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REF NO.: 205

SUBJECT: The Future of Nature: Memorial University to host first transdisciplinary conference aimed at engaging the community

DATE: Aug. 13

Note to editors:

The first in a series of public events, The Future of Nature will bring together and engage diverse communities to join in dialogue on environmental issues. A range of activities will be offered, including keynote speeches and other speakers, round table discussions, public policy debates, music and dance presentations, visual art shows, guided hiking tours and more.

The event runs from Sept.10-13 at Memorial’s Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook and the Bonne Bay Marine Station in Norris Point on Newfoundland and Labrador’s west coast.

Focusing on the on the west coast of Newfoundland but with a view to the wider global ecological crisis, themes will include:

  • climate change
  • species extinction
  • wilderness preservation
  • resource development
  • the role of rural communities in sustainable living

 The event is funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The Future of Nature is part of a research initiative based at Memorial University and spearheaded by Dr. Sean McGrath, philosophy professor and member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Confirmed speakers and guests include Memorial University ecologist Dr. Bill Montevecci, writer and Memorial University creative writing professor Lisa Moore, Newfoundland artist Gerry Squires, German environmental scientist Dr. Jens Soentgen, Canadian actor Greg Malone and St. Paul University theology professor Dr. Heather Eaton, among others. A youth delegation from Corner Brook will engage in the dialogue throughout and serve as liaisons between the event and their local schools.

 Event highlights:

  • A group exhibition of Newfoundland and Labrador artists is planned with works by Will Gill, Peter Wilkins, Gerry Squires and others.
  • Dance artists Lori Clarke, Sarah Joy Stoker and Candice Pike will delve into the collective experience of ecological loss.
  • An Aboriginal sharing circle featuring prominent leaders from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

 

Event locations:

  • In Corner Brook and vicinity, conference activities will take place at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, the Anthony Insurance Rotary Arts Centre, and the Marble Inn, Steady Brook.
  • In Gros Morne National Park, an environmentally protected and historic UNESCO World Heritage Site, activities will take place at the Bonne Bay Marine Station in Norris Point.

The Future of Nature is open to the public. For registration information, a complete program schedule and detailed itinerary, visit www.futureofnature.ca or email info@futureofnature.ca. Follow the Future of Nature on Twitter (@futurenaturenl) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/futureofnature).

 

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For more information, please contact Melanie Callahan, communications co-ordinator,

Grenfell Campus, at mcallahan@grenfell.mun.ca, 709-639-2582; Janet Harron, communications co-ordinator, Memorial University, Faculty of Arts, at jharron@mun.ca, 709-862-8292; or Sean McGrath, associate professor, Department of Philosophy, Memorial University, at sjoseph.mcgrath@gmail.com, 709-746-3897.

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