ThinkHaus is a community conversations series created by Lakeland College, in partnership with Jake’s Café in Sheboygan. The series features powerful, thought-provoking talks, no longer than 20 minutes, by an expert on a topic of interest to the local community. Following the talk, the speaker and community engage in discussion that results in new levels of understanding.

The mission of ThinkHaus is to inspire positive change in the community through knowledge sharing and creativity; promote community wellness through a thoughtful, meaningful forum; and create common ground among community members by sharing new ways of thinking.

What if? A Look at Alternative Energy in Sheboygan
Nov. 13, 7 p.m. at Jake’s Café
Paul Pickhardt, Lakeland College associate professor of biology and chair of Lakeland’s Natural Sciences Division

Pickhardt will discuss the pros and cons of burning coal as an energy source. Touching on the history of the Edgewater Power Plant in Sheboygan, he will challenge the audience to consider what Sheboygan could look like if a community-driven effort led to using alternative, sustainable energy sources.

An aquatic ecologist with a strong field work background, Pickhardt has published and presented extensively on this work. His area of expertise centers around the interactions of trace elements and contaminants – specifically mercury – on the biota at the base of aquatic food webs. Pickhardt partnered with fellow biology faculty member Greg Smith to create Lakeland’s tropical biology course in Belize, and Pickhardt’s dedication to environmental issues resulted in the college’s participation in Focus the Nation to raise awareness about climate change. Pickhardt currently serves as Lakeland’s representative to the Ellwood H. May (Maywood) Environmental Park’s advisory board and he is an active steering committee member for the Association of College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE). Pickhardt, a member of Lakeland’s faculty since 2006, holds a Ph.D. from Dartmouth and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The conversations are free and open to the public. Reservations are preferred, but not required.