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Belfast Senior College to offer course on our changing climate

January 11, 2021 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am EST

Senior College at Belfast, in collaboration with the Camden Conference, will offer a course this winter entitled “What is Happening to Northern Climates?”

This year the topic of the Camden Conference is the Arctic and its focus will be on the geopolitical implications for a changing Arctic region. The Senior College course will highlight the science forcing those changes and projections for the future.

The Camden Conference will take place Feb. 20-21, 2021. The Senior College course, a tutorial about how and why our climate is changing, will run for six 60- to 90-minute online sessions, beginning Jan. 11 and ending Feb. 15, 2021. According to a press release from Senior College, it will serve as a preparatory experience for those planning to attend the February Camden Conference on “The Geopolitics of the Arctic: A Region in Peril.”

“Severe wildfires, southern hurricanes, extreme weather, the warming Arctic and melting glaciers are all part of our daily news cycle,” the press release said. “It is impossible not to recognize that no matter where we live, our world is being impacted by a global transformation. Senior College at Belfast is pleased to offer a course that will help us understand our changing climate. Perhaps more importantly, it will bring home how climate change in northern latitudes affects us locally AND what we can do!”

Lectures and discussions will put in perspective fire, drought, tropical storms, changes in weather patterns, melting permafrost, land ice vs. sea ice, and more. The course will explore effects of changing greenhouse gases, including vegetation change and sea level rise in understandable terms. The role and attribution of humans in the process will be examined and explored.

The course will be taught by Dr. Susan Conard. She has a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis and worked with the U.S. Forest Service for more than 25 years, including time at the White House reviewing climate change reports. Now retired, Conard still serves as co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

The online course also will be open and free to local Maine high schools. The Environmental Science class at Belfast Area High School is already planning to attend.

“Belfast Senior College will be celebrating its 20th year in 2021 and it is so right that we will be marking the occasion working with our local high school to foster intergenerational learning,” Senior College President Nancy Perkins said in the press release. “Throughout the pandemic, Senior College at Belfast is offering online year-round courses through Zoom Conferencing. These online courses have been tremendously well received.”

The college normally offers four semesters per year plus a host of one-day courses at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, taught by qualified instructors. There are no grades, tests  or attendance requirements. During normal sessions there is a social break with complimentary cookies and beverages.

To register, there is a $20 course fee; all course fees are waived for high school students and teachers. See the Senior College at Belfast website for additional information or call Nancy Perkins at 218-1369. For more information, visit


January 11, 2021
9:30 am - 11:00 am EST
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Camden Conference
Belfast Senior College


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