Published on March 5, 2014 by Cassady Weldon  

James Skillen, professor of geology, geography and environmental science at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich., will speak March 12 at Samford University. The 3:30 p.m. lecture in Brock Forum is open to the public.

Skillen will explore the legacies of land and natural resources in the American frontier and explain why these political and legal issues define the American West in ways that distinguish it from other regions of the U.S.

"Samford is fortunate to have someone with James Skillen's intellect and research experience to address a topic that fits within our liberal arts focus but is co-curricular with many of our graduate and professional programs," said J. Bradley Creed, Samford's provost and executive vice president.

Skillen is also director of The Oregon Extension, which offers a semester of accredited college studies for students who want an alternative to the traditional college semester. The program offers an engaged learning experience in an intentional community setting.

Skillen has degrees in both environmental science and theology, and he earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in natural resource policy. His research interests and publications are centered on federal land and resource policy.

Cassady Weldon is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in Samford's Office of Marketing and Communication.