Theme: Living in the Anthropocene
Olympia, WA, United States
April 21st, 2014
About this event
In our relatively brief existence, humankind has impacted ecological systems with disproportionate force. The permanent imprint we have made on the geologic record of Earth’s past is the demarcation point for the Anthropocene: a period defined by human intervention and a future that will be determined largely by how we reckon with and regulate our power to influence the land, sea, and atmosphere, as well as the planet’s vast network of interdependent life forms. Living in the Anthropocene will highlight innovative ideas about living in this human-influenced geological epoch.
Ju-Pong works at the intersection of the aesthetic and the ecological, the performative and the archival, sound and moving image, the narrative and the lyric, media and unmediated presence. She teaches in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College and is a PhD student in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. An avid knitter, her life entwines multiple strands as an interdisciplinary media and performance artist and educator, immigrant, feminist, mother, compost enthusiast and gardener, and perpetual researcher curious about relationships between land and language, humans and all beings.
Jessica is the “diversity educator” your family warned you about. She is easy to work with, accessible, and brings VERY simple concepts that are really hard to incorporate into our lives. Nominated for two years by Campus Activities Magazine for Best Diversity Artist, Jessica’s programs are direct, customized, and highly interactive. Her workshops, seminars, and keynotes take participants on a journey weaving together politics, theory, current events, and story telling with large doses of humor reminiscent of Bob Newhart, George Carlin, and Paula Poundstone. Jessica takes 10+ years in Student Affairs, 5+ years of national consulting work, and 2+ years of stand up comedy stage to stage as part of her mission to inspire change, dismantle oppression, and recognize our privilege. Through teaching, writing, and facilitating tough conversations, Jessica has figured out how to BE the change she wants to BE. Now it is your turn!
Bret is a theoretical evolutionary biologist focused on evolutionary patterns within complex dynamic systems. His work revolves around trade-offs that force selection to balance competing values, often within fluctuating or patchy habitats. In one chapter of his PhD thesis he demonstrated that senescence (increasing fragility with age) has evolved in mammals as the unavoidable consequence of highly effective anti-cancer mechanisms regulated by the telomeres at the ends of our chromosomes. That theory is now foundational to modern vertebrate gerontology. Another chapter proposed a novel and highly predictive hypothesis explaining the tendency of species diversity to rise as latitude and altitude decrease. His present work is focused on human consciousness as an adaptation built by selection to address novel hazards and opportunities. This project suggests that, while humanity faces unprecedented challenges, we arrive in the anthropocene with a cognitive toolkit built specifically for tackling the unprecedented. Bret also spoke about “The Personal Responsibility Vortex“at TEDxTheEvergreenStateCollege in 2012.
Olowo-n’djo Tchala was born and raised in the central Togo village of Kaboli. Growing up he shared a 2.5 x 3 meter room with his mother and eight siblings. At the age of five he began helping his mother on the family farm. By the time he would have entered the sixth grade he had dropped out of school to support his family full-time. One of his many duties at home included gathering and selling Shea nuts in the local market. He witnessed first-hand the injustices and inequalities many of the women in his village faced daily. After meeting the love of his life, Rose Hyde, who was serving in the Peace Corps at the time, he immigrated to the United States worked his way through school eventually graduating from UC Davis. Shortly before graduation Olowo-n’djo and Rose felt they had the responsibility to fight the injustices that existed in Togo and Africa. They founded their company, Alaffia, to advance gender equality and alleviate poverty through the fair trade of handcrafted Shea and coconut products. Today Alaffia employs more than 500 women in West Africa, sells products nationwide, and, through the sales of Alaffia items, conducts empowerment projects in Togo.
Kevin began teaching at Evergreen in 2004 and joined the Graduate Program on the Environment in 2012. Like many faculty, he arrived at the college with diverse education and work experiences. After studying biology and philosophy at Reed College, he worked for several years as a wildlife biologist for Mount Hood National Forest, focusing primarily on spotted owl research and management. He also wrote about visual arts for Willamette Week. He completed graduate work in history of science and medicine at the University of Minnesota, where he wrote a dissertation on the development of scientific theories of extinction. His research focuses on the history of scientific efforts to explain the disappearance of more than 40 genera of megafauna in the Americas following the last ice age. His current work explores the contribution of historical thinking to disciplines like ecology and the role that historical understanding plays in climate literacy. Since arriving at Evergreen, Kevin has collaborated with other faculty to teach a wide variety of interdisciplinary programs. During this time, he also helped design Evergreen’s science curriculum as a planning unit coordinator and worked with Evergreen’s development staff as a faculty member on the Board of Governors. In August 2014, he will become the eighth director of Evergreen’s Graduate Program on the Environment.
Larry has been an Evergreen faculty member since 1994, teaching primarily in the Master of Public Administration graduate program. He has given many presentations at conferences and also gave a talk entitled “The paradox of per capita CO2 emissions” at the 2012 TEDxTheEvergreenStateCollege.
Venue and Details
COM Building, Recital Hall
2700 Evergreen Pkway NW
Olympia, WA, 98505
Event Type (what is this?) University
This event occurred in the past.
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