Classes Without Quizzes 2015 Program

Program Schedule

8 a.m. - Registration & networking

8:45 a.m. - Welcome; Kid's Edition program begins

9 a.m. - Keynote: Science of (the) Green (everyone attends)

Golf ball on greenLocated at the University of Minnesota’s Les Bolstad Golf Course, the Science of (the) Green is a renovation, demonstration and research initiative addressing the golf industry’s need for long-term agronomic, economic and environmental sustainability.  This golf initiative will package research-based solutions that recognize these green spaces as valuable environmental and social assets.  Horticultural Science professor Brian Horgan will share how the turf program’s research has informed the Science of (the) Green and efforts to lead the golf industry by directly connecting the physical land on which a golf course exists to communities’ environmental stewardship goals.

10:15 a.m. - Session 1 

(select 1 out of 4)

Corn harvesterA) Minnesota Commodity Prices and Trends

The health of our rural Minnesota economy depends on profitable prices for all commodities, including corn, soybeans, wheat, dairy, hogs, cattle and poultry. Grain marketing economist, Edward Usset, will lead you through the big picture of Minnesota commodities and the current state of profitability in the production of basic foodstuffs.

Electrical towersB) Renewable Energy - Are You Ready?

Have you been thinking about converting to some type of renewable energy source? As a nation, we in the US are responsible for about 20% of the world’s energy consumption. Who is using all this energy and where does it come from? More importantly, how much energy are YOU using and where does YOUR energy come from? These are the first questions that need to be asked when thinking about integrating more renewable energy into our lives. Renewable energy is not just about installing a solar panel on your roof. David Schmidt and Rob Gardner, from Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, will give you some practical steps to saving energy and money on the path towards youra renewable energy future. If you think of it, bring your energy bills from the past year (or as many as you have) and a calculator to class!

This class will also feature the future of education by demonstrating how online lectures can integrate into the classroom or be used as stand-alone teaching methods in completely online classes. David and Rob currently are co-teaching a completely online renewable energy course so will be demonstrating how this technology fits into the classroom. (David's lecture will be recorded, and Rob will be the in-class presenter.)

Crop droneC) Precision Agriculture Through Drones

The technological advances made in the development and availability of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS or 'drones') is sparking a revolution in the way crops will be scouted and treated for insects, diseases, weeds and nutrient content. We will soon be able to target the application of specific inputs to specific problems, in just the right location within fields - the adoption of true Precision Agriculture is upon us. Sound like Science Fiction? Perhaps, but we're closer than you may think. Entomologist Ian MacRae will lead a discussion on the vehicles, the sensors and how data obtained from unmanned flights over fields will change the way we produce food and what the immediate and near future may hold.

Bird on branchD) Human-induced Bird Mortality: Causes and Consequences

Human alterations to the environment, such as buildings, communication towers, and wind turbines, can lead to direct mortality to birds. How important are these different factors in affecting bird populations, and which ones, if any, are most important to try to mitigate? Wildlife professor Todd Arnold will review the evidence and provide his own perspectives on the most important limiting factors to wild bird populations.

11:30 a.m. - Session 2

(select 1 out of 4)

Cheeseburger with friesE) Farm to Fast Food: What Did it Take to Get That Tomato Into Your Burger?

Tomatoes in your fast (or maybe not so fast) burger have to come from somewhere outside of Minnesota in the winter. Horticultural science professor Cindy Tong explains what it took to get that tomato from its origins to your sandwich, and how it's different from the tomato that went into your ketchup.

Heads of wheatF) Intermediate Wheatgrass

The University of Minnesota and its partners are developing Intermediate wheatgrass, a genetic “cousin” of wheat, to be the world’s first widely grown and commercially marketed perennial grain. Jim Anderson from the Department of Agronomy & Plant Genetics and Tonya Schoenfuss from the Department of Food Science & Nutrition will discuss how they are using cutting-edge plant breeding methods, characterizing traits, and developing cereal processing technologies to mold this species to be beneficial for farmers, consumers, and the environment.

Basket of fruits and vegetablesG) Sustainability of Food Systems

What does it mean to eat sustainably? Does it mean choosing a specific kind of diet, wasting less, or changing where we buy our food? Many of us would like to make more sustainable choices when it comes to food, but sometimes what we think may be sustainable can actually turn out to be the opposite. Jason Hill, from the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, will present the latest thinking on food sustainability and the many choices the average consumer can make that provide opportunities to improve the global food system.

Cyclers on trailH) The Savvy Sustainable Traveler—in Minnesota?!

Sustainable travel and its sisters eco-, geo- and green travel, have emerged as all the rage… but what do they really mean and what’s happening in Minnesota?  Forest Resources professor and Tourism Center director Ingrid Schneider will share what it means to be a "sustainable traveller" and the state of sustainable travel in Minnesota.

Kids' Edition Sessions

Kids' Edition participants will all attend three different actitivites while the standard program is taking place:

Illustrated sunriseForces of Nature
Explore nature’s energy sources by making a pizza box solar oven that really works!

Lizard tailScales & Tails
Touch a snake, feel a salamander, or watch a turtle run! Discover how reptile and amphibian bodies and behaviors are alike and different.

Survival Instincts
Get active as you learn how nature maintains balance in order to maximize survival of the population.

Explore nature’s energy sources by making a pizza box solar oven that really works in "Forces of Nature." Touch a snake, feel a salamander, or watch a turtle run! In "Scales & Tails", youth will discover how reptile and amphibian bodies and behaviors are alike and different. Then get active while learning how nature maintains balance in order to maximize survival of the population in "Survival Instincts!" University Youth & Community Programs has a morning packed with hands on enrichment and recreation activities for youth. Participants will be divided into small groups of similar ages and spend approximately an hour in each activity led by experienced staff and specialty instructors. All youth must wear athletic/tennis shoes, clothes for physical activities and weather appropriate clothing for outdoors. No previous skills or experience required; sign up for fun and learning at Classes without Quizzes: Kids’ Edition!