Learning Alaska’s history

Lectures continue Friday at UAA Eagle River campus


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Want to learn more about Alaska history?

You won’t have to travel far.

An eight-part lecture series — which is open to the public — about the history of the greater Cook Inlet area continues Friday, March 1 at the UAA Eagle River campus.

Katie Ringsmuth, who teaches the History of Alaska 341 course, said she thought the lectures would serve as a good way to mark Anchorage’s centennial.

“It really kind of brings the history home,” she said.

A historian with the National Park Service, Ringsmuth said the lectures are also a way for her students and the community to hear from specialists in a variety of fields. Some of the remaining topics include salmon canneries, the 1964 earthquake and Dena’ina history.

“I wanted the students to be able to meet the experts,” she said. “People who are doing original research.”

Learning history isn’t Ringsmuth’s only reason for opening her classroom to the public.

“The larger civic goal is for people to recognize that community matters and that history matters,” she said. “It helps us create a common identity.”

Knowing history is essential for all Alaska residents, Ringsmuth said.

“It helps make you a better citizen in the long run,” she said.

Ringsmuth’s hope is that the lecture series serves as inspiration to her students and Chugiak-Eagle River residents.

“They live in a cool place,” she said. “Interestingly, we know little about it.”

Ringsmuth has another goal for UAA’s Eagle River campus: to see it become an intellectual center for the area. Ringsmuth’s hope is that her lecture series will encourage local residents to gather at the building.

“Hopefully, it will be a good thing for the community,” she said.

The fourth of eight lectures continues Friday, March 1 when Ringsmuth will discuss the history of salmon canneries. The lecture will be held in room 150 at 6:30 p.m. and should last about an hour.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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