January 26 & 27, 2014
The Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest welcomed Gary Nabhan, author, farming and food advocate, and W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center, as the 2014 Environmental Writer-in-Residence in late January.
Gary is a leading voice in the local food movement and a tireless advocate of cultural and ecological diversity in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. An author, scholar, educator and grassroots conservationist, Gary has been instrumental in the creation of a more “just, nutritious, sustainable and climate-resilient 'foodshed'" in the desert Southwest. His environmental writing has garnered international acclaim and a Lannan Literary Fellowship; his twenty-four books have been published in six languages. The recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, Gary has performed pioneering research in ethnobotany, pollinator habitat, and heirloom seed saving, much of it on his small permaculture farm in Patagonia, Arizona. As an advocate, Gary has brought together diverse stakeholders in the Southwest—including ranchers, farmers, and indigenous peoples—to forge a new “radical center” on issues of conservation, environmental justice, and climate change.
According to Nan Jenks-Jay, Dean of Environmental Affairs, “Gary is that rare public intellectual who lives his values and isn’t afraid to envision a more just, sustainable future for human and plant communities alike. His writing is lyrical, incisive. His energy—as organizer, author, and farmer—is inspirational, and he embodies the independent thinking that the Franklin Environmental Center seeks to promote among our students and faculty. Gary proves that it’s possible to be both architect and builder in today’s environmental movement. He has done so fearlessly.”
The Franklin Environmental Center joined with Middlebury College Organic Farm, Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writers’ Conference, Office of Academic Affairs, Program in Environmental Studies, and the Department of Biology to bring Gary to campus. Gary's visit also marks the continuation of Franklin Environmental Center’s professional residencies, following The Nature Conservancy’s Mark Tercek’s three-day residency last year.
Gary Nabhan shares his impressions of Middlebury College and its students after visiting campus as the 2014 Environmental Writer-in-Residence.