J Edward (Ted) Chamberlain, O.C., Author, Professor University of Toronto
A Covenant in Wonder With the World: How the Stories We Tell About Ourselves and the Wild World Can Bring Us Onto Common Ground
Stories do much more than bear witness to the world. They show us how the imagination shapes––some say creates––reality, and defines our relationship to it. And since reality includes much more than the merely human, stories give us a way of understanding the realities––including the natural and spiritual realities––that surround and inform each of us . . . and of accepting the limits of that understanding. Stories bring us into the company of deep contradictions, paradoxes at the heart of any real understanding of meaning and value in the world, and of ourselves. As we stand back and think about them––about whether they are true or not, about whether they work or not, about whether we believe them or not––they fill us with wonder; and the more they do so, the more we find ourselves wondering about them. We cannot choose between wonder and wondering, just as we cannot separate thought and feeling; and if we try to do so, we end up with the kind of amazement that is satisfied with the first explanation, or the kind of curiosity that is incapable of genuine surprise. And so the most important thing about stories is also the most bewildering . . . which is to say, they are closest to our experience of the wild.
Elaine Dewar, Author Journalist
The Commons: the Evolution of an Idea
We think of ourselves as distinct, but in fact there are more bacterial cells in a human being than human cells, and these systems all cooperate advancing a common existence
Sharon Butala, O.C., Author, Playwright
Old Man On His Back: A Private History of the Making of a Conservation Area.
Here the argument is made that the emphasis on scientific terminology, descriptions, explanations and definitions, in efforts to preserve biodiversity and to conserve ecologically important areas, has tended to alienate the largely non-scientifically trained population and, worse, to neglect and ignore the strongest motivations behind the desire of most of the population to preserve significant tracts of nature. The speaker offers an example.
Dr. Mark Winston, Professor Simon Fraser University
Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive
Sian S Waters, Honorary Research Associate Department of Anthropology Durham University UK
Including People in Primate Conservation: A Case Study of Barbary Macaques (Macaca sylvanus) in Morocco
The Endangered Barbary macaque has been traded by people for thousands of years. The species is unique to North Africa and is now only found in diverse but isolated populations in some montane areas in Morocco and Algeria. Conservation issues facing the species are complex and varied as the species inhabits forests heavily used by people. The Moroccan Association, Barbary Macaque Awareness & Conservation (BMAC), is a research and conservation project using an innovative approach of using ethnographic data to drive conservation strategy. These problems include persecution by shepherds and their dogs, and the capture and exploitation and/or sale of infant Barbary macaques to urban Moroccans. Our approach shows that including people in conservation is an effective way of encouraging pro-conservation behaviour change and effective communication can be achieved by encouraging their participation in salient conservation and development activities.
Suzanne West, Imaginea Energy Corp.
The Power of "AND"
How do we smash energy and environment together as a positive opportunity to make both better?
Glynnis Hood, U of A, Agusta Campus Professor Environmental Science.
It's complicated: Managing people and beavers in a changing landscape
For some, beavers are the perfect solution for ecological restoration in a warming climate; for others, they are a designated pest species and a costly neighbour. After extensive research into the ecological aspects of the role of beavers in aquatic ecosystems, it became clear that few other animals warranted equal attention from the social sciences as well. This talk explores the intersection of ecological, social and economic relationships between beavers and humans, and provides new tools for more ecologically sustainable and economically viable management of human-beaver interactions.
Mike McIntosh, Bear Conservation
Understanding the Black Bear
I will cover biological needs of the bear, bear behaviour, video of bears buffing with sound, sounds they make when nervous and how the media including nature documentaries almost always characterize the bear inaccurately. I will also discuss rehabilitation of the black bear and provide research data indicating how the rehab of bears is successful for the bears and as an opportunity to educate and promote human/bear coexistence.