April 8 lecture to focus on northern Minnesota dragonflies

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Curious about the dragonfly population in our area?

Dr. Janet Rith-Najerian will present “Dragonflies of Northern Minnesota” as part of a spring Tuesday morning lecture series sponsored by the Academy of Lifelong Learning and coordinated by the BSU Center for Research and Innovation (CRI). The lecture will be held Tuesday, April 8, at 10 a.m. at the CRI, an off-campus facility located at 3801 Bemidji Avenue North. The lecture is free and open to the public.

More than 38 species of dragonflies have been identified around Bemidji. Rith-Najarian’s talk will explain the life cycle and ecology of dragonflies and how to identify local species. It also will look at how dragonflies can be used as an “indicator species” to determine habitat quality and environmental impact.

“Certain sensitive dragonfly species have very specific habitat requirements, and may disappear from their usual habitats in response to environmental disturbances,” said Rith-Najarian.

Some of those disturbances include reduced oxygen content in the water, increased water pollution, changes in shoreline vegetation or nearby forest cover or macro or micro climate change. The greatest diversity of dragonflies is found in protected areas such as Itasca State Park, Lake Bemidji State Park and undisturbed sites in the Mississippi Headwaters.

Rith-Najarian is a teacher-consultant with the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education, but also spent many years working with biological survey projects for the Mississippi Headwaters Board, Rivers Council of Minnesota and the DNR Non-Game Wildlife Program.

The Academy of Lifelong Learning offers humanities-based programs that are made possible in part with private donations and BSU support. More information about ALL is available by contacting the Center for Research and Innovation at (218) 755-4900 or by visiting its Web site, http://www.cri-bsu.org.

2008 Spring Academy of Lifelong Learning Lecture Series Schedule

  • April 8: Janet Rith-Najerian, “Dragonflies.”
  • April 15: Fulton Gallagher, “Opera – For Real!”

April 8
– 10-11 a.m. – Academy of Lifelong Learning lecture series presents Dr. Janet Rith-Najerian, “Dragonflies of Northern Minnesota.” Location: Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation; 3801 Bemidji Ave. N.; Bemidji, Minn. Cost: free. For information: (218) 755-4900; (888) 738-3244; http://www.cri-bsu.org.