loonWelcome to Unlimited Learningloon

Welcome to our Northland world of "learning without limits": no age limit, no depth limit, no topic limit.

People join Unlimited Learning for the learning opportunities and stay for the friendships and relationships they make. UL hopes to provide provocative learning opportunities, create feeling of vitality and great social connections.  We seek to provide for social opportunities to learn while having fun.

If you have an interest in a topic you would like to see presented, contact us.

Click here for the Summer/Fall 2018 Session Listings

Click here for a Membership Form to print and send

Great Decisions
Registration Form

FINE DINING RETURNS!! Friday,October 26, 6 P.M-9:00 P.M

Put on your best duds and join us for dinner on Friday, October 26 at Ruttger’s Resort.  We are still in the planning stages for a gathering with entertainment and good food.   Stay tuned.  Call Diane Landstad if you have ideas or want to help.  Call 218.927.4380 or                      


Tom Hanson: Diplomacy Update
What is “Pax Americana” (Latin for "American Peace”)?
           Tuesday, July 10, 1:30-3:30 P.M.

Historically, there have been similar periods of peace, economic growth and civil order backed by the prevailing military power such as “Pax Romana”, and “Pax Britannia”.  Our “Pax Americana” is characterized by the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States thus producing a civilization of prosperity in military, trade and manufacturing.  What does the future hold for “Pax Americana”?  Will it find itself forced into a quasi-imperialist role by its status? Or, could America find itself shifting in a new and different direction? 

Tom Hanson, an expert in foreign policy, will join our Lakes Area Unlimited Learning session again this year.  He is a retired U.S. Diplomat and teaches foreign policy at UMD.


The Great Flu Epidemic Hits Rural Minnesota, 1918-1920                                    Tuesday, August 14, 1:30-3:30 P.M.

When influenza reached epidemic levels in Minnesota in 1918, the state and townships tried to stem its spread by limiting public gatherings and movement between places.  Local Red Cross chapters switched from rolling bandages to making masks and pneumonia jackets.  The survivors stretched to feed their sick neighbors.  Local life was affected as much by the flu as the ongoing Great War.
Jennifer Gunn, PhD. Is professor of the History of Medicine and director of the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota.  A former coal miner, she is eager to explore the Crosby  cemetery and Milford Mine site.

Weather permitting,  those who are interested will drive to Woodlawn Cemetery to see the flu victims buried there.  Adjacent to these burials is also the grave of notorious gangster, John Headland, who was electrocuted and publicly displayed in Crosby before burial.

Field Trip visit to the USDA US Forest Service Research “SPRUCE” Experiment”      
          August 28th Field Trip, 10:30-4:00 P.M.
Car pool  leaves at 10:30 A.M.,  lunch in Grand Rapids, tour 1:30 P.M.

The USDA U.S. Forest Service is conducting experiments that will help us understand how climate will affect Minnesota peatlands and wetlands that are home to spruce, tamatack trees, moss, birds, wildlife and the whole eco-system.  In collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Lab, scientist are conducting temperature change experiments in 10 climate labs erected on a bog.  The data shows that this bog has the fastest rising temperatures in the upper 48 states.  Join us on this bog, a hidden gem in research  that is revealing what the future might look like for this northern peatland.  Team leader soil chemist Randy Kolka PhD. will conduct the tour of about 2 hours near Marcell (north of Grand Rapids).   

Call Karen Wilson for details and to reserve.  Cell: 651 270 1778 or gmail:   Everyone is welcome, no fees.                          


“Big Two–Hearted River” A Discussion with Jack Hickerson 
            Sept. 11, 1:30-3:30P.M.

In this short story “Big Two-Hearted River” Ernest Hemingway portrays his semi-autobiographical protagonist Nick Adams as a suffering soul who has undergone some unnamed trauma.  Whether we call Nick’s affliction “battle fatigue,” “shell shock,” or “PSTD,” the perennial question is how does one cope with such distress?  Perhaps the answer partially lies in the regenerative power of nature.  Hemingway’s modern style is intentionally sparse in plot and heavy in description, allowing the sensitive reader to become immersed in the subject matter.                                                                                                              

Jack Hickerson, Professor Emeritus in literature from Southwest MN State University will lead the discussion after viewing an hour of a longer film on Hemingway’s dynamic, complex, troubled, and rather short life.    

Great Decisions Session 6: U.S. Global Engagement and the Military
           Monday, Sept. 17, 11:00-3:30P.M


Education for Minnesota’s Native Americans
           Tuesday, October 9, 1:30-3:30P.M.

Charles Black Lance, of Lakota/Ojibwe heritage and Director of the TRIO Programs at Central Lakes College in Brainerd will provide an historical overview of American Indian Education in Minnesota and lead the discussion of current issues and opportunities facing students and educators today.  The federal program TRIO provides outreach to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (first generation students, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals,).  TRIO includes 8 programs targeted to serve and assist these students from middle school through post- baccalaureate programs. 

Mr. Black Lance grew up in northwestern Minnesota and attended University of North Dakota through graduate school.  He is currently working on his Ed. D. in educational Leadership at Bethel University.  He has also participated in Blandin Community Leadership Program, Minnesota State Colleges Luoma Leadership Academy and served in a state wide American Indian Educational Liason position for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Great Decisions Session 7: South Africa’s Fragile Democracy
Monday, Oct. 15, 11:00-3:30P.M.


Old Forests, Woodpeckers, and Wildlife that Depend on Them
           Tuesday, Nov. 13, 1:30-3:30P.M.

Mike North will discuss recent research emphasizing the interdependence between old growth forests and woodpeckers in Minnesota.  This research has also revealed dependence of other wildlife on both the forests and woodpeckers. 

Mike North is an employee of the Minnesota DNR, where he has written management plans for forest wildlife and their habitat; and has conducted environmental review of development projects for the last 20 years.  Prior to coming to the MN DNR, Mike worked for the U.S. Dept. Of Interior in Alaska for 11 years, and in North Dakota, where he conducted wildlife research on loons, waterfowl, seabirds, and shorebirds, as well as doing some prairie restoration work.  He is a Master Bird-bander, having banded nearly 20,000 birds and has also taught over 3000 children about birds. 

Great Decisions Session 8: Global Health: Progress and Challenges
Monday, Nov. 19, 11:30P.M.

Check out the Photo Album page for event pictures.

Click here for more history of the organization
including frequently asked questions.

Mission: To provide quality and broad-based learning opportunities for the Lakes Area residents with emphasis on mature adults.