The fourth year of Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Enrichment Program brings a variety of new seminar topics and book discussions to Steamboat Springs and outlying communities.
Founded by CMC's Alpine Campus dean Robert Ritschel and professor Janie Swartz as a way to offer the community opportunities to increase awareness, enhance knowledge, spark ideas and provide a forum for intellectual discussions, the Alpine Enrichment Program has continued to expand with each new session.
For the fall 2004 session, which began Sept. 29 with a discussion of land trusts by local rancher Jay Fetcher, Swartz used feedback from those who participated in past sessions to schedule discussion topics of interest to community members.
"We had a lot more feedback last year, so we really tried to accommodate and search out people and topics that were requested," Swartz said. "I think it's an interesting variety."
Last week, CMC English professor Rebecca Potter led a discussion of "Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place," a book by Utah naturalist Terry Tempest Williams.
On Wednesday, CMC Professor Emeritus George Tolles will lead a discussion of two controversial works by filmmaker and author Michael Moore. "Dude, Where's My Country?" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" will provide the basis for the discussion.
"George is going to take both sides and be totally nonpartisan," Swartz said. "It's a place where people will be able to exchange ideas in a friendly, nonthreatening environment."
On Oct. 27, local photographer Jim Steinberg will present a portfolio of his work, some of which has appeared in the pages of National Geographic, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, Backpacker and The Wall Street Journal.
One day after the nation elects its next president, Army veteran Joanna Eldridge will lead a lecture and discussion on combating terrorism.
A Nov. 10 seminar will take place in a workshop-like format, with Ann Holmes leading a discussion dealing with viruses, worms, spies and other hazards found on the information superhighway. Holmes' discussion will focus on teaching people what to look for and how to protect their computers from increasing threats.
CMC astronomy professor Jimmy Westlake will give a multimedia presentation of galaxies Nov. 17, followed a week later by a multimedia presentation of Greenland with Dr. Mike Parker, who spent a summer there on a scientific climbing expedition.
The fall session of Alpine Enrichment Program wraps up Dec. 8 with a topic Swartz is sure will be of interest to many in the community. Sister Faith Hansen will facilitate a discussion of Dan Brown's best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code." The discussion will include slides of some of the famous artwork and European locations that play an integral part in the novel.
All Alpine Enrichment Program seminars are held at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Room 300 in Bogue Hall on the CMC campus.
"Hopefully there's something for everyone," Swartz said. "We really want this to be something for the community. We want the community to come to us and see we're doing more than just serving traditional students."
The seminars are free and open to all who are interested. Call 870-4432 or visit http://faculty.coloradomtn.edu/aep.