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Public Talk: Nature & Nurture-Local Solutions to the Global Environmental Crisis Through Ecology and Education

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  • Hilary Nixon
    This presentation may be of interest to students, faculty, and others interested in environmental issues. ... This presentation may be of interest to students,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 22, 2008
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      This presentation may be of interest to students, faculty, and others interested in environmental issues.


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      PUBLIC TALK: Will Russell, PhD

      Candidate for the Position of Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at San Jose State University

      Nature and Nurture:  Local Solutions to the Global Environmental Crisis Through Ecology and Education

      DATE:    Tues., Feb. 26, 2008   TIME:    10:30 am – 11:30 am
      PLACE:  King Library 225/229

      Refreshments provided

      Modern technological society has separated human beings from nature.  This dysfunctional relationship, based on ever increasing resource exploitation, is leading us to the brink of global environmental collapse.  As we cannot survive without the natural processes that give us life, we must develop a more nurturing relationship with the environment.  We can begin to reconnect to nature through research on the restoration of natural systems, such as forests, and through environmental education programs that form personal and positive relationships between children and the natural world.

      Coastal redwood forests have been harvested to the point where only a small fraction (3-5%) of the original forests remain.  What is left is composed of isolated fragments surrounded by industrial timberlands.  The surrounding areas need to be managed appropriately if ecosystem processes are to be restored.  The current dominant paradigm promotes continued timber harvesting as a tool for the restoration of highly degraded stands.  An analysis of more than a hundred years of natural regeneration on coastal redwood lands following harvest indicate that forest composition and structure are reestablished without the need for continued human impacts.  A paradigm shift from active management to natural restoration requires more than data however; it requires a reeducation of society at the deepest level.

                   At no time in history has the environmental education of our youth been more critical.  There is little doubt that today’s children will be faced with environmental challenges of a scale that previous generations can hardly fathom.  In order to foster a generation that will be motivated to address these challenges a dynamic and positive relationship between children and the natural world needs to be encouraged at the earliest age.  O’Neill’s Sea Odyssey, Full Circle Farm, and Downtown High School’s environmental education programs create this opportunity through experiential education.  Analyzing the scholastic value, as well as the positive environmental impacts, of such programs will encourage their proliferation.  Through combining hands-on education with an appreciation of nature we can provide the next generation with the tools they need to nurture the Earth’s ecosystems back to health.

       

      DATE:    Tues., Feb. 26, 2008   TIME:    10:30 am – 11:30 am

      PLACE:  King Library 225/229


       


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