UM Wilderness Lecture Series Enters 33rd Year with a History Lesson

January 26, 2017

MISSOULA – The Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana invites UM students and the public to attend its 33rd annual Wilderness Issues Lecture Series kick-off at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in Gallagher Business Building Room 122.

This year’s lecture series, “Our Map of the World: Defining our Future Based on Lessons Learned in the Past,” will focus on social and environmental historical events both nationally and internationally. Storytellers will connect these histories, and, like reading a map, use case studies to decipher where we have come from, where we are now and where it is we would like to go in the future – from post-war reconstruction to the conservation of wild places and formation of new policies.

“It’s become increasingly clear that the value of historical actions, decisions and knowledge gained through our collective experience as humans can be used to create new and creative solutions to some of the challenges we face as societies,” said Natalie Dawson, director of UM’s Wilderness Institute. “We hope to provide some case studies of specific examples of lessons we have learned in the past to some of the challenges we are facing right now in the realm of wilderness and our natural environments, as well as other social and cultural actions and movements.”

These case studies include post-war reconstruction and dystopian societies, as well as specific places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, political think tanks like the American Lands Council and social movements like indigenous treaty rights.

The lecture series will feature perspectives from scholars, writers, activists and policymakers about the value of history in understanding the future of our societies – local, regional, national or global.

All lectures take place Tuesdays from 7 to 8:20 p.m. in Gallagher Business Building Room 122 and are free and open to the public. The schedule is:

  • Jan. 31 – “Lessons of Environmental Stewardship Told Through the Voice of Dystopias,” Robin Parent, director of student engagement, Davidson Honors College.
  • Feb. 7 – “Building Anew: A Holistic Approach to Post-war Recovery,” Kimberly Maynard, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center Fellow in International Affairs
  • Feb. 14 – “After the Quake: Lessons from Nepal,” Charlotte Austin, author, adventurer and mountain guide.
  • Feb. 21 – “Bringing Life Back to Northwest Rivers and Nearshore Environments: The Elwha River and Nisqually Delta Restorations,” Jeff Crane, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington.
  • Feb. 28 – “The Career of an Adventure-Conservationist,” Jon Waterman, award-winning author and wilderness adventurer.
  • March 7 – “Modernizing the Columbia River Treaty: Columbia River as International Case Study in Ethics and Water,” John Osborn, physician and conservationist, Center for Environmental Law and Policy.
  • March 14 – “Equity and Information Access in the Context of Natural Disasters,” Rebecca Bendick, UM geoscientist and professor.
  • March 28 – “Exxon Valdez Oil Spill – Its Influence on Conservation and Oil in Arctic Alaska,” Dan Ritzman, regional director, Sierra Club.
  • April 4 – “The Federal Public Lands Transfer and Privatization Movement from the Sagebrush Rebellion to the American Lands Council: What is Driving it and What Could it Mean for Our Country?” Hal Herring, award-winning journalist, writer and editor.

Students also may take a one-credit class, Our Map of the World: Defining our Future Based on Lessons Learned in the Past, listed as NRSM 371 (CRN: 30257).

For more information call the Wilderness Institute at 406-243-5361, visit the website at http://bit.ly/1IMuO044 or email wi@cfc.umt.edu

Contact: Natalie Dawson, UM Wilderness Institute director, 406-552-5550, wi@cfc.umt.edu.