About the Topic: The ecological, economic and educational benefits of waterways and oceans are well debated, documented, and discussed. However, the 4th “e” - emotion - is largely overlooked and absent from our reports, media, legislation and curricula. Healthy waters make life possible, literally, but also make it worth living. Research on the science of emotion has the potential to change the conversation about water for good, creating a more accurate perception of its true value. We will consider this intimate relationship through the seven ages of water, from birth to death.
About the Speaker: Dr. Wallace "J." Nichols is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, and fun-loving Dad. He also likes turtles (a lot). His experiences as a field research scientist, government consultant, founder and director of numerous businesses and nonprofit organizations, teacher, mentor, parent, and advisor all support his quest to build a stronger and more diverse blue movement. He has authored more than 200 scientific papers and publications, lectured in more than 30 countries, and appeared in hundreds of print, film, radio, and television media outlets. His research interests span ocean and aquatic ecosystems, migratory species, marine protected areas, fisheries management, and plastic pollution with special emphasis on building new action networks and developing novel interdisciplanary solutions, sometimes involving so-called enemies. He takes a slow, collaborative approach with leaders in businesses, government, non-profits, and academia to inspire a deeper connection with nature and inventive approaches to pressing issues ranging from supplies of fresh water to improved hospice care for our aging population. His current focus is on what he refers to as Blue Mind, a powerful new universal story of water. In this story society accurately describes all of the physical, ecological, economic, cognitive, emotional, psychological, and social benefits of healthy oceans and waterways. By connecting neuroscientists and psychologists with aquatic experts and artists to ask and answer exciting new questions his work is transforming many sectors. His book Blue Mind, published in summer 2014 by Little, Brown & Company, quickly became a national bestseller and has been translated to numerous languages and inspired a wave of media and practical application. J. knows that inspiration comes sometimes through adventures, or simply by walking and talking. Other times through writing, images, and art. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires. But he also knows that what really moves people is feeling part of and touching something bigger than ourselves. At every turn he encourages people to disconnect from the grid and reconnect with themselves, those they love, and the special places they care about. The emotional connection to waters of all kinds—rather than force or financial gain—is what keeps his colleagues and collaborators working hard to understand and restore our blue planet.
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