Category Archives: Past Fe University courses

Courses offered by Fe University in the past. These course offerings are no longer available, but be sure to contact us if you see a topic you’d like to have repeated.

Genetics for the Curious: Why are there so many purple lupines?

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Course Title:  Genetics for the Curious: Why are there so many purple lupines?

Dates:  Wednesdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25th

Time:  9 to 12AM

Fee: $30 ($5 discount if registered before September 20)

Location:  Mercer Public Library, 2648W Margaret Street, Mercer, WI

Objectives: Through a study of cell processes students will

  •         Have a good, basic understanding of gene function,  heredity, and mutation
  •         Be able to develop informed opinions on environmental and health policy and legislation
  •         Understand the genetic basis of cancer and other genetic diseases
  •         Realize the importance of avoiding unnecessary exposure to radiation, pollution, and certain chemicals, foods and drugs.  

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ACT NOW: Explorations in the art of acting

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Course Title:  ACT NOW: Explorations in the art of acting

Dates:  September 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28: Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10:00-12:00 noon

Location:  Historic Ironwood Theatre, Aurora Street, Ironwood

Course Fee: $50 with $5 discount if registered by August 29, 2017

Objectives:  Students will engage in various acting exercises, scene analysis, and the performance process. They should leave the class with a clearer understanding and appreciation for the role of the actor through exploring their own skills and becoming more confident with their own expression. Focus will be on process—observation skills, assertion of the imagination, ensemble building, and empathic engagement with character. During the last session, students will present a two character scene or monologue for the class and invited friends. on the last day. Class will encourage creative expression, confidence, self-discovery and, hopefully, fun.

Course structure:  The course will be given in eight sessions, each two hours long. The first hour will include physical, vocal, concentration, and observation exercises, including theatre games and improvisation. The second hour will include the process of taking a scene or a monologue from analysis to rehearsal to performance. Activities will include:

  •         Learning the physical basics of stage positions, crosses, focus sharing, etc.
  •         Improvisation and theatre games for building ensemble
  •         Observation assignments and exercises
  •         Vocal work and physical work
  •         “scoring” scenes and monologues; rehearsing to share in the final session

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Natural Resource Management in Northern Wisconsin

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Course Title:  Natural Resource Management in Northern Wisconsin

Course # 17F01

Dates:  Wednesdays, August 9, 16, 23, 30

Time:  Aug. 9, 16– 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Aug. 23, 30 -1:00-4:00 PM

Course fee: $35, with $5 discount if registered by July 26.

Required Reading: Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Outdoors activities will require students to sign a hold harmless disclaimer.

Location:  Aug 9 and 16, Mercer Library; Aug. 23-Mercer Library and Paulik forest. Aug. 30 Little Turtle Flowage Wildlife Area and Mercer Ranger Station

Objectives:  Students will learn about Wisconsin’s natural resource management from its beginning to the present. The need for management and best practices in fish and water management, forest management, and wildlife management.

Course structure:  The course will be given in _4__ sessions, each 2-3 hours long for a total of 10 hours, covering the following topics:
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Field Ornithology (Regional Birds)

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Course Title:  Field Ornithology (Regional Birds)

Course# 17S03

Dates:  Wednesdays, May 17, 24, 31, June 7

Time:  8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Fee:  $50 minus $5 if registered by May 3

Location:  County Board room, Iron County Courthouse, 300 Taconite St, Hurley, WI

This course satisfies the continuing education requirement for the UW Ex Master Naturalist program.

Objectives:  Students will learn about the birds of the region (northern Wisconsin, U.P. of Michigan, and Lake Superior area). Each session will include a classroom component and field time, when we will visit a variety of habitats to observe and practice identifying birds. By the end of the 4 weeks, students will know how to identify the common breeding and migratory species of the area. Continue reading

Spring Flora of the Northwoods

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Course Title-Spring Flora of the Northwoods

Course#- 17S02

Dates:  May 15, 16, 17, 2017

Time:  9 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day

Location:  Field trips each morning, then reconvening at Mercer Library, 2648 Margaret St.

