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2022 Chicago National Conference - Sessions

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Thursday, July 21
8:20 AM - 9:20 AM
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Ecological Justice: Why Education Is Our Best Defense

McCormick Place - Skyline W375e

From A Silent Spring, The Limits to Growth and Population Bomb of the 1960s and 70s to today’s planetary boundary science, overshoot, and creating a safe and just space for humanity, some would say that “the science is in” and that it is pretty gloomy. Additionally, now in the frenetic information age, humans are overwhelmingly aware of the multitude of crises we face as a species. Our collective mental health is tanking. Knowing our predicament is one thing, but knowing what to do about it is another. Education may be one of our most powerful tools. However, delivery, content, and reach are impaired by multiple factors including politics, economics, religion, and the numerous influences affecting everyone’s social construction of knowledge. This presentation will share examples from the fields of environmental, conservation, and humane education and then focus on the potential promise of comprehensive education for ecological justice.

About the Speaker
Sarah BexellSarah M. Bexell is clinical associate professor with the Graduate School of Social Work and Director of Humane Education with the Institute for Human-Animal Connection, both at the University of Denver, Colorado. Sarah is also a faculty member teaching Animal Protection for the Institute for Humane Education at Antioch University New England and senior advisor to the Education Department of the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Pandas, China. She teaches and does research in the areas of ecological justice, humane education, and animal protection.

Speakers

Sarah Bexell (University of Denver: Denver, CO)

Friday, July 22
3:40 PM - 4:40 PM
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Observing the Earth for a Sustainable Future

McCormick Place - Skyline W375e

Research scientist Africa Flores-Anderson uses data from satellites to map algae blooms in lakes and forest degradation in her home country of Guatemala. Join Flores-Anderson as she shares her personal journey from small-town girl to National Geographic Explorer, using satellite imagery to better understand our planet.

About the Speaker
Africa Flores-AndersonOriginally from Guatemala, Africa Flores-Anderson is a research scientist at the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). She is passionate about using data and satellite images for environmental conservation. As a National Geographic Explorer, she is working to forecast harmful algae blooms in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala using artificial intelligence. She also works to strengthen the capacity of countries in environmentally sensitive areas to use Earth observation data and geospatial technologies for managing natural resources and environmental risks. Flores’s research focuses on forest monitoring, water quality and ecological forecasting.

Speakers

Africa Flores-Anderson (National Geographic Learning | Cengage: Boston, MA)