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Lecture Calendar

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Lectures at Eagle Hill

Lecture programs are free. They run for about an hour, including time for questions. Start times are noted in the calendar below.

They begin with a reception 45 minutes before the start of the lecture. This is a pleasant time to mingle with guests over complimentary juice, iced tea, or a glass of wine. The lecture room has some café tables, each seating 4 guests. Beverages may be enjoyed during the lectures.

Each lecture is followed by an optional family-style dinner in the old dining hall. This is a chance to mingle with resident guests at Eagle Hill who are participating in a seminar or workshop program. Reservations need to be made by 10AM of the program day. Dinner details and menus.

For dinner reservations ... 207-546-1219 ... joerg@eaglehill.us

Eagle Hill Institute, PO Box 9, Steuben, ME 04680

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Program title.
Descriptions and bios are the at end of this page.

Presenter name

2019 Programs ... This calendar will be updated as new lectures are planned.
May 23, 5PM Thu Gratitude as a Cultural Motif in Japan: Memorial Services for Broken Needles, Old Dolls, and Laboratory Animals Christal Whelan
May 30, 5PM Thu From Quackery to the Nobel Prize: An Unorthodox View of Cancer Immunotherapy Ralph W. Moss
Jun 13, 5PM Sat Probable Pre-contact Consumption of Native Fishes by Indigenous Peoples in Maine and coastal New England David Halliwell
Jun 15, 3PM Sat Global Climate Change and Eastern Maine: A Detailed Consideration Harold Borns
Jun 19, 5PM Wed Maine's Forest Pharmacy Steven Foster
Jun 20, 5PM Thu Adventures in the Uttermost Part of the Earth: A Biologist in Patagonia Donald Pfister
Jun 27, 5PM Thu Of Bugs and Birds ... A Relationship in Peril Kefyn Catley
Jul 13, 5PM Sat Lizzie van Lew: The North's Most Successful Spy During the Civil War Steven Garrett
Jul 20, 5PM Sat Gandhi after 9/11: Creative Nonviolence and Sustainability Douglas Allen
Aug 31, 5PM Sat Evita (Eva Perron): Saint or Sinner Diane Parker
Sep 7, 5PM Sat Joseph Plum Martin: A Revolutionary War Soldier Charles Parker

Program descriptions.

May 23
Gratitude as a Cultural Motif in Japan: Memorial Services for Broken Needles, Old Dolls, and Laboratory Animals
Throughout most of the country’s history, Japan’s two main religious traditions – indigenous Shinto and imported Buddhism – have enjoyed a functional symbiosis. Shinto’s animistic worldview gave rise to rituals of life and fertility, while Buddhism handled the darker realities of death through a series of complex rituals. Within the spiritual economy of the Japanese, where no neat line exists between the animate and inanimate, whatever has rendered service to humans, upon its ‘death’ is gratefully acknowledged. Through Buddhist memorial services, broken needles, old dolls or combs, and laboratory animals are all duly remembered.
    Christal Whelan, Ph.D., anthropologist and author, specializes in Japan where she lived for a decade and immersed herself in the country’s religious traditions, worked as a columnist for a national newspaper, and taught at various Japanese universities in Kyoto and Tokyo. She was initiated into the community of yamabushi or “mountain ascetics” of Mt. Haguro in northern Japan, and later received ordination at Koyasan (one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist monasteries). In her earliest work, she lived among the “Hidden Christians” in the remote Goto Islands, translating their bible into English (The Beginning of Heaven and Earth, University of Hawai'i Press), and producing the documentary film Otaiya. Christal currently resides in north central Massachusetts learning farming and permaculture.

