Story and Photos by Chase Burgess
Throughout the month of October, Murrell Library has been the home of the conservation exhibit, A Legacy of Conservation: The 75th Anniversary of the Missouri Department of Conservation. The library recently finished their lecture series on Tuesday, October 29. The series brought students from many different majors and for many different reasons.
The first speaker was Seth Moore, a private land conservationist. Moore discussed what his job at the state conservation department entailed. Moore stressed the importance of private landowners taking care of their land, and educating people about conservation. Moore also discussed the abundant fishing opportunities offered in Missouri and how Missouri hatcheries produce 9 million fish per year. Moore mentioned how much help Becky Plattner has been to the conservation department. Plattner is only the third woman in the 75-year history of the Missouri Department of Conservation to be named to the board of commissioners. She is also a student at MVC, majoring in Public Relations.
The second speaker was Ethan Duke, the assistant director and co-founder of the Missouri River Bird Observatory. Duke, a self-described “fiscally conservative gun-toting environmentalist,” covered a wide range of topics in his lecture. He discussed mammoth remains in nearby Miami, Mo.; the Lewis and Clark expedition; over-hunting and extinction of animals; legislation to protect animals; and internship possibilities with the MRBO.
“My favorite speaker was Ethan Duke because he was well-prepared, his use of light humor was excellent, and he showed great passion for his work,” said Brynton Johnson, a sophomore Biology major from Nassau, Bahamas.
Waylon Hiler, assistant professor of Biology, was the third speaker of the series. Presenting to a packed room, Hiler talked about the Ozark Hellbender. The Ozark Hellbender, which is the largest amphibian in North America, is an endangered species found only in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Hiler discussed the habitat, the history, and possible reasons for the decline of the Ozark Hellbender.
MVC professor Dr. Larry Godsey wrapped up the lecture series with his presentation about his military service in Afghanistan, and agriculture in Afghanistan. Godsey led a team from the Missouri National Guard to Afghanistan to assist the local citizens in developing their agriculture. In his lecture, Godsey talked about the difficulty of growing crops in Afghanistan, farming methods of the locals, and the devastation left from Russia’s “scorched earth policy” when they pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989.
Kyland Sims, a senior Business Administration and Marketing major from Lawson, Mo., attended Godsey’s lecture to hear about another side of the military. Sims has family that is currently deployed in Afghanistan.
“I come from a military family, so it’s interesting to see what other military members are doing over there,” Sims said.
The exhibit was an overwhelming success with around 200 students attending the lectures, Library Director Pam Reader said.
Michael Cloe, a library staff member, said the exhibit went incredibly well, and even the lecturers enjoyed the exhibits, and that Jae Steinkuhler, the library’s Special Events coordinator, did an incredible amount of work to put this together.
Alex Kotanone, a junior Computer Information Sustems major from Philadelphia, examines the conservation exhibit at Murrell Library.
Video by Kathrine Flores