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International environmental awareness educator powers up panel at APSU on Oct. 5

He spoke to 10,000 delegates during a plenary session of a conference on climate changes, held recently in Montreal, Canada. Now hes bringing his message to Austin Peay State University.

At 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5 in the Sundquist Science Complex, Room E106, Ben Namakin will participate in a panel along with other environmental activists. Titled Stewards of the Earth, the panel discussion will be led by famed poet Robert Hass.
He spoke to 10,000 delegates during a plenary session of a conference on climate changes, held recently in Montreal, Canada. Now he's bringing his message to Austin Peay State University.

At 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5 in the Sundquist Science Complex, Room E106, Ben Namakin will participate in a panel along with other environmental activists. Titled “Stewards of the Earth,” the panel discussion will be led by famed poet Robert Hass.

At 4 p.m. in the Gentry Auditorium, Kimbrough Building, Namakin, as a guest speaker for SOARE (Students Organized to Advance Renewable Energy), will talk with students about the consequences of climate change, particularly on such islands as Micronesia.

Namakin grew up on the Pacific islands of Kiribati and Micronesia. Since 2002, he has worked as an environmental educator with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, initiating such efforts as the Youth-to-Youth in Environmental Education and Awareness Program.

At the College of Micronesia, he teaches a course on climate change and its implications for island systems. He has produced video showing sea-level rise, coastal erosion and other island changes. His video of Deketik Island's split, caused by sea flooding, was shown during the United Nations 2005 Climate Change Conference COP11/MOP1 in Montreal. He continues to travel worldwide to raise awareness about climate change and its implications.

Co-sponsored by APSU's Center of Excellence for Field Biology and Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, at 8 p.m. in Gentry Auditorium, Kimbrough Building, Hass will read selections from his poetry.

Besides Hass and Namakin, other “Stewards of the Earth” panelists are Lindsay Bland, executive director of the Red River Watershed Association; David Evans, president of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association; Dr. Joe Schiller, APSU associate professor of biology and SOARE adviser; David Pelton, executive director of Clean Cities of Middle Tennessee; and Jeff Barrie, producer of the award-winning documentary, “Kilowatt Ours.”

For more information about Namakin's visit, contact Jessica Cameron, president of SOARE, at jcameron15@apmail.apsu.edu or Schiller at schillerj@apsu.edu or by phone at (931) 221-7249. -- Dennie B. Burke