Coe’s Thursday Forum spawns Belize adventure

Extra: Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
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2011-05-17 09:13:48 - General

Coe College Professor Emeritus of Biology Floyd Sandford will lead a group of Cedar Rapidians to Belize in June. The trip grew out of Sandford’s March 2010 Thursday Forum lecture series called “Armchair Adventures: Earthwatch Expeditions & Great Destinations.”

Most of the 13 travelers are regular Thursday Forum attendees. Sandford was asked to lead a tour when he gave a Thursday Forum presentation on his favorite destinations and Earthwatch Expeditions in which he had participated.

The group will spend a week on Tobacco Caye, an off-the-beaten-track tropical island paradise where Sandford conducts research on sponge-inhabiting shrimp. There they will explore the Belizean barrier reef and learn about its biology. Afterward, the group will travel to other parts of Belize to visit Mayan historical sites, caves, butterfly farms, and other places.

Thursday Forum is a program for adults who want to extend their knowledge in an academic setting. Each course is a four-week series of two-hour presentations. Courses are usually taught by Coe faculty although occasionally presenters with an association to the college will be invited to participate.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. The class meetings blend lecture, use of media such as film and music, and discussion.

The Thursday Forum program was launched in 1989 and quickly proved popular among adult learners and retirees in the Cedar Rapids area. Currently directed by English Professor Gina Hausknecht, Thursday Forum is overseen by an advisory committee, which determines each year’s program. Six programs will be offered during the 2011-12 Thursday Forum calendar beginning in September.