Fee: $75 ($5 discount if registration received before May 1)

Class size will be limited to 10 students! Register early.

This class has now filled up.  Please send your contact information to FeU if you are interested in a second class at a later date.  We will take your reservation.

This course satisfies the continuing education requirement for the UW Ex Master Naturalist program.

Objectives:  Students will learn how to identify plants by utilizing a dichotomous key, which is nowhere near as hard as pronouncing “di-cot-toe-mus.” Students will also learn about the natural history of each plant – its growth characteristics, its historic uses, its associates, its general ecology. Continue reading

Conversational Spanish II

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Course Title:  Conversational Spanish II

Class# 17Sp1

Dates:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, Mar. 28 – April 20, 2017

Time:  3:30 – 5:00 PM

Location:  Hurley School, Spanish room 415

Fee: $41 with $5 discount if registration is received by March 14

Objectives: Students will build on the foundations set in Spanish I to become more proficient in conversation.

Course structure:  The course will be given in _8__ sessions, each _90_ minutes long, covering the following topics:

Spanish II will be a continuation of the beginning Spanish I class.  We will build on the foundations of grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary to become more conversational.  Also, we will learn one of the past tenses and the future construction so that students will be able to talk about the past, present and future.  Students will also be able to request vocabulary and topics in their areas of interest to be able to be more conversational at work or play. Continue reading

Basic Conversational Spanish I

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Course Title-Basic Conversational Spanish I

Course# 17W3

Dates:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 21 – March 16

Time:  3:30-5:00 PM

Location:  Hurley School, Room __415_____

Course Fee: $36 or $41 after Feb 7

Objectives: Useful Spanish conversation for travel or just to enrich will be explored while we also touch on the basics of the language and its structure. Continue reading

Information Literacy and Independent Research

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Information literacy is more important than ever in the era of fake news and a glut of online information. Do you want to know how to conduct good research for writing, genealogy, local history, medical, political issues, or other interests? A basic understanding of information literacy can help you find and use information on all kinds of topics. This course will give you the tools you need to conduct research using online and library resources, and more importantly, evaluate the information you find. You’ll learn how to find credible resources, organize information, and use your research in ways that are legal and ethical.

Dates: Tuesdays, March 7, 21, and 28 and April 4, 2017
Time:  10:00 am – Noon
Location:  Mercer Public Library, 2648W Margaret St., Mercer, Wisconsin
Cost: $30 or $25 if registered before February 21, 2017
Course # 17W4

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The Witch Panic of the 16th and 17th Centuries in the Western World

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Course Title: The Witch Panic of the 16th and 17th Centuries in the Western World

Dates:  Wednesdays, Feb. 8-Mar. 1, 2017

Time:  10:00AM – 12:00PM

Course# 17W2

Course Fee-$25 or $30 after January 25

Location:  Mercer Library, 2648W Margaret St. Mercer, WI

Objectives:  The objective of this course is to examine in close detail the witchcraft panic that spread like wildfire throughout Europe and the American colonies during the 16th and 17th centuries as well as to explore why the phenomenon remains such an endlessly fascinating historical event. If history can teach us anything, it is perhaps something important about human societies—most especially, what they’re capable of doing given a context of profound cultural change and societal upheaval. Continue reading

Anishinaabe History and Worldviews

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This class is full, but we have started a waiting list for the next class.  Please send us your registration form without the fee and we will contact you when the next class starts.

Course Title:  Anishinaabe History and Worldviews


Dates:  4 Wednesdays starting January 11, 2017

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Location:  Iron County Courthouse-County Board Room -Hurley

Course Fee-$30  or $25 before Dec. 29


Objectives: Students will learn about the history and culture of the Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) people. Students will listen to stories covering topics of pre-written history. We will cover the treaty era and what it means for the people today.

