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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

SUNY Environmental Biologist to Deliver Lytton J. Musselman Natural History Lecture

Robin Kimmerer, a scientist, writer and distinguished teaching professor of environmental biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will deliver the Lytton J. Musselman Natural History Lecture on March 23.

The lecture, which is entitled "Gathering Moss: Lessons from the Small and Green," will be presented at 7 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of Webb University Center.

Kimmerer's appearance is part of "ODU Presents," which features multidisciplinary speakers that support the colleges' research initiatives and community outreach efforts. The "ODU Presents" series is free and open to the public.

The Lytton J. Musselman Natural History Lecture is a continuing series led by Lytton Musselman, the Mary Payne Hogan professor of botany at ODU. The series was launched with the help of a substantial gift from ODU alumni Michael and Sue Pitchford. A former student of Musselman's, Michael Pitchford is president and chief executive officer of Community Preservation and Development Corp. in Washington D.C.

Kimmerer, a plant ecologist, serves as the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for shared goals of sustainability.

Her research interests include the role of traditional knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, Kimmerer and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to native people.

She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for native students, and to create new models for integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs which introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge.

Kimmerer has taught courses in botany, ecology, ethnobotany and indigenous environmental issues as well as a seminar on the application of traditional ecological knowledge. She is the co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America. Kimmerer serves as a senior fellow for the Center for Nature and Humans. Of European and Anishinaabe ancestry, Kimmerer is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. Kimmerer is the author of numerous scientific papers on the ecology of mosses and restoration ecology and on the contributions of traditional ecological knowledge to our understanding of the natural world.

Kimmerer's essays have appeared in Whole Terrain, Adirondack Life, Orion and several anthologies. She is the author of "Gathering Moss," which incorporates both traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific perspectives, and was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005. Her latest book "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants" was released in 2013 and was awarded the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. She has served as writer in residence at the Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue Mountain Center, the Sitka Center and the Mesa Refuge.

Kimmerer holds a B.S. in Botany from SUNY ESF, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.