NMSU professor explores Alaska in ‘Global Connections’ talk

As the original mastermind behind the “Global Connections” talks hosted by NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Jon Hunner, an NMSU history professor and historian, is kicking off this year’s events with a discussion of Alaska.

Alaska viewed from the sky
A snapshot of Alaska which will open Professor Hunner’s “Global Connections” presentation. (Photo courtesy of Jon Hunner)
The Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska will be discussed during the College of Arts and Sciences’ September 9 “Global Connections” event. (Photo courtesy of Jon Hunner)

Hunner’s talk, titled “Alaska from Kenai to Denali,” will highlight his experiences while visiting the 49th state last July. The event will take place Wednesday, September 9, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Gerald Thomas Hall Auditorium.

“Alaska is a special place,” said Hunner, who traveled to the area while visiting his son.

His presentation will showcase the native cultures of Alaska, as well as offer glimpses into experiences such as whale bubble netting and a flightseeing trip to Denali, the highest mountain in North America.

“All of a sudden you saw these whales coming out of the water with their jaws wide open,” Hunner said of the bubble netting experience, a process by which humpbackSnap of the Denali National Park and Preserve whales gather their prey and feed themselves. “The pod comes up in a tight ballet almost, and they come up and harvest the herring with their jaws wide open.”

The first of six scheduled presenters for the 2015-16 school year, Hunner started the Global Connections series in 2011, following a visit to Africa, where his son was stationed with the Peace Corps. Anne Hubbell, College of Arts and Sciences interim associate dean, is currently organizing the events.

“I thought there are a lot of faculty in Arts and Sciences who travel to interesting places, but not for their research- just because we’re curious people,” Hunner said.

This year’s speakers will represent College of Arts and Sciences departments such as computer science, biology, English, AF-ROTC and art. Faculty members will share their experiences and impressions from Singapore, Vietnam, Russia, Taiwan and Japan.

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