Dempsey Lecture and Conference Feb. 10-11 Open to the Public

The general public is invited to attend the 2005 Dempsey Environmental Lecture and Conference at Willamette University Feb. 10-11. These free events are made possible by the Dempsey Foundation and are coordinated by the University's Public Policy Research Center.

Terry Tempest WilliamsTerry Tempest Williams, environmentalist and award-winning author, will present the Dempsey Environmental Lecture Thursday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. in Hudson Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette.

Williams is perhaps best known for her book, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, now regarded as a classic in American nature writing. In it she chronicles the epic rise of Great Salt Lake and the flooding of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in 1983, alongside her mother's diagnosis with ovarian cancer, believed to be caused by radioactive fallout from the nuclear tests in the Nevada desert in the '50s and '60s.

Her work has been widely anthologized, having also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Orion, Outside, Audubon, among other national and international publications. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship in creative nonfiction, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Community Grant.

The Dempsey Environmental Conference, "Is Nature Calling? New Perspectives on Living with and Working for Nature," is Friday, Feb. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Cat Cavern, 2nd Floor, Putnam University Center, also at the University. The conference is free, but registration is required. To register on line, please go to For more information, please contact or call 503-370-6060.

Featured conference panelists include: Ed Begley Jr., actor and activist; Robin Morris Collin, Willamette University professor of law; Dave Foreman, founder, The Rewilding Institute; Dale Jamieson, professor of environmental studies and philosophy, New York University; Jane Lubchenco, Distinguished Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University; Carolyn Merchant, professor of environmental history, philosophy and ethics, University of California-Berkeley; Andrew Revkin, science reporter, The New York Times; Terry Tempest Williams, author and environmentalist, and Elizabeth Woody, program specialist, Ecotrust.

This conference will explore connections between the professional lives and broader motivations, meanings, and implications for individuals working for the environment. The conference will provide conference participants an opportunity to learn what panelists do and, most importantly, why they do it.

"Many of the featured panelists have risked their lives, their professional reputations, or both, in their dedication to improving our relationship with nature and with each other," said Laura Leete, director of the Public Policy Research Center at Willamette. Their stories of commitment and transformation serve as cogent reminders of the personal sacrifice behind collective change."