Distinguished environmental historian to speak at UPEI

Photo by Richard Howard for The Chronicle Review
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Posted on Wednesday, 30 July 2014

John R. Gillis, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, returns to Prince Edward Island to deliver a free public lecture on “Islands as Wetlands” on Friday, August 1 at 7:00 pm in UPEI’s Don and Marion McDougall Hall, Room 243.

Gillis’ lecture has been organized as part of two environmental history workshops being hosted later this week at the University—“the Dominion of Nature,” which looks at Canada's environment during the age of Confederation; and the third annual forum of the Northeast and Atlantic Canada Environmental History Network. Both are sponsored by NiCHE, the Network in Canadian History and Environment.

More about Professor Gillis: A distinguished environmental historian, Professor Gillis is the author of “The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History,” a provocative re-interpretation of the role of seacoasts in the development of human society. During his research for the book, Professor Gillis spent time on Prince Edward Island as a guest of UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies. Coastal zones, Gillis argues, have always been a diverse and vital ecotone, a place where sea and land overlap, providing an abundance of resources as well as key transportation corridors. But the last century has witnessed an unprecedented migration of peoples back to the edge of the ocean. As global warming continues to raise sea levels, our increased proximity to the water challenges humans to live with the coast, not just on it. The challenge is particularly relevant to islanders, and Gillis will examine the subject from the concept of islands as wetlands.

For information:
Edward MacDonald
Associate Professor, UPEI Faculty of Arts
(902) 894-2805, gemacdonald@upei.ca