Conservation biologist to speak at public forum

Barry Winslow

For students in love with nature or drawn in by the world’s natural habitat — or simply wondering how to do more to maintain the local landscape, then the Conservation and Sustainability Community Forum is something to check out.

The public conservation forum will address issues regarding local sustainability practices.

The forum, which is held on Thursday, Feb. 21 and Friday, Feb. 22 in the Mead Auditorium in 2701 West Science, will feature Dr. Curt Meine, conservation biologist, historian and writer. Meine will be speaking about local conservation and sustainability issues.

Hosted by NMU’s earth, environmental and geographical sciences department, the event is free for NMU students and will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a presentation by Meine on connecting conservation efforts across landscapes.

Meine, who is a senior fellow member of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, a nonprofit, donor-supported foundation whose mission is to “inspire an ethical relationship between people and land through the legacy of Aldo Leopold,” said he is excited about the love of conservation and coming to the Upper Peninsula to speak.

“I was lucky to have a family that loved the outdoors,” Meine said. “I was always interested in the sciences and the land. In fact, my family has a cabin in Iron County, Michigan that I visited as a boy, so I’m a bit of a Yooper myself.”

After the presentation, the forum will continue on Friday morning. From 8:30 a.m. to noon, there will be a light breakfast and a screening of “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time” followed by a community panel discussion on local sustainability efforts.

Dan Love, a senior environmental science major, feels that Meine coming to campus will be something of value.

“I think more and more people are slowly beginning to understand the importance of conservation and the implementation of sustainable practices,” Love said. “[Meine] coming to campus will allow other students and the local community to gain new perspectives and an increased understanding of these topics.”

Meine is the author of “Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work.” This biographical work was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 1988 and was the first full-length biography of Aldo Leopold, an American author, scientist, ecologist, forester and environmentalist.

Leopold was also a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is known for his 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac.”

Meine’s  “Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work” went on to be named the Book of the Year by the Forest History Society.

Meine hopes to leave the Conservation & Sustainability Forum with great impact.

“Learn about your local landscape,” Meine said. “The more one feels connected with it, the more one will care.”

For more information about the Sustainability and Conservation Forum, call the NMU earth, environmental and geographic sciences department at (906) 227-2587.