U of M to host Minnesota Sparks in Fergus Falls


On Tuesday, Sept. 27, the University of Minnesota hosts Minnesota Sparks in Fergus Falls, Minn., at the Bigwood Event Center. The event brings three University researchers—who are tackling some of the area’s most critical issues—into conversation with members of the local community.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., presentations and Q&A discussions are held from 6–7:15 p.m., and an open social hour will be held at 7:15 p.m. to close the evening. Minnesota Sparks is free of charge, and all are welcome to attend. Registration, found here, is highly encouraged. The night will be hosted by U of M Regent Tom Anderson, West Central Initiative and Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission.

Minnesota Sparks in Fergus Falls features three University of Minnesota researchers:

Diane Treat-Jacobson: Promoting healthy aging for the rural Minnesotan

  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) devastates the quality of life for older adults. Diane Treat-Jacobson will introduce the PAD Prairie Initiative, a project in rural Minnesota that is educating care providers and enhancing detection, leading to better treatments such as exercise therapies. She is a professor and Chair of the Adult and Gerontological Health Cooperative in the School of Nursing at the U of M.

Dan Svedarsky: Harvesting invasive cattails for fuel and nutrition

  • Duck hunters and those who fish are well acquainted with invasive hybrid cattails. Dan Svedarsky will describe his research harvesting these cattails for fuel and nutrition. Audience members will also hear how he is partnering to enhance wildlife habitats in Minnesota, North Dakota, Manitoba and the Great Lakes area. He is a professor and Director of the Center for Sustainability at the U of M-Crookston.

Arne Kildegaard: The Business Model of the Green Energy Revolution

  • Arne Kildegaard tells the story of a technological revolution in green energy that promises of cheap, clean electric power, yet also poses a challenge to the existing utility business model. Our question becomes: How do we evolve the business model fast enough to sustain our planet? He is a professor and Chair of the Social Science Division at the U of M-Morris.

Minnesota Sparks in Fergus Falls is part of a larger series of Minnesota Sparks events throughout the state. Find out more about statewide Minnesota Sparks events

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