If Megan Dixon was the guest lecturer for the 2021 Henberg Environmental Lecture, her topic may have been titled “the best ways to take a bucket of lemons and turn it into lemonade.”
Because that’s what has happened, in collaboration with Boise State University, to get Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer to present the Henberg Lecture on April 7.
“Definitely, yes,” said Dixon, a mathematics and physical sciences lecturer at the College who helped organize the event. “It’s really a great opportunity.”
The lecture, which begins at 6 p.m. MDT, is free but requires pre-registration so the viewer can receive a link to access the lecture via Zoom.
Dr. Kimmerer is SUNY (The State University of New York) Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, as well as a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation. Her book “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants,” first published in 2013, has been on multiple bestseller lists (Dixon herself uses this book in one of her classes) and has a growing and devoted following among those seeking new perspectives on the social and ecological challenges facing society.
Her lecture is titled “What Does the Earth Ask of Us?” It explores the covenant of reciprocity, how people might use the gifts presented to us as well as the responsibilities of humans during a time of ecological crisis.
Dixon says the Henberg Environmental Lecture has always been part of a collaboration with Boise State and, this year, the College is co-sponsoring Dr. Kimmerer’s lecture along with the Nature Conservancy. She said the delivery method of this year’s lecture – a virtual presentation due to COVID concerns – actually worked in the College’s favor for multiple reasons.
“This allowed us, together, to match Robin Kimmerer’s remote speaking fee,” Dixon explained. “Her work has become so popular that we would not have been able to afford her in-person speaking fee, even with our combined resources.”
There’s another benefit, one that benefits a broader audience than usual.
“People don’t have to physically get themselves to the site of the talk. This opens up a potentially much-wider audience in some ways,” Dixon said. “It allows us to give wider access, which is wonderful.”
The College of Idaho has a 130-year-old legacy of excellence. The College is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition, and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.