February 22, March 1, 8, 15 (Tuesdays)
Discover the historical, cultural and mesmerizing world of opera. Recognize, savor and appreciate some of the world’s most beloved operas.
February 22: Opera Lab: The Formula of Opera – Handel, Monteverdi and Purcell
March 1: Enlightened Opera: Classic Period Opera – Mozart, Bel Canto, Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti
March 8: Romance: Who Does It Better – Italians or Germans? Wagner vs. Verdi
March 15: Verismo Period: Time to Be Real – Puccini, Mascagni and Leoncavallo; MIOpera Performance
Tracy Marie Koch, MIOpera Director and Opera Innovator
John Koch, Associate Professor of Voice, Illinois State University, and MIOpera General Manager (March 1 only)
Ken Lam, Music Director, Illinois Symphony Orchestra (March 8 only)
March 31, April 7, 14, 21 (Thursdays)
The U.S. has set a goal of achieving “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve this, we will need to transition our electric grid away from fossil fuels and toward renewable resources. Learn about wind and solar energy resources, technologies, and how they can be used to provide renewable energy in Illinois. The presentation will include information about all sizes and scales of renewable energy systems, from small residential-sized systems up to utility-scale renewable energy developments.
Matt Aldeman, Associate Prof of Sustainable & Renewable Energy and Engineering Technology, Department of Technology, ISU
Kohlhase will discuss the public infrastructure of all things water. What are the available sources of water and the quantity and quality aspects of each? What treatment is required and available for our drinking water? How does water get to our homes? Where does water go after leaving our homes? How is wastewater treated? Learn about stormwater management and the impact of combined sewers. Discover current issues with water quality standards.
Robert Kohlhase, Principal - Civil Section Leader for Water, Wastewater and Municipal Services, Farnsworth Group
The 53-year old McLean County Regional Planning Commission has been playing a vital yet not obvious role in transportation planning for our region. Transportation is more than roads and bridges, or cars and trucks. It also includes bicycling, walking, public transit, greenways, electric vehicles, railroads, airport and more. How does it impact those who live, work and/or play in McLean County? What is your vision for a transportation system in 2045? This session will cover the process, elements and players of transportation planning as well as a community-side “Vision Zero” action plan and other related aspects.
Executive Director, McLean County Regional Planning Commission
Jennifer Sicks, Senior Transportation Planner, MCRPC
BN Innovation Alliance provides cutting-edge insights to help drive growth in constantly evolving business environments. What sets us apart from other communities? What’s being done to enhance our technical infrastructure? What technology challenges do we face? Topics to be discussed include 5G deployment issues, fiber Internet, Smart Cities initiatives, Citizen Privacy, technology as a business development tool and addressing a growing digital divide in our community. Learn how local government is working toward a better future.
Jamie Mathy, Co-Founder, BN Innovation Alliance (BNIA), Bloomington City Council Alderman
Kevin McCarthy, Co-Founder, BNIA, Town of Normal Council Member
April 26, 29, May 3, 6 (Tuesdays/Fridays)
Dive into the world of weather forecasting in Central Illinois. Learn what it's like as a broadcast meteorologist. Take a deeper look at severe storms, how they develop and how trends have changed over the past several decades. Discover challenges associated with the unpredictable Central Illinois weather and tracking storms on radar.
Chris Yates, Chief Meteorologist, WMBD/WYZZ, Peoria
Learn about Illinois Storm Chasers (ISC) and the important work they do, including weather forecasting, preparedness, safety and reporting on severe weather. How is a specialized forecast map, the Threat Assessment Map (T.A.M.) used to outline significant hazards found across the Land of Lincoln? Learn of notable storms that have been observed throughout the years. Discover how ISC brings its best during mother nature's worst.
Nick Bartholomew, Presenter, Illinois Storm Chasers
Since its modernization in the mid 1990's, the National Weather Service (NWS) has continued to evolve. Today the NWS is an organization that utilizes the latest in science and technology but also relies upon certain proven methods that stand the test of time. Learn how the NWS has changed over the past 25 years and see what it looks like today.
Ryan Knutsvig, Meteorologist in Charge, National Weather Service, Lincoln
Climate change is a major environmental challenge that is likely to affect many aspects of our lives, ranging from human and environmental health to the economy. We are already experiencing societal impacts from the changing climate, and these impacts are expected to increase over time. Recent assessments paint a stark picture of the changes in store because of our changing climate, but it also depends on which pathway we follow in slowing down climate change.
Donald Wuebbles, Emeritus Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana
June 7, 14, 21, 28 (Tuesdays)
In 1969, archaeologists discovered the remains of a series of Native American settlements on the farm of Theodore and Mary Koster near Eldred, Illinois. Artifacts found near the present-day ground surface were 1,000 years old. Those found at a depth of nearly 30 feet in a 6-foot-by-6-foot hand-excavated shaft were more than 8,000 years old. Dr. Wiant will explore how archaeologists and other scientists, using a variety of theories, methods, and techniques, pieced together Native American and environment history in the Illinois River Valley.
Retired Director of Illinois State Museum and Dickson Mounds