Born in war, nuclear science was first revealed to the world in horror. The Cold War, power plant disasters, and current political tensions continue to play into people’s fears of everything nuclear. Overcoming this perspective often feels like an almost insurmountable task. This talk will focus on the efforts of the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse in creating a non-science major, general education course on these topics. The course, “Navigating Global Nuclear Issues” explores the topics of nuclear weapons, energy, and policy in society. Current events are discussed and analysed requiring students to confront their bias and to expand their thinking to a global scale. This class has been met with enthusiastic student support and reviews. Motivation, course content, example student projects, and education abroad opportunities will be presented.
About the Speaker: Shelly Lesher’s training includes a PhD from the University of Kentucky and Postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Nuclear and Radiation Physics at K.U. Leuven, Belgium and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and a Visiting Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Her current research interests include searching for vibrations in rare-earth nuclei via experimental techniques.