MISSOULA – When it comes to hot topics like forest fires and criminal justice, the barrage of information from competing interests can bewilder the average news consumer.

University of Montana faculty and researchers will help combat this confusion, and explore how to rely on evidence when navigating what’s real versus fake, during the UM Alumni Association’s 2018 Community Lecture Series.


“Beyond the Headlines: Clearing the Air with Real Evidence” lectures will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday, Feb. 20-March 27, in the University Center Theater. Each event will include a Q-and-A session.

Andrew Larson, associate professor of forest ecology in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, and Anna Sala, professor of plant biology in UM’s Division of Biological Sciences, will launch the series Feb. 20 with “The Inevitability of Wildfires: Fire Ecology and Forest Management.” The schedule of the remaining lectures is:

  • Feb. 27: “The Inevitability of Wildfires: Fire History and the Future of Fire,” Phil Higuera, associate professor, fire ecology.
  • March 6: “Wildfire Implications for Firefighter and Community Health,” Brent Ruby, professor, health and human performance; and Paul Smith, clinical associate professor of medicine, UM School of Public and Community Health Sciences.
  • March 13:  “Fact, Fiction and Unintended Consequences in Criminal Justice Reform,” Jordan Gross, law professor.
  • March 20: “Making the Case for Evidence-Based Practice in the Montana Juvenile Justice System,” Dusten Hollist, sociology professor.
  • March 27: “How Do We Know the Truth When the Evidence is Always Changing?” panel discussion featuring Sala along with Chris Comer, College of Humanities and Sciences dean; Tom DeLuca, College of Forestry and Conservation dean; and Dane Scott, ethics associate professor of ethics and Center for Ethics director.

Tickets for the entire lecture series cost $25 for the public, $20 for UMAA dues-paying members and $10 for students. Tickets for individual lectures are $5 at the door. Purchase tickets online or by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 406-243-5211.

More From K96 FM