Thursdays From the U lecture series

The fall series of Thursdays from the U, a lecture and performance series, is under way. Due to COVID-19, it will be held entirely online.

To follow is information on the topics and speakers for Sept. 17 and 24.

On Sept. 17

Brian Wright, currently the District Attorney for Barron County and with 25 years of experience in the legal profession, will speak from 12:30-1:30 on Thursday, Sept. 17.  He began working as a special prosecutor in the Barron County District Attorney’s Office in March of 2018, then was formally sworn in as district attorney in July of 2018.  

Prior to this position, Wright was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to work as Eau Claire County District Attorney in 2012 and as an Eau Claire County Circuit Court Judge in 2015. Wright graduated Magna cum Laude from Marquette University Law School in 1993.

The topic of his presentation at UW-Eau Claire—Barron County is “Bail versus No Bail: A Middle Ground.”  

The question of cash bail is currently a highly controversial topic.  

Opponents argue that it is a form of discrimination against low-income persons, who are jailed because they have no funds to pay bail.  Being incarcerated until trial means they may also lose their jobs, housing and/or child custody because they can’t go to work, pay their bills or care for their kids.  

Proponents contend that requiring cash bail provides an incentive for the person to show up in court (or else to forfeit the bail amount) and it also saves the state the costs associated with keeping the person locked up until the court date.

On Sept. 24

On Thursday, Sept, 24, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., Don Siniff is an emeritus professor at the University of Minnesota, will first talk a bit about the Antarctic, the pack ice, and the marine ecosystem in general.

Then he will describe the four species of Antarctic seals, the team’s research projects and the seals´ general life histories. Dr. Siniff will also share some of his photos of penguins, and maybe some of the fish of the region.

He received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University and his PhD in 1967, from the University of Minnesota. Prior to his PhD work, he spent time in the Air Force and worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as their biometrician. In 1968, when the National Science Foundation was looking for scientists interested in censusing the seals of Antarctica, he began work on that project.  

His first trip to Antarctica was on the ice breaker Glacier. His involvement with the southern-most continent would continue for 30 years.  His students’ projects have also involved tigers in Nepal, manatees in Florida, and sea otters in Alaska and California.

How to participate

To access the live-streamed events, visit the Thursdays from the U webpage at at least 5-10 minutes prior to the start of the event. 

There you will find instructions for joining the live session, as well as the fall schedule, news releases for each talk, and archived recordings.

Thursdays from the U is sponsored by UWECBC Foundation.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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