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Renowned scientist to discuss Antarctic seals during Sept. 24 livestream

| Linda Tollefsrud and Diane Walkoff

Photo caption: Crabeater seals in the Lemaire Channel, Antarctica. (Photo credit: Liam Quinn, Canada)

Have you ever wondered what it's like to live and work in Antarctica? If so, consider joining this week's livestream of UW-Eau Claire – Barron County's "Thursdays from the U" lecture series to hear directly from a renowned scientist who spent a good portion of his decadeslong research career in Antarctica studying the marine ecosystem of the southernmost continent.

Dr. Donald Siniff

Dr. Donald Siniff

Dr. Donald Siniff, professor emeritus of ecology, evolution and behavior at the University of Minnesota, will present "The Antarctic and Its Seals" from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sept. 24.

Siniff will provide an overview of the Antarctic, its pack ice and marine ecosystem in general, as well as the four species of Antarctic seals, his team's research projects and the seals' general life histories. He'll also share photos of penguins and fish of the region.

Prior to his doctoral work, Siniff served in the U.S. Air Force and worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a biometrician. In 1968, when the National Science Foundation needed scientists to census the seals of Antarctica, he began work on that project, initially on the icebreaker ship USS Glacier.

In the early 1970s Siniff's research was recognized by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names with the naming of Siniff Bay in western Antarctica. Siniff's involvement with Antarctica would continue for the next 30 years. His students' projects also have involved tigers in Nepal, manatees in Florida and sea otters in Alaska and California.

Siniff holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Due to COVID-19, the fall 2020 series will be held entirely online. To access the livestreamed presentations, visit the "Thursdays from the U" webpage 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 complete fall schedule and archived recordings.

"Thursdays from the U" is sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation.

For more information about the weekly series, contact Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, professor emeritus of psychology, UW Colleges, at tollefla@uwec.edu or 715-788-6216.