Schedule available for Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center’s 2018 Fireside Lecture series

Release Date: Dec 26, 2017

Contact(s): Paul Robbins Jr.

JUNEAU, Alaska, Dec 26, 2017 – The Tongass National Forest has released the schedule for the 2018 Fireside Lectures at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Local photographer Mark Kelley starts the annual series with Alaska’s Treasures: Images from Denali, Glacier Bay and the Pribilof Islands on Friday, January 12. Two lectures occur every Friday evening, the first at 6:30 p.m. with a repeat at 8 p.m. There is no charge.

“We enjoy hosting this lecture series for the Juneau community each winter,” said Visitor Center Director John Neary. “It is a chance to socialize with friends and learn the latest details from experts on science, culture and history.”

The popular Fireside Lecture series was started in 1962 by KJ Metcalfe, then visitor center director. At that time, the big copper-sheathed hearth roared with a crackling fire, which inspired the name for the series. And even though the center was less than half its current size, having expanded in 1998, hundreds of people regularly attended the lectures. In recent years, to accommodate continued interest, the center has held two duplicate Fireside Lectures each Friday. Overflow seating has expanded to the observatory from the theater, which fills rapidly with about 100 guests. Twelve free lectures run each Friday through March 30.

“We try to offer topics of interest to residents,” added Neary. “This year we will feature natural beauty, science, adventure, current activities, history and storytelling. There is a devoted Fireside audience that attend every week, but each topic attracts new patrons.”

The 2018 Fireside Lecture Schedule can be viewed and downloaded here.

The Forest Service invites people to come inside the visitor center free of charge during the winter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Doors open for the Friday night lectures at 6 p.m. The Discovery Southeast bookstore inside the center will be open during the same hours as the Visitor Center, including Friday nights for lectures. The nonprofit bookstore and the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center are partnering to encourage local artists to present their products for visitors.

For more information, call 907-789-0097. For interviews and information to be used for publication, contact the Tongass Public Affairs Officer at 907-228-6201.

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