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Inside Look at the National Football League

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Course #213

Dates, times and locations:

  • Friday, Oct 7, Tues. Oct 11, Friday, Oct. 14, 3:00-5:00 PM, Mercer Community Center
  • Monday, October 17, 5:00-7:00 PM, Great Northern Motel lobby

Cost-$30 or $25 if registered before September 23

Course objectives: Students will gain a deeper understanding of the game of football, what occurs behind the television screen, coaching, terminology, and the organization of the National Football League.

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Genetics and Evolution

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Course #212

Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 22-Oct. 18

Times: 10 am to Noon

Location: Mercer Library

Cost: $48 or $43 if registered before September 8

Objectives:  Through a study of the process of molecular replication and the components of living cells and their functions, the student will be able to understand and discuss the process of evolution.

Requirements:  A previous exposure to the concepts of elemental biology will be helpful but not necessary.

Course Description:   A short review of cell biology with emphasis on the processes of cell duplication and differentiation.  Use of the concepts of genetics in a discussion of evolution.

Course Duration and Structure:  The course will meet 8 times for two hours each over a period of four weeks.  Classes will consist of varying amounts of lecture, lab and discussion. Continue reading

Land of Lakes-Ecology of the Northern Highlands Lakes

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Course #211

As of 8/29/2016, we have reached capacity and are no longer taking registrations for this course. For more information, call 715-476-2881.

Dates:  Sep 1,6,8,13,15,20

Time:  9:00 am – Noon

Location:  Mercer Public Library Conference Room, (and various field sites to be announced), Margaret St. Mercer, WI

Cost: $60, you may deduct a $10 discount if you send your reservations by August 18.

Objectives:  Students will gain an understanding of the unique relationship between geology, ecology and human settlement in the Northern Highlands region of northern Wisconsin.

Course structure:  The course will be given in six sessions, each 3 hours long, The course will be facilitated and taught by naturalist/biologists, John Bates and Terry Daulton, with guest speakers for many sessions covering the following topics: Continue reading

“Plants in the Landscape”

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Course #210

Thursday, May 5th Springstead Town Hall, 3pm-5pm

Tuesday May 17th ClearView Nursery, Springstead, 3pm-5pm

Objectives:  Plants can be studied from many perspectives.  Our goal in this class will be to help students understand how plants are categorized, and how they fit into natural (ecological) and unnatural systems (“unnatural systems” means gardens). We will discuss the five factors that allow plants to thrive (or fail) in a specific location.  And we will talk about specific plants, both in the natural landscape and in the home landscape and garden.       Continue reading

Electrical Knowledge and Electrical Safety for Homeowners

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Course #209

Dates: Thursday April 28th 6-9pm, and Saturday April 30th 9am – 12pm

Mercer Public Library, Mercer, WI

Objectives:  Participants should gain an understanding of electrical safety requirements in rules promulgated by the State as well as the requirements of the adopted National Electrical Code. Various electrical devices, their installation, use, testing and replacement will be discussed. Students should have a better understanding of the devices they rely on for safety on a daily basis. Continue reading

Democracy and Issues in Contemporary Political Development

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Course Title:  Democracy and Issues in Contemporary Political Development   

Course #207

4 Tuesdays, Mar. 22-April 12, 4-6pm, Iron County Board Room, Hurley, WI

Objectives:  This course is designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of what democracy is, and is not, in context of contemporary political issues. Participants will learn about the origins of democracy and the differences between parliamentary, presidential, and semi-presidential models of democracy. Sessions will explore how executive, legislative, and judicial institutions vary across countries, emphasizing the concepts of freedom and equality. Upon course completion, students will be able to identify how elites, society, culture, modernization, and international relations shape modern-day democratic development.    Continue reading

Intro to Human Behavior

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Course Title: Intro to Human Behavior

