Extension's Distance Learning Center Opens for a Public Program

The Distance Learning Center, a joint project of UC Berkeley Extension and the campus Office of Media Services, will be open for a public program on Saturday,

April 8.

The program, "Biotechnology Basics for Non-Scientists," gives participants a one-day "big-picture" look at the scope and logic of modern biotechnology. The instructor discusses the impact of this dynamic and controversial industry, covering examples drawn from medicine, agriculture and the environment.

Desmond Mascarenhas, manager of Molecular Biology at Celtrix Pharmaceuticals, teaches the course. He will present at extension's Atherton site and will communicate with students at the Berkeley site.

For those who would like to know more about what recombinant DNA is, how it works and what can be done with it, this session provides a crash course on the subject--and a chance to experience Berkeley's new distance learning technology firsthand.

The new facility is part of the ambitious ExtEN (Extension Educational Network) Project, a pilot program funded in part by a grant from Pacific Bell's California Research in Education Network to explore the use of high-speed communications technology to promote continuing education.

ExtEn was officially launched this spring, when a variety of extension courses were offered to students at two locations. Two-way videoconferencing facilities are now in place at extension centers in San Francisco, Menlo Park and Berkeley, with San Ramon slated for the future.

Extension Dean Mary Metz noted that it has always been extension's goal to serve students where they live and work. "In 1891 that meant putting half a dozen professors on the ferry from Berkeley toSan Francisco. Today it means putting them on the information superhighway."

The biotechnology program will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee to the public is $125. Berkeley students, faculty and staff may enroll at a special "kickoff" discount fee of $45.

To receive the discount, you must enroll in person with a valid university identification card at the extension registration office, 2223 Fulton St. Enrollments can also be faxed with credit card and identification information to 642-0374. For more information, call extension, 642-4111.


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