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Dr. Robin Kimmerer Kicks Off Cornell Plantations Lecture Series

Event set for Sept. 2 at Cornell's Kennedy Hall
8/26/2015

Cornell Plantations kicks-off its Annual Fall Lecture Series, Wednesday, Sept. 2, with a lecture by the renowned botanist, professor and award-wining author of "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants," Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer of ESF. The Harder Lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. in Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall and will be followed by a complimentary garden party in the botanical garden of Cornell Plantations.

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer will lecture on topics found in her new book "Braiding Sweetgrass" in which she shows how other living beings-asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass-offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

"We are thrilled that Dr. Kimmerer will be kicking-off our lecture series," said Dr. Sonja Skelly, director of education at Cornell Plantations. "I believe that Jane Goodall said it best- '[this is]an extraordinary book, showing how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people.' We are very pleased that Dr. Kimmerer will be sharing her eloquence and wisdom with the Cornell community."

Kimmerer is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and the director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at ESF. As a writer and scientist, she has delivered a TEDx Talk, addressed the general assembly of the United Nations at the request of UN President Sam Kahamba Kutesa of Uganda, and won the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Writing and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.