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Thursdays at the U fall series concludes with talk on Antarctic Peninsula’s history, geography, wildlife

| Linda Tollefsrud

Photo caption: Anna Demers and Ryan Urban will present “Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula” from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County.

Ice, more ice and penguins. Is there anything else of interest about the Antarctic Peninsula? 

The Dec. 14 Thursdays at the U lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County, the final presentation of the fall series, will focus on the seventh continent’s history, geography, animals and even a plant or two.

The speakers, Anna Demers and Ryan Urban, also will discuss the growing popularity of Antarctic tourism and the implications of an increasing human presence on this unique ecosystem. Their presentation will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall in Ritzinger Hall and will be livestreamed at

Demers owns Tamarack Wetland Services LLC in Rice Lake and does shoreline restorations, wetland delineations, native plantings and rain gardens. She loves to explore the world around her, whether right outside her door or on other continents. Always curious about biota, she collects books on local plant beings everywhere she goes. 

Demers also loves to ski the American Birkebeiner and other races around the world (most recently in Iceland), hike the Ice Age Trail, paddle rivers and hunt for mushrooms. She serves on multiple boards related to her hobbies. 

Urban is a local journalist who enjoys feeling “inaccessible” in far off places, whether it’s deep in Wisconsin’s Northwoods or a continent away. Urban is a member of several local organizations and is especially passionate about building and maintaining trails. 

The Thursdays at the U weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Neither seating reservations nor parking permits are needed for campus guests.

In addition to the livestream option, the recordings are archived on the Thursdays at the U webpage.

The first presentation of the spring series will be Feb 1, 2024, with Mike O’Connor presenting “Badger Aces: Wisconsin’s Fighter Pilots.”

For more information about the series, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at