Terry Tempest Williams
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:00-8:30 PM Prochnow Auditorium Free & open to the public
Terry Tempest Williams has been called “a citizen writer,” a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. “So here is my question,” she asks, “what might a different kind of power look like, feel like, and can power be redistributed equitably even beyond our own species?”
The event is sponsored by BYU’s Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, NAU Office of the President, and NAU CAL Humanities Departments.
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Williams, like her writing, cannot be categorized. She has testified before Congress on women’s health issues, been a guest at the White House, has camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses and worked as “a barefoot artist” in Rwanda.
Known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, Terry Tempest Williams is the author of the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field; Desert Quartet; Leap; Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert; The Open Space of Democracy; and Finding Beauty in a Broken World. Her book, When Women Were Birds, was published in Spring 2012 by Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She is a columnist for the magazine The Progressive. She also wrote The Story of My Heart by Richard Jeffries, as rediscovered by Brooke Williams and Terry Tempest Williams (Torrey House Press), in which she and Brooke Williams expand upon the 1883 book by Richard Jeffries. Her book, The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, honored the centennial of the National Park Service, was a New York Times bestseller, and also won the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association 2016 Reading the West Book Award. Her next book will be Erosion: Essays of Undoing (Fall 2019, Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. In 2009, Terry Tempest Williams was featured in Ken Burns’ PBS series on the national parks. In 2014, on the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Ms. Williams received the Sierra Club’s John Muir Award honoring a distinguished record of leadership in American conservation. Williams also received the 2017 Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing.
Terry Tempest Williams has served as the Annie Clark Tanner Fellow in the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities Graduate Program which she co-founded in 2004; and was the Provostial Scholar at Dartmouth College, serving as a Montgomery Fellow twice. Williams is currently writer-in-residence at the Harvard Divinity School. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change. She and her husband, Brooke Williams, divide their time between Castle Valley, Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Dr. Hugh Possingham
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:00 to 9:00 AM Prochnow Auditorium Free and open to the public
Dr. Hugh Possingham is The Nature Conservancy’s Chief Scientist. In that role, he leads the work of more than 500 scientists engaged in conservation around the world. A Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science, Dr. Possingham’s groundbreaking research comprises more than 600 peer-reviewed papers including over 30 in Science, Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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His team’s Marxan software initially assisted Australia’s rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and is now used in more than 150 countries to support the design of marine and terrestrial reserves. He led a group of more than 400 ecologists and wildlife scientists in petitioning the Australian government to stop the destruction of native woodlands, especially in Queensland. Known as the Brigalow declaration, their efforts more than halved deforestation in Australia, reducing that nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent for several years. As a member of many advisory committees and boards, Dr. Possingham has been a leading voice in providing independent advice to the Australian government and the public about environmental issues. He has also birded in some of the world’s most amazing places. So, you bird enthusiasts out there should seek him out during a break to exchange notes.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 Science Communication Workshops
Nancy Baron is the Director of Science Outreach for COMPASS. Nancy holds workshops around the world for academic, government, and NGO scientists helping them develop core competencies as scientist communicators who want to make their work relevant to journalists, policy makers, and the public.
The science communication workshops are generously sponsored by NAU’s Landscape Conservation Initiative.
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Nancy began her career as a biologist in Banff National Park, spent 6 years as Director of Education at the Vancouver Aquarium, then morphed into journalism. She has won numerous writing awards including the Canadian Science Writers Science in Society and National Magazine awards.
An ardent naturalist, she published a popular field guide, The Birds of Coastal British Columbia (Lone Pine Publishing) and a “how to” communications guide book for scientists titled Escape from the Ivory Tower (Island Press). Nancy received the 2013 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in the Media for her work at the intersection of science and journalism. Through the design and delivery of fellowship programs for scientists, Nancy focuses on building communities of communications support and collaboration. She is an advisor to the Liber Ero Fellows Science Advisory Committee in Canada.