October 12, 2005

Bioneers Conference set for Oct. 14-16

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A three-day conference focusing on practical solutions and creative strategies for global environmental and social problems will take place Friday through Sunday, Oct. 14-16, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

A live satellite downlink, airing in the Student Center Auditorium and featuring presentations by scientists and social activists at the annual Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, Calif., will form the heart of the program. Workshops and activities led by local and regional residents at various spots around campus and town will round out the afternoon and evening hours. The event includes an optional weekend camping retreat at Little Grassy Camp.

Bioneers, a melding of the words "biological" and "pioneers," is a national, nonprofit organization focusing on sustainable conservation and restoration programs that recognize the connections between ecology, culture, community and economics. The group has held annual conferences since 1990.

Satellite speakers will talk about such issues as farming, access to healthy food, climate change, economic restoration, feminine leadership, urban forestry and ecological design. Local presentations include SIUC and City of Carbondale green initiatives, energy efficiency and transportation. Activities include a garden tour, film screening and Beverly Shofstall's popular "Birds of Prey" talk.

The conference will cost students, senior citizens and those on reduced incomes $10 per day or $25 for the full event; all others will pay $20 per day or $50 for the full event. Discounted rates are available for groups as small as two people.

For program details or to register, log on to www.heartlandbioneers.org. Space permitting, on-site registration will take place each morning at the Student Center near the auditorium. For more information, e-mail Kris Schachel at sustain@siu.edu or call her at 618/549-7387.

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.