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SEMINAR – Adapting before it gets here: Forest Pests, Basketmaking, and Sustainability Science

September 28, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

SPEAKER: Darren Ranco, Chair, Native American Programs, Associate Professor, Dept. of Anthropology & Senator George J. Mitchell Center

*See below a list of suggested readings to accompany this seminar.

The theme of adaptation to rapid environmental change dominates academic language and funding. In this talk, I will explore the challenges/opportunities in our work with basketmakers and resource gatherers attempting to adapt to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which is not yet in Maine. I am also interested in thinking about how to measure indicators of sustainability when there are no clear solutions to a threat that we cannot stop, but only (potentially) slow it down.

Darren J. Ranco, citizen/member of the Penobscot Nation, is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Native American Programs at the University of Maine. Since 2009, he has been the project leader of the Brown Ash/Emerald Ash Borer project in the Mitchell Center. He has a Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and a PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. Dr. Ranco’s research focuses on Wabanaki protection of cultural and natural resources. He teaches classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance. The son of Nelson Newell Ranco and May Ranco, he grew up in Orono and currently resides in Hampden.

Suggested Readings

  • Heinrich, Bernd. The Trees in My Forest. 1998. (256p) FPBC
  • Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants. 2013. (410p) FPBC
  • Nikiforuk, Andrew. Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests (David Suzuki Foundation Series) 2011. (240p)
  • Rutkow, Eric. American canopy: trees, forests, and the making of a nation. 2012. (418p) FPBC
  • Terres, John K. From Laurel Hill to Siler’s Bog: The Walking Adventures of a Naturalist. 1969. (232p) FPBC
  • Vaughn, Bill. Hawthorn: The Tree That Has Nourished, Healed, and Inspired Through the Ages. 2015. (272p). FPBC
  • Waldbauer, Gilbert. Insights From Insects: What Bad Bugs Can Teach Us. 2005. (311 p) FPBC
  • Wells, Diana. Lives of the Trees: An Uncommon History. 2010. (369p) FPBC

FPBC=Fields Pond Book Club List


September 28, 2015
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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Mitchell Center
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