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Former UVI Prof. James Rakocy to Speak on 'Amazing Thailand'

Dr. James Rakocy, a well known former University of the Virgin Islands professor and researcher on the St. Croix campus, will present a talk titled "Amazing Thailand" from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, in the Great Hall of the North West Wing Building on St. Croix. Dr. Rakocy's presentation is sponsored by UVI's The Caribbean Writer and the Agricultural Experiment Station. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Rakocy recently retired from UVI after 30 years of service. He was the director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and a research professor of aquaculture. His main area of research centered on the development of aquaponics, the integration of fish culture and vegetable hydroponics in re-circulating systems. He directed the development of a commercial aquaponics system, which has become well known worldwide.

He has made presentations on Aquaponics in many countries, including Portugal, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Trinidad. He initiated the International Aquaponics and Tilapia Aquaculture course at UVI, which has attracted 510 students from 45 U.S. states and territories and 52 other countries. His travels to more than 50 countries started as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and will finish as a retiree in Thailand, Southeast Asia.

The Kingdom of Thailand, located in the center of Southeast Asia, a Buddhist country, is known for its friendly, happy people and rich culture. It is one of the world's top tourist destinations.

Dr. Rakocy first visited Thailand in 1987 and was surprised and captivated by the pleasant nature of the Thai people, the vast array of attractions and the many cultural differences. He has returned many times and is relocating to Thailand for his retirement, living at the top of Golden Buddha Hill overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Dr. Rakocy will discuss the culture of Thailand, and give the audience a view of Thailand through photos that he has taken over the years.

"If you want to ride an elephant through teak forests, watch a live Cobra show, visit a butterfly farm, buy locally mined sapphires and rubies or eat mango or sticky rice, you will find that Thailand is truly amazing," Dr. Rakocy said.

With the low cost of food, goods, lodging and travel, Thailand ranks second in the world of "best-value travel destinations" according to the Lonely Planet Travel Guide. Don't plan your next vacation until you have heard Dr. Rakocy's lecture and see his stunning photographs.

The Caribbean Writer invites the general St. Croix Community, those who love to travel and explore new countries, anyone interested in South East Asia, or just wants to learn about a new place to visit in the future, to come out and learn about Thailand and see the beauty of this country through an amazing slide presentation.

For more information call (340) 692-4152.