Course #206
Wednesdays, January 27 – March 9, 2016 at 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Iron County Board Room, Hurley, Wisconsin

Objectives: Students will learn about the science of Psychology, what it involves and what it tells us today about human behavior.  We will talk about Nature/Nurture, what constitutes learning, what dreams are made of, the difference between correlation and causality, what comprises personality and intelligence and what exactly is “abnormal”?  Expect to be respected for what you already know,  intellectually stimulated by things you don’t already know, and have some laughs.   Continue reading

International Order and the Impact of Foreign Assistance

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Title:  International Order and the Impact of Foreign Assistance
Instructor: Gary Theisen

Course #204
Tuesday, January 5 and January 12; Tuesday, February 2 and 9 at 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Haines Civic Building, Railroad Street, Mercer, Wisconsin

Objectives:  This course is designed to provide participants with a better understanding of the issues underlying global change and development. Emphasis will be placed on the so-called “developing world” by examining political and systemic causes of poverty, disease and corruption and why they are of concern to more advanced countries such as the United States. Sessions will identify misconceptions of and progress made through international assistance programs and US tax dollars. Specific examples of successes and failures in development efforts will be examined in light of the instructor’s professional experiences in over 60 countries. Continue reading

Investing 101

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Title:  Investing 101
Instructor: Joseph Lemke, AAMS

Course #205
Thursdays, January 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2016; time to be determined
Mercer Public Library, 2648W Margaret Street, Mercer, WI 54547

Course structure:  The course will be given in 4 sessions, each 2 hours long, covering the following topics:

Week 1: Intro/Foundations of Investing

Week 2: Stocks

Week 3: Bonds/CDs/Fixed Income

Week 4: Mutual Funds/Investing Fees and conclusion of class activity

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The History of Iron County and its role in the Gogebic Range

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Title:  The History of Iron County and its role in the Gogebic Range, Part I
Instructor: Larry Peterson

Course #203
Tuesdays, December 1 – December 22, 2015 at 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Iron County Courthouse, Hurley, Wisconsin

Course structure:  Instructor Larry Peterson will use both lecture and discussion to explore Iron County’s history as seen through the stories of its residents, past and present, and investigate what distinguishes Iron County’s Penokee Range from the Gogebic Range and what the two ranges have in common. Study how natural resources have shaped the county’s history, from mining to forestry, to attempts at farming, to the eventual transition to tourism. Finally the class will investigate how this understanding can be used to develop a partnership for various historical projects across the entire Gogebic/Penokee Range. The course will be given in 4 sessions, each 2 hours long.  Continue reading

Botany 101

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This course will explore aspects of general Botany including plant anatomy, plant physiology, naming and classifying, plant ecology and biomes, and will conclude with basics of gardening. Knowledge of basic biology and/or chemistry concepts are not necessary to participate in the course as relevant information will be included and discussed throughout the course. Practical skills such as using a plant identification key, how to control invasive plants, seed starting and other basic gardening skills are a focus of the course. Continue reading

Understanding the Geology of Northern Wisconsin

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March 3 – April 7, 2015

Identify and understand Earth materials, understand how we use geologic materials, how tectonic forces change rocks, and how the Earth’s surface is sculpted by water and surface processes. Students will also learn to compile stories from Earth’s past by deciphering rock records, to discern geologic features in maps and to know the major geologic events recorded in the rocks of Northern Wisconsin. All materials for the weekly readings and discussions will be provided. Students will be required to have or purchase a magnifying lens, available from the instructor for $16. Continue reading

Foundations of Investing

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March 4-25, 2015

General rules of investing, preparing for the unexpected, stocks, fixed income, mutual funds, designing your retirement, and tax free investing will be among the topics covered with time allotted for discussion on any phase the class wants to explore. Handouts will be distributed and some homework assigned. The session will wrap up with a final project determined at the end of the class. Continue reading