Life Science Hour Seminar Series

Name:Michael Nelson
Affiliation:Oregon State University
Title:Wolf. Moose. Philosopher. The Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project and the fusion of science and philosophy
Date:Friday, 24 March 2017
Location:Murie Life Science Bldg, Murie Auditorium.


Isle Royale is a remote wilderness island in Lake Superior, North America, and home to the longest continuous study of a predator-prey system in the world. Currently in the 59th year of the project, ecologists are learning how wolves and moose interact over time in this single- predator, single-prey system. But this isn’t just about long-term ecological science. The Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project team also includes geneticists, social scientists, filmmakers, and one bewildered philosopher, Michael Paul Nelson. The project has had important implications for, and direct impact on, our policies about wolves. It offers an example of efforts to understand something about the human relationship with nature that lies at the edges, or requires fusions, of our academic disciplines.

About the Speaker:

Michael Paul Nelson is an environmental scholar, writer, teacher, speaker, consultant, and professor of environmental ethics and philosophy. He holds the Ruth H. Spaniol Chair of Renewable Resources and serves as the Lead Principal Investigator for the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Long-Term Ecological Research program at Oregon State University. He is the philosopher in residence of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project, the longest continuous study of a predator-prey system in the world. Michael is the co-founder and co-director of the Conservation Ethics Group, an award-winning environmental ethics consultancy group fusing ethics with social and ecological science, and serves as a senior fellow for the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word.

He is the author of many articles, and the author or editor of a number of books, in and around the area of environmental ethics. Michael is called upon regularly by various government agencies and conservation organizations to assist with understanding the ethical implications of natural resource management decisions. He lives in Corvallis, Oregon with his wife Heather and his rescue dog Monkey.

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