News Release

REF NO.: 62

SUBJECT: Public discussion to take on the global ocean crisis

DATE: November 2, 2011

           Despair or Hope? Confronting the Global Ocean Crisis is the title of an upcoming round table discussion taking place on the St. John’s campus of Memorial University. The event is the latest in the Memorial University Dialogue on Advancing Global Sustainability series, which brings outstanding figures to the university who are able to communicate insight and understanding to diverse audiences on environmental issues that cut across disciplinary divides.
            Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have lived through the impacts of a local ecological collapse. For many in this province, the ocean is intimately tied to our identity. Yet the ocean's health and the sustainability of many global fisheries is in peril. Do we face this with hope or despair? Where does science fit in? What kind of relationship with the ocean do we want to leave our children?
                        Join Alanna Mitchell, a prize-winning environmental journalist; Mardi Tindal, moderator of The United Church of Canada; Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee, scientist; and Dr. Sean Cadigan, historian, for a highly interactive exploration of how we can bridge the world views of the citizen, activist and scientist and empower action to ensure the oceans are ecologically sustained and treated with respect.
            The event will take place in the Junior Common Room, R. Gushue Hall, Memorial University of Newfoundland, at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6. Parking is available along Irwin's Rd, in front of Gushue Hall, and in Area 15, near the School of Music.
Roundtable resource members:
Alanna Mitchell, Canadian environmental journalist and author
Dr. Mitchell's book, "Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis," made her the first Canadian recipient of the Grantham Prize, the world's largest award for excellence in environmental journalism. Her literary non-fiction wins praise for its ability to describe complex ideas in plain language. Dr. Mitchell's subjects are science, education and human behaviour and she is known for her strong narrative style.
Mardi Tindal, moderator of The United Church of Canada
Ms. Tindal is well known for addressing climate and ocean change as spiritual concerns. In a recent Toronto Star article, Stephen Scharper wrote, "Tindal, who attended the 2009 UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, has been a compelling religious voice around climate change, noting that we are "ethically obliged" to take responsibility for our human-created climate crisis."
Ratana Chuenpagdee, Canada Research Chair in Natural Resource Sustainability and Community Development
Dr. Chuenpagdee is interested in interdisciplinary research that addresses issues related to interconnectivity and interdependency between natural and human systems. Her main research topics are fisheries and ocean governance, resource sustainability and community development.
Sean Cadigan, professor, Department of History
Dr. Cadigan's research interests include the social and ecological history of fishers and fishing communities and the development of fisheries science. He studies management and development policies in cold-ocean coastal areas, and is working on the history of labour relations in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas industry.

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