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Humanities, Environment symposium set for Oct. 26-27 at Shepherd University


From Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education: 

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. Shepherd University will conduct a major two-day symposium on “Humanities and the Environment” on Oct. 26-27. It will be held at the National Conservation Training Center, 698 Conservation Way, in Shepherdstown.

The purpose of this symposium, which is free and open to the public, is to bring together prominent filmmakers, writers, historians, environmental experts, and civic leaders, to address how the humanities can contribute to public understanding of the challenges of major environmental issues.

The events begin at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, and include an evening film at 7:00 p.m., David Conover’s “Behold the Earth.” Speakers and break-out sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 27 and the conference will conclude at 4:15 p.m.

Speakers include CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, of Rice University, who has written extensively about environmental and conservation history; John Amos, founder of SkyTruth, which uses satellite imagery to explore environmental concerns; award-winning Appalachian novelist Denise Giardina of West Virginia; filmmaker and conservationist David Conover whose films have aired on the Discovery Channel, PBS, and National Geographic Explorer; Mark Madison, historian of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Angela Lueking, professor of energy and mineral engineering and chemical engineering at Pennsylvania State University and currently a visiting scientist at the National Science Foundation.

Shepherd University history professor Julia Sandy received a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council to help make this symposium possible. Other sponsors include the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, the Shepherd University Foundation, the George Washington Institute for Living Ethics, SkyTruth, and the National Conservation Film Festival.

Professor Julia Sandy said “While scientists have measured the current state of global climate change, and predicted future consequences, it will take all academic disciplines, and broad public engagement to find ways to solve the many issues that science has identified as the major global challenges of our time.”

Keith Alexander of the Shepherd University history department remarked that, “Shepherd University is a premiere small liberal arts university, and we see it as part of our mission to show how the humanities offer important ways to engage the public in addressing global concerns through novels, films, histories, and the many ways we share information on important topics.”

While the symposium is free to the public, advance registration is encouraged and can be done online at, where you will also find the full schedule of the symposium. To register by phone, please contact Jody Brumage at 304-876-5648. Since the symposium is being held at a U.S. government facility, a driver’s license or other official identification will be required. There is ample parking at the National Conservation Training Center, which is located off Shepherd Grade Road, three miles from Shepherdstown.


For Immediate Release

September 27, 2017

Contact: Ray Smock

Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education


[email protected]



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