March 17, 2014

Initiative focuses on region’s environment

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Several activities are on tap over the next week as the “Imagining Geographies” initiative at Southern Illinois University Carbondale starts on Wednesday, March 19. 

Among the events is a lecture by David Feldman that will examine conflicts and justice in environmental management at 5 p.m., Monday, March 24, in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. Feldman, the director of the Center of Planning, Policy, and Design in the University of California Irvine’s School of Social Ecology, is author of “Water,” which is read by most of SIU Carbondale’s first-year students as part of the university-wide theme of sustainability and water. 

In his lecture, Feldman will share how the field of environmental justice addresses a range of environmental conflicts, including water-related issues.  During his three-day visit Feldman will participate in series of discussions on campus and the region.  A seminar on “Boundary-Spanning Environmental Policy” is at 4 p.m., March 25, in the library’s third-floor rotunda, and a discussion on environmental science policy and communication with Nicholas Pinter, a professor in geology, and Jonathan Gray, an associate professor in communication studies, is also in the third-floor rotunda at noon on March 26.  Feldman will also meet with Grand Tower residents during a community meeting there on March 26 to hear of their efforts and concerns with the levee system. 

The initiative’s multi-year effort, “Linking Land, Lives and Arts of Southern Illinois,” runs through May 2, with a series of interactive exhibits, film screenings and panel discussions that provide a range of perspectives on past, present and future interaction between our environment and life in Southern Illinois.  

An exhibit to start the series, “Alexander County Illinois,” will share the most recent collaboration by photographer Daniel Overturf, a professor in cinema and photography, and writer Gary Marx. The opening reception is at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Morris Library.  Visitors will be able to view the exhibit by activating a QR code on their smart phones or via eight screens located around the rotunda. A gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. with Overturf and Marx will enable visitors to learn more about the exhibit, which is on display until April 6. 

Chancellor Rita Cheng and Dafna Lemish, professor and interim dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, will provide welcoming remarks at 6 p.m. The program will continue with a film screening, “Heron Pond: Boardwalk View,” produced by filmmaker Cade Bursell, associate professor in cinema and photography. 

A panel discussion “Perspectives on Environmental-Human Confluence: Case of the Cache” will follow the film.  Panelists are Silvia Secchi, an assistant professor in agribusiness economics; Tracy Fidler, an environmental mitigater with Shawnee Resource Conservation and Development; writer Gary Marx; Heidi Rantala, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Zoology, and Gray, an associate professor in communication studies. 

The Midwest premiere of the award-winning documentary, “Cowboy Christmas,” by filmmaker H.D. Motyl, associate professor in the Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media, is at 6 p.m., Friday, March 21, in John C. Guyon Auditorum.  The 2012 film, which follows four steer wrestlers as they compete in the professional rodeo circuit in summer 2009, recently earned “Best of the Festival” honors from the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts.  

A reception and question-and-answer session will follow.  Motyl will receive the award in April in Las Vegas. 

Additional updates and details are available at the initiative’s website or by entering Imagining Geographies on Facebook.