Free public lectures include presentations from Columbia River pilots, Port of Portland and United Grain Corporation

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Port of Vancouver USA’s popular public lecture series will feature three lectures in March and April. Lectures are free and open to the public, and will be held at the Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver.
People interested in attending one or more of the free lectures are encouraged to RSVP online by clicking here, or by calling the port at (360) 823-5297.


“PDX Next – What’s Happening at Your Favorite Airport”
Thursday, March 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

PDX Next is a $2 billion investment to make Portland International Airport—the best airport in America—even better. Christopher Neal is Director of PDX Next Operations and he will showcase the new Pacific Northwest-inspired design for PDX, its sustainability features, earthquake resilience and new opportunities for local restaurants and businesses. Portland International Airport sees 20 million people per year, with that number expected to be 35 million by 2045. Chris will give a sneak peek at the new 9-acre wood roof, new public art, indoor landscaping—and where the new shoe selfie stations with the famous carpet will be located! Chris was Director of Port of Portland Public Safety and Security before he took on his new role as Director of PDX Next Operations in 2020.

“From Farm to International Markets – United Grain Corporation Working to Feed the World”
Thursday, March 28, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

United Grain Corporation’s (UGC) Vancouver Export Terminal is the largest grain export terminal on the U.S. West Coast. Located at the Port of Vancouver USA, the terminal ships up to 6 million metric tons of grains and oilseeds to global destinations each year. UGC is one of the port’s oldest tenants, celebrating more than 50 years working with over 2,000 producers and suppliers in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains. Last year UGC loaded more than 200 ships with grains for export to global customers to feed the world. UGC President and CEO Augusto Bassanini and public relations executive Stephanie McClintock will discuss the history of UGC and how grains arrive at the Vancouver Export Terminal via trains, trucks and barges. You will learn how grains are unloaded, stored and loaded onto ocean-bound ships. Speakers will also discuss how climate and world politics affect grain shipments.

“The Mighty Columbia – Our Working River”
Wednesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Columbia River Pilots is an association of 40+ licensed, professional mariners who provide pilotage services to all ports on the lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers. This represents over 100 nautical miles of the Columbia River from Astoria to the ports of Columbia County, Longview, Kalama, Vancouver and Portland. They also provide pilotage service on 13 miles of the Willamette River from its mouth to the Portland seawall. Each year the Columbia River Pilots safely guide more than 1,400 arriving ships supporting 50 million tons of foreign trade worth over $24 billion in cargo value on our river system. Learn about this fascinating job, history of the river pilots, types of ships they pilot, technical aspects and challenges of piloting and facts about the river system. Captain Jeremy Nielsen has been a Columbia River Pilot for 11 years with an extensive background in logistics, as a shipping agent and stevedore, deckhand and tugboat captain. This is his fifth year serving as president of the Columbia River Pilots.

Food and drinks for purchase: Pizza, popcorn, and other concessions will be available for purchase, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A percentage of food sales will benefit the Fort Vancouver Seafarers Center. Note that parking is free downtown after 6:00 p.m.