May 30
From Quackery to the Nobel Prize: An Unorthodox View of Cancer Immunotherapy
Over the past 50 years, we have seen cancer immunotherapy progress from inclusion on a list of “quack” treatments to the subject of the 2018 Nobel Prize. The story began in 13th century Italy with the “spontaneous remission” of the foot cancer of St. Peregrine Laziosi. (He is now the patron saint of cancer patients.) In the mid-19th century, German scientists connected such remissions with strep infections. In 1893, William B. Coley, MD, began to cure cancer with vaccines made of killed bacteria. But modern immunotherapy really began with the FDA’s 2011 approval of Yervoy, as well as Opdivo and Keytruda. Today, cancer immunotherapy has become the “fourth modality of cancer treatment” and Keytruda is among the top-selling cancer drug in history.
    The medical writer Ralph W. Moss, PhD, has written or edited twelve books and four film documentaries on questions relating to cancer research and treatment. A graduate of New York and Stanford Universities, he is the former science writer and assistant director of public affairs of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York (1974-1977). Since 1977, Moss has independently evaluated the claims of cancer treatments all over the world. He writes Moss Reports on 40 of the most common cancer diagnoses and provides consultations for cancer patients and their families. In 2019, he wrote The Ultimate Guide to Cancer: DIY Research.

June 13
Probable Pre-contact Consumption of Native Fishes by Indigenous Peoples in Maine and coastal New England
Circa 4,500 years past, freshwater and coastal marine fishes in the New England region were generally plentiful and relatively easy to harvest. In the late spring, native peoples traditionally gathered at natural waterfalls to harvest the abundant runs of ascending river herring, shad, sturgeon, salmon, striped bass, eel and lamprey. Less migratory tomcod and smelt, as well as estuarine white perch, were captured in simply-built fishing weirs set in coastal rivers. They also could have traveled inland through streamside woodlands to capture trout, suckers and nesting fallfish or freshwater cod/burbot and whitefish. Thru the heat of the summer, native peoples fishing from dugout canoes are known to have harvested marine cod and sculpin and various flounder-flatfish species. In the fall, native peoples possibly captured pickerel, sunfish, yellow perch and bullhead, fishing with spears and possibly harpoons, along the shorelines or from their birch bark canoes. Fish were cooked in the open air on fire hearths and air-dried on racks in the hot sun to preserve their storage value for extended periods of time thru the winter months.
    David Halliwell received his Ph.D. in Fishery Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1989), specializing in freshwater fish conservation, aquatic habitat classification, and vertebrate taxonomy. He has been employed as an Aquatic Biologist with Maine DEP (Augusta) since 1999. Dave has spent over three decades identifying and investigating the habitats of freshwater fishes while working with northeastern State and Federal fish and water quality agencies and has considerable experience teaching University and field courses related to New England fish and wildlife. Related interests include pre-contact indigenous fish archaeological studies, aquatic habitat restoration, hydropower-flow issues, reservoir water levels, lake water quality assessment and freshwater fish zoogeographic studies. Dr. Halliwell is a co-author of the Inland Fishes of Massachusetts (2002) and is currently drafting a treatise on the Freshwater Fishes of New England proper.

June 15
Global Climate Change and Eastern Maine: A Detailed Consideration
    Session 1 (1.5 Hours) … This session will focus on our present Ice Age and where we are today. This Ice Age started 2.5 million years ago and we have now experienced nine cycles of 100 k yrs.of continental glaciation and 10 -15k yrs of interglaciation. Our present interglacial started 10,000 years ago. This geological record will focus on Maine, Maine’s Washington County and the Gulf of Maine.
    Session 2: (1.5 Hours) … A discussion of the fundamentals of our increasing human-induced Global Warming. This started with the increasing production of CO 2 and other greenhouse gasses with the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700’s , early 1800’s/ In this regard we will examine the congressionally mandated 4th Climate Assessment released in November 2018. We will also look at what is going on with Maine’s climate changes and associated ocean temperature and what can we predict for the future sea-level rise in the Gulf of Maine.
    Harold Borns Jr. is Professor Emeritus of Glacial and Ice Age Geology at the University of Maine at Orono. His research has had a long term focus on the glacial history of Maine and the Northeast. However, he has worked on all of the continents except Australia, including 28 field seasons in Antarctica. He has published about 125 scientific journal articles and is responsible, along with colleague Dr. Woodrow Thompson, for the current Surficial Geologic Map of Maine. His signature book, “The Ice Age World” was first published in 1994 with co-author Dr. Bjorn Andersen of Norway. Hal has “failed retirement" with active research projects in Maine and Ireland and has received many scientific awards. On loan from the University of Maine he served as Program Director for Polar Glaciology at the National Science Foundation for three years.

