The 2013-2014 Raincoast Speaker Series (October 2013 - May 2014) is designed to provide public education opportunities that highlight important projects and ideas through a series of monthly lectures by some of the top environmental leaders in the region. The goal of the speaker series is to provide high-quality, inspirational events that create awareness around key environmental issues in our region. Lectures will focus on topics ranging from marine and terrestrial ecology, to environmental stewardship and sustainabilty. The Raincoast Speaker Series is sponsored in part by the District of Tofino and the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.
Please see below for a list of our 2013/2014 speakers:
Dr. Craig Stephen
Re-Imagining Salmon Health
When: Thursday, Feb 13th, 2014: 7:30pm
Where: Ecolodge Classroom, Tofino Botanical Gardens
In his presentation, Craig will discuss the need to re-imagine how we think about healthy salmon populations and why, at a time of unprecedented environmental change, it is time for collaboration rather than conflict if we aim to conserve this iconic species. Salmon health has too long been focused on finding the ‘smoking gun’ that will explain why some runs are declining. Craig will discuss why a ‘health-first’ agenda might be a more effective approach to salmon recovery in our changing world.
Dr. Craig Stephen is the director of the Centre for Coastal Health in Nanaimo. The Centre is a non-profit organization that looks at health issues at the interface of people, animals and their shared environment. Craig is a veterinarian with a PhD in epidemiology. He has worked extensively in Canada and around the world looking at how we can prevent environmental risks and promote healthy populations by applying collaborative approaches that cross species and disciplines. His work has involved several fish and wildlife projects including work on salmon health in BC such as being a scientific advisor to the Cohen Commission into the Disappearance of Fraser River Sockeye Salmon and being a health advisor to the World Wildlife Fund’s Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue. Craig was the fish health veterinarian for over 10 years for the Vancouver Aquarium and now provides health advice to the Ucluelet Aquarium. Craig is a professor in the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and in the Department of Community Health Science in the Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary.
Four Oars and 4800 kms: Crossing the Atlantic by Rowboat & Disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle
When: Thursday, January 23rd, 2014: 7:30 pm
Where: Darwin's Café in the Tofino Botanical Gardens
Markus will share stories, photos, and video from his recent attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean 5800km from Dakar, Senegal to Miami, USA. As a member of the Canadian Wildlife Federation Africa to the Americas Expedition, Markus joined forces with the Oar Northwest team with a mission to gather oceanographic, physiologic, and physical data and use the adventure as a means of educating and inspiring children. He spent 72 days at sea before capsizing in rough seas 650km north of Puerto Rico.
Markus Pukonen is more of a bushwhacker than he is a trailblazer. Over the years he has worked as a Puma Trainer in the Bolivian Amazon, a Silviculturist in British Columbia, a Wildfire Suppression professional across Canada, and in recent years as an Environmental Action and Adventure Documentary Filmmaker. Among other adventures, he has biked 2500km of the Pacific coast of the U.S. and in 2010 became the first person to Standup Paddleboard across the Georgia Strait, 55 km from Vancouver to Nanaimo. Markus believes in impossible things on a regular basis and is striving to create the world he wishes to live in. Born and raised in Toronto he now surfs and plays with his nieces in Tofino.
Life Without Plastic
Does the bag monster that dwells under your sink scare you? Does the idea of the Pacific Garbage Patch keep you up at night? Tired of creating so much garbage and ready to tame that unruly consumer? So many good reasons to consider reducing the amount of plastic in your life...or to go plastic free!
Going on her fourth year of living plastic-free, Taina has plenty of stories that will educate, inspire, and entertain. Taina has a Masters Degree in environmental conservation, and is the author of the popular blog Plastic Manners, as well as the Director-Producer of the upcoming film From the Waste Up. As one of the few existing speakers on the topic worldwide, her story has been featured in Canadian and international media.
Dr Briony Penn
At the Leading Edge: Clayoquot Sound and the shaping of the conservation science movement of the past century
When: Thursday, November 21st, Doors at 7:00 pm, Presentation at 7:30 pm.
Where: Darwin's Cafe (in the Tofino Botanical Gardens, 1084 Pacific Rim Hwy.)
Clayoquot Sound has attracted and influenced many of the leading western naturalists/scientists/environmentalists over the past 100 years, e.g., early naturalist/anthropologist Charles Newcombe, conservation biologist Annie Alexander, Ian McTaggart Cowan and Charles Guiget and the provincial museum years, marine biologist Ed Ricketts and Cannery Row, the Clayoquot Sound scientific panel and integration of traditional ecological knowledge, indigenous leadership on quantifying ecosystem services, the ever present scientist/artists, scientist/writers. Through 30 years of journalism, activism, working as a naturalist and a biographer of Ian McTaggart Cowan, Penn explores some of the ideas and people she has stumbled across that have built upon Clayoquot Sound's traditional culture of conservation, whether it is by documenting biodiversity, bringing back specimens to educational museums, creating ecological reserves, critiques of forestry, portraying conservation biology in novels or art, promoting wilderness preservation, civil disobedience, advocating alternative landuses to resource extraction, from trapping to non-timber forest products to ecotourism, reforming our economic system or enchanting the disenchanted, Clayoquot Sound has seen it all. What has worked and what hasn't, and where is the leading edge now?
Dr Briony Penn is a geographer, educator, columnist, activist, artist and historian from Salt Spring Island. For more info on Briony: http://www.thewildside.ca
Paula Wild - The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous
When: Tuesday, October 8th, Doors at 7:00 pm, Presentation at 7:30 pm.
Where: Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre (380 Campbell St)
Please join us for Paula Wild's presentation about her new book, The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous.
The west coast of Vancouver Island is a hot spot of cougar activity, and several stories from The Cougar take place in Tofino. The book is a blend of natural history, First Nations stories, and personal accounts. It shows how Canadians' views of cougars have changed over time, through First Nations mythology, the earliest recorded accounts of cougar attacks and the fear they provoked, stories that have come from cougars kept in captivity, or else wandering unexpectedly into cities and populated areas, as well as cougar attack hot spots, and even a cougar safety checklist. There are also some amazing photos of cougars in the book that Paula will be showcasing in her presentation. One of Paula's main points in the book is that co-existing with cougars isn't about fear, it's about education.
Please follow this link for more info on the book: http://www.douglas-mcintyre.com/book/the-cougar