WSC Center for Environmental Studies presents its 14th Annual Spring Symposium: “The Economy of Nature and the Nature of Economy," March 24-25
March 17, 2010 -- The Western State College of Colorado (WSC) Center for Environmental Studies presents its 14th Annual Spring Symposium on March 24 and 25 at the College Center Ballroom. This year’s theme is “The Economy of Nature and The Nature of the Economy: Exploring Connections Between the Human Economy and the Earth’s Ecosystems.”
Jon Erickson of the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont and David Batker, founder and director of Earth Economics, will present the keynote addresses. Batker also will screen the documentary film, “What’s the Economy for, Anyway?” which he produced and hosted.
Also presenting at the symposium are: Ian Billick, Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL); Jonathan Coop, WSC visiting professor of biology and forest ecologist; Jim Howell, local rancher and owner of The Howell Ranch in Cimarron, Colo.; and Mandi Leigh, WSC environmental studies major.
Jonathan Coop, visiting professor at Western, opens the first session, “Framing the Issue,” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24. He will set the stage for the symposium with a presentation on the fundamental role of ecosystems in supporting life on Earth. Ian Billick of RMBL will follow with his perceptions on the role of education and research on quality of life and economics.
The session’s keynote address will be given by Jon Erickson, an associate professor of ecological economics at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and the campus-wide environmental studies program, and managing director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. He will share his “biophysical critique” that focuses on current understanding how ecosystems function with respect to the functioning of the human economy.
The evening also will feature a dinner prepared by WSC environmental studies students using locally produced, organic food and accompanied by an acoustic performance by local musician Chris Coady.
The symposium continues Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with the session, “Local Perspectives and Applications.” Local rancher Jim Howell will present his talk, “Grazing in Nature’s Image: The Ecology and Economics of Ranching.” Environmental studies major Mandi Leigh will follow with her perceptions as a student of ecology and environmental studies.
At 2 p.m., the documentary film, “What is the Economy for, Anyway?” will be screened with producer and host David Batker of Earth Economics. In the film, Batker challenges the ways in which economic success is measured and shows how the United States’ economic performance lags behind other industrialized countries “in terms of providing a high quality of life, fairness and ecological sustainability.”
The final session, “Toward Solutions,” starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday with a dramatic presentation by the WSC Social Justice Theatre Group, directed by Karin Waidley, assistant professor of communication and theatre.
All sessions are free and open to the public.
For more information on the symposium, contact Patrick Magee, WSC Thornton Chair of Biology, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 943-7121.
Speaker bios and presentation abstracts are available on the Environmental Symposium Web site.