Jun 19
Maine's Forest Pharmacy
Exploring medicinal plants promises new appreciation of how humans interact with nature. Maine is home to a treasure-trove of useful and fascinating plants, each with their own story. Join Steven Foster for a photographic journey exploring the intriguing medicinal plants of Maine.
    Steven Foster (www,stevenfoster.com) has explored medicinal plants on six continents in a career spanning over four decades. He is the senior author and photographer of 19 books including three Peterson Field Guides, most recently the 2014 3rd edition of A Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs Eastern North America (with the late Eagle Hill presenter, Jim Duke. A Maine native, Steven lives in the Ozarks in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

June 20
Adventures in the Utermost Part of the Earth: A Biologist in Patagonia
Donald Pfister been working for about 10 years in southern South America collecting fungi. This work was inspired by the travels of Harvard mycologist Roland Thaxter through his diary from 1905-1906. The work explores Southern Hemisphere biogeography highlighting the connection between the plants and fungi of southern South America and Australia and New Zealand. I will highlight our most recent trip to Chilean Tierra del Fuego.
    Donald Pfister teaches in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University where he is also curator of the Farlow Reference Library and Herbarium. Along with teaching a course on the biology of fungi he has taught about trees, forests, climate change and economic botany. His research is on the Ascomycota but members of his lab group have diverse interests from mushrooms to insect parasites and always with a focus on identity and the biology of fungi and their interactions.

June 27
Of Bugs and Birds ... A Relationship in Peril
Data from various parts of the world going back 40 years show that insect populations and diversity are in steep decline. “A whole insect world might be going quietly missing, a loss that would alter the planet in unknowable ways.” Catley's talk will explore the ramifications of such a decline as it relates to biodiversity in general and to bird populations in particular.
    Dr. Kefyn M Catley is emeritus professor of biology at Western Carolina University where he taught and conducted research in organismal evolutionary biology and science education. He holds a PhD in arthropod systematics from Cornell and was a research scientist at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY. Traveling extensively he has studied spiders on four continents and held faculty positions at Rutgers and Vanderbilt universities. A naturalist, passionate photographer, and lifelong observer of the tiny creatures “that run the world” Kefyn gives talks and workshops at photographic clubs and societies where he encourages photographers to become citizen scientists by documenting and sharing their local arthropod diversity online. The instructor has 30 plus years of experience teaching and mentoring students and science professionals in the field, lecture, workshop, and lab. His research has been published extensively in a wide range of scientific journals and his arthropod photographs have appeared online and in magazines including National Wildlife.

July 13
Lizzie van Lew: The North's Most Successful Spy During the Civil War
Description pending
    Steven Garrett, Bio paragraph pending.

July 20
Gandhi after 9/11: Creative Nonviolence and Sustainability
2019 is recognized in India and throughout the world as Gandhi 150 marking 150 years after the birth of M. K. Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi is invariably recognized as one of the most admirable moral and spiritual human beings and as the most influential proponent of nonviolence. What remains insightful and significant of Gandhi's philosophy and way of living for our post-9/11 world of so much violence, lack of morality, and unsustainable living?
    Douglas Allen, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maine, is often recognized as one of the world's leading Gandhi scholars. His most recent book is Gandhi after 9/11: Creative Nonviolence and Sustainability published by Oxford University Press in 2019. A peace and justice scholar-activist, he delivered major invited lectures in India in April 2019.

Aug 31
Evita (Eva Perron): Saint or Sinner
Description pending
    Diane Parker, Bio paragraph pending.

Sep 7
Joseph Plum Martin: A Revolutionary War Soldier
Description pending
    Charles Parker, Bio paragraph pending.




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