this, since joining the UMASC in 2005, he has taught courses or lectures on Magic for Grandparents, History of Medicine, Classical Music Librettists of the 20th Century, Opera, Playing Cards and a few other topics.
Tues., February 21 at 1:00 pm:
WANDERING AROUND MAINE with Elizabeth Reinsborough

We live in a beautiful state with a great variety of towns and scenery.  You will see many places in this PowerPoint program that you know and hopefully some places that are new.

About the Presenter:

Elizabeth Reinsborough was born in Northern Ireland. She has a Bachelor of Science  from Queens University, Belfast, a Masters of Science from London University and teaching credentials from the University of Maine. She has worked in a plant breeding program in Tanzania and taught biology in Maine for 20 years. Elizabeth has traveled extensively both in this country and abroad. She enjoys hiking and for 20 years was a maintainer on the Appalachian Trail in the 100 mile wilderness. She teaches the National Park course for Senior College and often contributes to the lecture series.

Part 1: Tues., February 28 at 1:00 pm
Part 2: Thurs., March 2 at 1:00 pm
JOURNEY TO NEWFOUNDLAND with Cheryl & Louie Fontaine

Louis and Cheryl Fontaine, along with their friends, completed a “bucket list” trip to western Newfoundland this past August. They were drawn to Newfoundland by the scenery, geology, and unique natural settings of Gros Morne National Park and the historic settings of  L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site.

Their presentation will cover their 18-day adventure from Maine via two ferry routes and 3,000 miles of road to Port aux Basque, Newfoundland, through Gros Morne National Park, up to the Viking colony site at L’Anse aux Meadows, and back. They will share with you the immense beauty of the island, some of the geologic history, unique natural settings, past cultural history, the impact of global warming, loss of the cod fisheries, and stories of how the warm and wonderful people live their lives on the island today.

About the Presenters:

Cheryl Fontaine
retired from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as a Senior Geologist in 2016.  For the past two years, Cheryl has taught the course Rocks and Walks about the origin of Maine’s bedrock for UMA Senior College.  She spent a year researching the latest information on the geologic evolution of the State of Maine and visiting innumerable bedrock outcrops for the course.


Louis Fontaine worked as an Environmental Specialist for the Maine Department of
Environmental Protection in the water pollution and air pollution fields and also retired in 2016. Louis is the author of Reveille at 6:15, the story of his father’s life during World War II, which is available on Amazon.com. His interests include Franco-American culture and history. He is the
assistant and manager of the Rocks and Walks course.


Louis and Cheryl live in Sidney, Maine. Since the 1980s they have visited many National Parks in the Canadian Maritime Provinces and Quebec.


The last lecture, below, has been canceled but will be offered in the 2023 spring lecture series.

Tues., March 7 at 1:00 pm:
with Patricia Sullivan

This lecture presents an overview and survey of maritime pets and their importance to the advancement of civilization. Animals have accompanied man on boats since early times. They have served in peace and wartime as guards, navigators, messengers, pack and transport, mascots and workers.

About the Presenter:

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.

The Winter Lecture Series
is FREE to everyone!
No membership required.

When you select this series, you may attend as many of the lectures as you please.

The 2023 Winter Lecture series features 10 lectures on Zoom.

Each week, prior to the lecture, you will receive an email with your Zoom invitation.

Lectures are offered on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m., plus one additional lecture on Thursday, March 2 at 1:00 p.m.