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Lectures and films abound


Nelson Institute Dean Paul Robbins (left) is joined by 2019 Jordahl Lecture storytellers. Photo: Ingrid Laas.


As we celebrate the Year of the Environment encompassing our 50th anniversaries, the Institute’s lectures, films, performances, and special events were designed to honor and expand the legacy of Earth Day founder and Nelson Institute namesake, Gaylord Nelson. Our signature events such as the Jordahl lecture and Tales from Planet Earth Film Series addressed topics such as public lands, climate change, and Native American culture. On a lighter note, Career Week for students offered opportunities to hear from Nelson alums who continue to forward environmental work. On February 6, community members enjoyed cupcakes and refreshments at a 50th anniversary celebration for the Nelson Institute.


Tales from Planet Earth Film Series


Anthropocene The Human Epoch, movie poster

The Tales Film Series had a strong kickoff with the world premiere of Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, a film that showcased the provocative and unforgettable experience of our species’ breadth and impact. In conjunction with Native November, a screening of the documentary film, The Return of Navajo Boy, marked the 20th anniversary of its release. In February, the film Youth Unstoppable took viewers inside the rise of the Global Youth Climate Movement. Following the screening, attendees heard from a panel discussion with members of the Wisconsin Youth Climate Action Team. The film series will come to a close on April 14, with a double feature showing of Chasing Coral and Chasing Ice. With coral reefs around the world vanishing at an unprecedented rate, a team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. The second film follows National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

Tales Film Series

Update: Due to Covid-19 situation, the double feature film for April 14 has been canceled.


Jordahl Public Lands Lecture: Land Stories: Voices of the Past, Present, and Future


Jordahl Public Lands Lecture

A special storytelling event that featured diverse voices sharing personal stories about the importance of public lands was the focus of the 2019 Jordahl Public Lands Lecture. A pre-lecture storytelling workshop led by Jen Rubin, co-producer Moth StorySlam, Madison, Wis. and James Mills, freelance journalist and independent media producer, provided an opportunity for members of the community to learn about the art of storytelling. The lecture held a few weeks later included at least one workshop attendee among the speakers. From stewardship to recreation, the audience heard personal and poignant stories of the impact of public lands on their lives. The featured speakers included:


Jordahl 2019

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