Dr. Mitchell Thomashow
Dr. Mitchell Thomashow will give a public lecture on Thursday, April 23, 2009 at
7:00 p.m. in the Copley Science Building, Room 100. The lecture, “Environmental
Leadership: The Role of Higher Education in Addressing Global Problems,” will be
presented in conjunction with Earth Day 2009. This event is free and open to the
Thomashow’s visit was coordinated by Drs. Reber Dunkel (sociology) and Brian Moores
(chemistry), who teach the First-Year Experience course Gauging the Randolph-Macon
Footprint: Steps Toward Environmental Sustainability. The course
offers students the opportunity to explore their individual and collective “footprints”—the
environmental impact of human activities on natural ecological systems—as they relate
to R-MC’s campus. Throughout the year-long course, students have investigated the
sources of R-MC’s eco-footprint and are developing a plan to reduce it, thereby
assisting the college in developing a campus-wide environmental management system.
Thomashow is the president of Unity College in Maine and an author, educator, environmentalist,
theoretician and philosopher who specializes in bridging the practices of ecology
and spirituality. He is also a distinguished faculty member in the Antioch New England
Department of Environmental Studies, where he spent most of his career. He was previously
chair of the doctoral program in environmental studies and associate dean for institutional
advancement at Antioch University New England. In addition, Thomashow helped to
found the nationally acclaimed literary journal Whole Terrain: Journal of
Reflective Environmental Practice, which explores ecological and social
issues from the unique perspective of environmental practitioners.
Thomashow teaches Global Environmental Change, Ecological Thought, Cultures of Natural
History and Music and Nature. As a college president, he aspires
to integrate concepts of ecology, sustainability, natural history and community
service into all aspects of college and community life.
Thomashow's book, Ecological Identity: Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist
(The MIT Press, 1995), offers an approach to teaching environmental education based
on reflective practice. His most recent book is Bringing the Biosphere Home: Learning
to Perceive Global Environmental Change (The MIT Press, 2003), which shows
how to make global environmental problems more tangible, so that they become an
integral part of everyday awareness. Thomashow is currently in the initial stages
of two writing projects: a book on the ecology of improvisation, linking music,
play and sports, and patterns in nature, and a book of essays exploring how an environmental
studies education promotes virtue.
In addition to his public lecture, Thomashow will present a lecture to the students
enrolled in Gauging the Randolph-Macon Footprint: Steps Toward Environmental Sustainability.
For more information on Thomashow’s public lecture, contact Professor Reber
Dunkel at email@example.com or Professor Brian
Moores at firstname.lastname@example.org.