I have been contracted to develop and lead a variety of education programs for the general public on environmental topics. Below you will find information on all the programs that I have developed/led as well as any upcoming or ongoing programs for the public.
THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF "TREMBLING EARTH"
Emory University, Spring 2021
The Okefenokee is a mirror into how Americans – and especially Southerners – have thought about the conservation of land and water, and the awkward ways that these priorities have been balanced with the keen need for development in economically depressed areas. In an age of climate change, the Okefenokee offers us important lessons about the fate of the wildest places in the United States and how to manage the impacts of climate on these areas. Twenty years ago, after a years-long struggle with environmentalists and federal officials, executives at DuPont agreed to abandon their plans to mine titanium at a site close to the Okefenokee and earlier this year a company announced plans to mine heavy metals near the Okefenokee Swamp, touching off clashes over how to balance protection of this unique environment with rural Georgia’s desperate need for jobs. These incidents have become emblematic of the Okefenokee, but they are just the latest debates over how to manage and protect the unique resources of the swamp. Using these two clashes as our starting point, this public seminar - which will be held at Emory University in the spring of 2021 over four weeks - will trace the environmental history of this distinctive landscape, from Native American settlement to the present.
Emory University, Atlanta, GA - Fall 2017
The history of Georgia can be read in its waters. From the transatlantic slave trade to Deliverance to ongoing water wars over the Chattahoochee, waterways have shaped the lives of all Georgians in critical ways. Besides providing a habitat for wildlife (and people), Georgia’s watersheds have connected residents to the outside world, provided drinking water and food, whisked away wastes, and served as a key source of power and recreation. This 4-week seminar, which was held in the fall of 2017, considered the history of Georgia from the vantage of its waters, touching on each of these elements. It concluded with a discussion of emerging issues like climate change, Savannah River dredging, and water scarcity—issues that will play a decisive role influencing Georgia’s waters far into the future.
A CENTURY OF AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS
Emory University, Atlanta, GA - Fall 2016
On August 25, 2016 the National Park Service celebrated its centennial. Lauded as America’s "best idea," national parks are some of the most iconic places in the United States. This 4-week seminar, which was held in the fall of 2016, explored the long and storied history of American national parks and the National Park Service. Participants considered what ideals motivated the creation of the first national parks, the social consequences of national park management, how national parks fueled the growth of an American tourist industry, and how the aims of the Park Service have changed in response to new ideas about recreation and nature.
JOHN MUIR AND WILDERNESS IN GEORGIA
Emory University, Atlanta, GA - Fall 2015
In October of 2015 I designed and led the inaugural seminar in the Georgia Seminar Series, hosted by the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University and Georgia Humanities. Using John Muir's diary of an 1867 trip through the South (later published as A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf), participants explored how the Southern wilds shaped Muir’s environmental vision as he became the nation’s leading spokesman for wilderness and the founder of the Sierra Club. In the decades after Muir's travels Georgia was the scene of intense battles over the conservation of natural resources and the preservation of environmental quality. Over the course of four weeks, participants considered how Muir's environmental vision has shaped modern Georgia, from Helen Dortch Longstreet's 1911 campaign to save Tallulah Falls to critiques of the development of Georgia's coasts for tourists.