TENNESSEE NATURAL AREAS FIRST IN LECTURE SERIES

Lecture Free and Open to the Public Wednesday, Oct. 3

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Sept. 12, 2012) - - - Robin Peeler Wooten kicks off the 2012-2013 STEM lecture series at Columbia State Community College with a talk entitled Tennessee State Natural Areas 101. Wooten, program manager for natural areas in the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, will introduce attendees to the state of Tennessee’s program for protecting and managing natural areas with a lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in the Ledbetter Auditorium on the Columbia campus.

“The Natural Areas program was created in 1971 as a result of the Natural Areas Preservation Act of the Tennessee legislature,” Wooten said. “Over the years we have added areas and the program now includes 82 designated natural areas statewide.”

There are also now 30 areas that have been designated as ‘voluntary natural areas’. These are privately and publicly held lands in which the owners have committed to voluntarily agreements to protect areas of ecological importance.

“The idea is to set aside spaces to protect endangered, threatened and rare species,” she continued.

Wooten earned a Bachelor of Science in forestry and wildlife in natural resource management from Virginia Tech. She has completed graduate coursework in botany at Tennessee Tech and is currently pursuing her Master of Science in agricultural and natural resource at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

The Natural Areas 101 lecture is the first of four STEM series lectures scheduled for the academic year and is sponsored by the Science, Technology and Mathematics department at Columbia State. It will be held in the Ledbetter Auditorium on the main campus of Columbia State in Columbia, TN. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.

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