Biodiversity Days: Chris Norment Lecture and Reading

April 23, 2015 - 5:15 pm
Field Auditorium, Environment Hall


5:15 p.m.   Reception

6:00 p.m.    Chris Norment Lecture and Reading 
"Relicts of a Beautiful Sea: Survival, Extinction, and Conservation in a Desert World"

7:30 p.m.    Book signing

Event is free and open to the public, but requires a ticket. Tickets can be obtained through the Duke University Box Office or by phone at , or in person at the Bryan Center Box Office weekdays 11am – 6pm. Please note, charges apply to all orders placed by phone and online.

Parking after 5 p.m. available on Circuit Drive and LaSalle Street. 

If you can't see the above video, you can view it directly here >

This presentation will use material from Norment’s most recent book of creative nonfiction, Relicts of a Beautiful Sea, to explore ethical and practical issues of conservation: just what are rare and endangered species worth, why are they rare, and what would the cost of their extinctions be? Although Relicts of a Beautiful Sea is focused on six rare desert species endemic to the Death Valley region (a salamander, a toad, and four taxa of pupfish), the book has broader implications - as a celebration of ecology and evolutionary history, as a (partial!) history of water use and development in the arid Southwest, and as an argument for biodiversity conservation in this time of increased peril for many species, which has been described as the “Sixth Wave” of extinction. I will also discuss ways in which scholars might become more engaged in societally important discussions concerning the future of biodiversity.

Dr. Chris Norment is a professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Biology at the College at Brockport, State University of New York, where he specializes in the breeding biology and ecology of migratory birds. Before beginning his career in academia, Chris worked as biologist for the U.S. National Park Service, Outward Bound instructor, high school science teacher, and gumball machine repairman. Chris has published forty scientific articles and four books of creative nonfiction, most of which seek to integrate personal narrative and lyrical descriptions of the natural world with the results of scientific research: In the North of Our Lives: A Year in the Wilderness of Northern Canada; Return to Warden’s Grove: Science, Desire, and the Lives of Sparrows;  In the Memory of the Map: A Cartographic Memoir; and Relicts of a Beautiful Sea: Survival, Extinction, and Conservation in a Desert World.