Published on March 5, 2014 by Philip Poole  

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 cocurricular 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.


About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.