Tag Archives: National Geographic

Zolli explores impact of our digital selves on the world

With origins in the small town of Camden, Maine, the global innovation network PopTech could be considered a distant cousin of Chautauqua Institution, said Andrew Zolli, the organization’s executive director and curator.

“We bring the world’s creative community to this small town in much the same way that Chautauqua brings some of the world’s best thinkers and leaders to its community,” he said.

Friday morning, Zolli will close Week Six’s lecture platform on “Digital Identity” at 10:45 a.m in the Amphitheater. His lecture will focus on the intersection between our digital selves and real world outcomes.

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Belt talks water conflicts, solutions in morning lecture

There could be an international war over water in our future.

Don Belt, current contributing writer for and former senior foreign editor of National Geographic magazine, gives that warning not in an ominous, threatening way, but from the perspective of a man who has spent more than 30 years experiencing international life in more than 65 countries through the lens of ordinary people.

“Conflicts over water are historic. They’re long-standing,” Belt said. “But climate change has made it even more imperative that we figure out ways to resolve these problems before they erupt into some sort of war.”

Belt will present on those water conflicts — specifically conflicts in Bangladesh, Iraq and along the Jordan River — at 10:45 a.m. Friday in the Amphitheater. He is the capstone lecturer on National Geographic’s week: “Water Matters.”

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Sitting at a table in front of a porthole, oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle speaks to a large Amphitheater audience Wednesday morning from on board NOAA’s Aquarius Reef Base 60 feet underwater off Key Largo, Fla. Chef and conservationist Barton Seaver, at right, interviewed Earle from the Amphitheater stage. Photo by Lauren Rock.

Earle: Protect oceans as if our lives depend on it, because they do

Sylvia Earle sat near a window facing the sea 60 feet underwater as she spoke to the Amphitheater audience during Wednesday’s morning lecture.

The lecture was the first live-streamed presentation in Chautauqua Institution’s history. Earle, a marine biologist, is currently in the Aquarius Reef Base, an underwater laboratory and research center near the Florida Keys.

From her remote location, Earle spoke about people’s knowledge of the ocean and how to use it to help the planet as part of Week Four, “Water Matters.” Barton Seaver, a chef, conservationist and National Geographic fellow, moderated the discussion.

Like Enric Sala, Earle grew up reading about Jacques Cousteau. Her first experience living underwater was for two weeks in 1970.

It has been 50 years since humans began to live underwater, Earle said. She describes the last five decades as the greatest era of exploration.

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Skerry uses imagery to show decline of ocean inhabitants

Having spent more than 10,000 hours underwater during the past 30 years, photojournalist Brian Skerry knows some of the ocean’s lions, and tigers and bears.

But many predators, captured beautifully in photographs by Skerry, are on the brink of extinction — with 90 percent of the ocean’s sharks and big fish having disappeared in the past 50 years.

“We’re killing in excess of 100 million sharks every single year,” he said. “We can’t kill 100 million predators in any ecosystem and expect it to remain healthy.”

Skerry will discuss the importance of marine conservation at 10:45 a.m. Thursday in the Amphitheater. He will take the audience on a photographic journey through the world’s oceans, introducing people to things he thinks about while photographing, what he looks for to tell a story for National Geographic magazine and some of the interesting characters he has met through the years — including sharks, whales, saltwater crocodiles and more.

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Earle to speak from Aquarius Reef Base, 50 feet below the surface off Florida Keys

Sylvia Earle, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, is often affectionately called “Her Deepness” because of her record-setting expeditions to the bottom of the ocean. At 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in the Amphitheater, Earle will speak to Chautauqua from the place she is most at home — the deep.

She will speak remotely from the Aquarius Reef Base, an underwater laboratory and research center near the Florida Keys operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), of which Earle was chief scientist from 1990–1992.

“When I was a kid, it was less common — in fact unusual — for women to become scientists or engineers,” Earle said. “It was unheard of for a woman to be chief scientist on an oceanographic vessel, or for a woman to be the captain of a ship, or to be the captain of an airplane, for heaven’s sakes. Those things have changed.”

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Marine ecologist Sala to take audience on journey to the ocean

Marine ecologist Enric Sala is a modern-day explorer.

Through the National Geographic program, explorer-in-residence Sala works to understand marine life and find ways to mitigate human impact on it. He is one of about 20 explorers who search for information and fuel conservation initiatives in their respective fields of study.

“I explore the ocean, look for the last wild places and help to protect them,” Sala said. “I’m very, very lucky.”

Sala will take people on a journey through the ocean as he has seen it at 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater. He will show places that are remote and untouched by humans to illustrate what oceans have lost and what they could be like in the future.

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Dimick, Postel make case for why freshwater matters

The relationship between humans, nature and water is like no other.

Though water’s importance for people is evident, nature’s need for water is often overlooked.

“We need to be thinking about the needs of nature because, after all, it is nature that sustains us,” said Dennis Dimick, executive editor for the environment of National Geographic magazine, at Monday’s morning lecture in the Amphitheater.

Dimick and Sandra Postel, founder and director of the Global Water Policy Project, spoke about the limited amount of fresh water on earth to kick off Week Four, themed “Water Matters.” The morning lecture began with a presentation by Dimick, followed by a conversation between him and Postel.

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Dimick, Postel work to raise awareness of individual ‘water footprint’

Conservation is more than just turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth.

“All the water we have today is all the water we’ve ever had and are going to have,” said Dennis Dimick, National Geographic Magazine’s executive editor for the environment.

Spreading the word about the world’s fresh water and how to conserve and use it efficiently makes up today’s morning lecture with Dimick and Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project. The pair will speak on this week’s theme, “Water Matters.”

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