Photo: Marty Essen presents his travels to students in the MPR.
Suzanne Buchholz, Reporter
The Office of Student Life hosted a lecture titled Around the World in 50 Minutes on Feb. 23.
The lecture was presented by award-winning author Marty Essen, who wrote Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents and Endangered Edens: Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades and Puerto Rico. The lecture featured facts, stories and photographs chronicling Essen’s travels across the seven continents.
“It covers a vast variety of topics,” Sustainability Coordinator Morgan Pasquier said. “Some of the suggestions for professors to contact range from philosophy to photography to science, so presumably it’s going to cover all kinds of different spaces.”
Pasquier planned this event after receiving an email about it from Recreation and Entertainment Coordinator Jesse Hamelin. She checked out Essen’s website, thought the lecture sounded interesting and decided to arrange it.
Pasquier’s goal with this event is to open students’ minds to new experiences and expand their knowledge of different cultures. She’s had experience with traveling and hopes to bring that feeling to other people, while possibly inspiring them to make their own travel plans in the future.
“I’ve been to a couple different continents and three or four different countries now,” Pasquier said. “I’ve always found during my travels (that) it’s broadened my mind considerably. And I’ve never been able to properly get across that feeling (to other people). I’m not sure Marty will be able to either but hopefully he’ll at least give the students some idea of it. Maybe it’ll lead to students wanting to try to travel and do their own things themselves.”
Around the World in 50 Minutes is a condensed version of Essen’s Around the World in 90 Minutes presentation, which has won Campus Activities Magazine’s “Hot Speaker” pick in 2011. It’s a rehearsed show in which Essen describes his various adventures during his travels and shares facts through a series of slides featuring photographs he took around the world. The stories are retellings of the ones found in his first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet.
In addition to presenting the slideshow, Essen will be selling copies of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet to students. The book details Essen’s encounters in the seven continents, with each chapter being devoted to a different continent as well as Central America. The book has won numerous awards including Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Top-10 “Green” Book, the Green Book Festival Award for Animals and the Best Book Award for Travel/Essay since its release in 2007.
“His website is full of rave reviews and people say that he leaves you laughing and also you’ve learned something along the way,” Pasquier said. “So it’s both educational and entertaining.”
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