Tenth Annual Nelson Institute
Earth Day Conference
Monday, April 25, 2016
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
Everyone owns a stake in the future of our rapidly changing planet, yet each of us sees and interacts with the world in different ways. Understanding this range of experiences and perspectives is critical to working together toward a healthier global environment.
The tenth annual Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference will explore compelling stories and vivid reports - drawn from the world's wildest places to our fastest-growing cities - shared by scientists and explorers, writers and artists.
Featured speakers will include:
David Quammen, an award-winning science journalist and author who explores the often uneasy boundaries of human-nature interactions - from the challenges posed by living with large predators to extinctions and emerging diseases - and the possibilities that come from understanding our place in nature.
Carolyn Finney, a leading scholar on diversity and the environment. Her book Black Faces, White Spaces examines how the environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans, and asks the question: Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation and environmentalism?
Kimberly Blaeser, Wisconsin's poet laureate, teacher of creative writing and Native American literature at UW-Milwaukee, and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Her poetry and photography explore intersecting ideas about Native place, nature, preservation and spiritual sustenance.
Michael Shellenberger, a leading proponent of "ecomodernism," which he describes as "a pragmatic philosophy motivated by the belief that we can protect beautiful, wild places at the same time as we ensure that the seven-going-on-nine billion people in the world can lead secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling lives."
Andrew Revkin, an award-winning science journalist and author, former New York Times reporter, and writer of the “Dot Earth” environmental blog for The New York Times opinion pages, examining efforts to balance human affairs with the planet’s limits.
Sumudu Atapattu, Director of Research Centers and senior lecturer on international law at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is currently working on a book titled Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities.
Tia Nelson, managing director for climate at the Outrider Foundation. She was previously the executive secretary of the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands; co‐chaired Wisconsin’s Task Force on Global Warming; and directed The Nature Conservancy’s global Climate Change Initiative. She received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Protection Award in 2000.
Jonathan Patz, Director of the Global Health Institute at UW-Madison. He co-chaired the health panel for the US National Assessment on Climate Change, was a lead author of the United Nations/World Bank Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and has been a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
The day-long conference will include panel discussions, exhibits and other features that will illuminate issues such as food security, climate adaptation, wildlife management, alternative economic models, future energy directions and much more.
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