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University of Saskatchewan speakers bureau offering free talks

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WATCH ABOVE: Garrett Richards explains the concept behind the University of Saskatchewan speaker bureau and Melanie Elliot gives a demonstration of her bat presentation – Feb 21, 2017

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is giving people a chance to book speakers – for free.

Last summer, the Office of Community Engagement and Outreach at the Saskatoon-based university provided funding to develop a speakers bureau.

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This allows faculty, graduate students, instructors and researchers to share their expertise on their current work or general area of expertise.

It came about after Garrett Richards, a postdoctoral fellow with the School of Environment and Sustainability, gave a talk about citizen science to a fishing club for seniors while he was a member of the speakers bureau at the University of Victoria.

Richards said he wanted to create a similar environment at the U of S.

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University officials said bookings can currently be made on a number of subjects in around 80 topics, ranging from food to sports, politics and science.

A variety of presentation styles is used, including one speaker who uses live rescued bats.

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Officials are hoping to eventually have 100 topics, which are suitable for schools, community organizations looking to highlight certain topics and businesses pursuing development opportunities for their employees.

A promotional gallery highlighting the speakers bureau has been set up at the Centre Mall. More information can be found online at the speakers bureau website.

University officials are hoping to turn the pilot project into a permanent fixture on campus to help build community relationships.

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