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"Classes Without Quizzes" features everyday science

What: College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences presents "Classes Without Quizzes"
When: 9 a.m. to to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, April 2
Where: McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul

Contacts: Becky Beyers, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences,, (612) 626-5754
Patty Mattern, University News Service,, (612) 624-2801

March 9, 2011

Garden remedies, healthy eating, water quality and sustainable buying are among the featured topics at this year's "Classes Without Quizzes" on Saturday, April 2 at the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus.

Nationally recognized experts from the university's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences will present mini-seminars designed for the general public, including students of all ages. The event will be from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and includes kids-only sessions on reptiles and plant science as well as hands-on family science projects.

Marla Spivak, professor of entomology and recent McArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" winner, will present the keynote speech, "The Health and Diversity of Bee Pollinators," at 9 a.m.

The eight mini-seminars include:

The Truth About Garden Remedies: All kinds of garden gurus are out there telling us what to do to solve all of our gardening woes: baking soda for blackspot, sugar for feeding your plants, or eggshells to stop slugs. But which approach works and which is hooey?  Horticultural science associate professor Jeff Gillman will take a closer look at some popular garden remedies.

Kids Actually Like Whole Grain Foods? Children are not getting enough whole grains to meet their nutritional needs; but will they eat healthy food? Department of food science and nutrition associate professor Len Marquart discusses how perceptions can be changed and efforts to gradually introduce whole-grain foods into the diets of school-age children.

Who Pays Taxes? Amid both the state budget debate and income tax season, the time is right to tackle some perennial questions about our government and who pays for it. Why does the government provide goods and services when the private sector can provide them so well?  How should governments pay for the services they provide?  Who pays which taxes?  How might the state's tax and spending priorities change in coming years? In this session Laura Kalambokidis, assistant professor of applied economics, will lay the groundwork for a discussion of these and other pressing issues.

Water in the Land of Lakes: Water Resources Center co-director Faye Sleeper will present information on the quality of Minnesota's waters, the regulatory framework for protection and restoration of polluted waters, and the role of citizens in the process. Sleeper will de-mystify terms such as impaired waters, TMDLs, nonpoint source pollution, watershed and more.

Creating Sustainable Lawns: Eric Watkins, assistant professor of horticultural science, will explain which species of turfgrass provide excellent lawns with a minimum of water, nutrients and time.

The Meat We Eat: Meat is a nutrient-dense part of a healthy human diet, but how do you know which cuts are best? Animal Science associate professor Ryan Cox will discuss the factors at work in choosing meat as well as addressing "meat myths."

Stem Rust Affects Everyone: A new race of stem rust, Ug99, has been detected in eastern Africa.  What will its impact be on a local, regional, and global scale?  Wheat and barley breeding experts Jim Anderson and Matthew Rouse will co-present on current efforts in improving wheat for resistance to Ug99 and why there's an urgent need to reduce the vulnerability of wheat worldwide.

At Least It Says So on the Package: What does "green" really mean? How can private businesses meaningfully engage in solving today and tomorrow's environmental problems? Tim Smith, associate professor of bioproducts/biosystems engineering, will discuss the challenges of sustainability.

Registration for Classes Without Quizzes costs $30 with discounts for University of Minnesota Alumni Association members and students. An optional lunch following the seminars is $10.
For information and to register, go to or call (612) 624-0822.

Tags: College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

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