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Symposium to explore ‘Nature and Human Nature’

January  02, 2013

Augustana College’s winter term symposium day, “Nature and Human Nature,” will be Wednesday, Jan. 23. Environmental scholar Molly Steinwald will give the keynote address twice, at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall (3703 7th Ave.). The lecture is free and open to the public.

Steinwald’s lecture, titled “What’s Your Environmental Role? Go Find It,” will address sustainability and pressing environmental issues. Her lecture is the centerpiece of the second of three symposia days planned for the 2012-2013 academic year.

“In everything I do, I work to change the way people see and interact with the world,” said Steinwald.

She is passionate about fostering and measuring the effectiveness of informal and formal education through a local, positive, participatory and cross-disciplinary manner, focusing on the beauty and importance of humanity living in harmony with the environment.

“If I move one person to perceive and wonder at the interrelatedness of science with other areas of knowledge that was before unrealized, if I sensitize one person to the value of nature that was before unnoticed, if I inspire ecological responsibility and bring joy to one person’s mundane life, and if I spark passion in one person such that he or she works to share their enthusiasm and knowledge about nature and science with others, I succeed,” said Steinwald.

Steinwald currently is the director of science education and research at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. As head of the department, she oversees high school internships for at-risk urban youth; the Fairchild Challenge year-round environmental engagement program for middle school and high schools; teacher professional development opportunities, developing environmental education research programs; and the Botany in Action Fellowship program.

She is a visiting scholar at University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE) and a Fellow of the Fine Outreach for Science Gigapan photography program at Carnegie Mellon University. She also is an affiliate member of the world-class International League of Conservation Photographers.

Steinwald earned her bachelor’s in biology from the University of Dallas, her master’s in ecology from Purdue University, and currently is a Ph.D. candidate in zoology at Miami University, conducting environmental psychology research.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu