CSU, Chico News

Museum Without Walls Lecture Series Kicks Off April 6

Date: 03-24-2011

Joe Wills, Public Affairs Director
Debra Johnson, Marketing
Dr. Rachel Teasdale, Acting Executive Director

Gateway Science Museum and the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico will begin their spring Museum Without Walls Lecture Series Wednesday, April 6 at the Chico Area Recreation District Center. The four-part series, Microbes on Extreme Missions, highlights how we benefit from microbes in our everyday lives and explores the role of microbes in extreme environments such as Lassen’s Boiling Springs Lake and the frozen waters of the Antarctic.

The lecture series opens with Larry Hanne, professor, Department of Biological Sciences at CSU, Chico, who conducts research on bacteria and teaches medical bacteriology and general virology. Hanne’s lecture, “Small Things Considered, Microbes: The Good Without the Bad and Ugly,” focuses on how microbes positively affect our daily lives, and how they can be harnessed for the benefit of society. Program highlights include how bacteria are used in environmental clean-up efforts and methods for using bacteria to make a biodegradable plastic from agricultural waste.

Each MWOW lecture is on a Wednesday night and begins at 7:30 p.m. at the CARD Center, 545 Vallombrosa Ave., Chico. A donation of $3 per adult is requested. Students with ID are free. A question-and-answer period will follow each program.

Additional lectures in the MWOW spring series include “Mud, Germs, and Steam: the Microbes of Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park,” by Gordon Wolfe, professor, Department of Biological Sciences, April 13;

“From Microbes to Penguins, Seals and Whales – Antarctica, the White Continent,” by Patricia Edelmann, professor emerita, Department of Biological Sciences, April 20; “Microbes and The Wastewater Treatment Plant: An Unusual Partnership?” by Marc Sulik and Debbie Stolp, city of Chico Wastewater Treatment Plant, April 27.

The spring MWOW is an extension of the Gateway Science Museum’s current exhibit, “Microbes: Invisible Invaders…Amazing Allies,” which runs through May 30. The interactive exhibit reveals what microbes are (bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa—“germs” to most people), explores a history of infectious diseases and shows how researchers and individuals fight infection worldwide. The exhibit is sponsored by Pfizer Inc. and produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health.

Gateway Science Museum is open Wednesday – Friday, noon-5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The museum is located at 625 Esplanade. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and free for museum members. For more information, please visit www.gatewayscience.org.