Famous conservationist lectures at USM
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 01:11
Tuesday evening, a renowned scientist, author and conservationist spoke at what turned out to be the University of Southern Mississippi Honors College’s biggest forum this year.
Margaret Lowman, known as the “Real-life Lorax” or the “Einstein of the Treetops,” is the author of “Life in the Treetops,” in which she describes her time working in such countries as Australia and Peru with her children studying the canopies of rainforests.
The Honors College and USM biology department teamed up to bring Lowman to the university for an hour-long lecture in the Thad Cochran Center. Two ballrooms were full, and several attendees stood or sat on the floor.
“We wanted to go out with a bang,” Coordinator of University Forum Johnell Anderson-Goins said. “Because of our collaboration with biology, we wanted to make this a campus-wide event. Attendance was staggering.”
“We try to have science speakers represented on the forum rosters,” said Dean of the Honors College David Davies. “We are delighted to have so many students turning out.”
Lowman not only discussed her studies, but she also talked about a few ways in which she worked with the locals, including teaching native people in Ethiopia to gather test samples and ecotourism, an idea that made her famous.
Lowman first brought the idea of ecotourism to America Samoa to use their natural environment to bring in revenue from tourists. This involved building bridges going through the canopies of their forests for the use of scientists and travellers to experience the natural wildlife.
Sherry Herron, associate professor of science education, worked to bring Lowman to campus after hearing her speak at a meeting in Washington, D.C. Lowman’s lecture also inspired Herron to make use of Hattiesburg’s abundance of trees.
“We would love to build a canopy trail along the Longleaf Trace and Lake Thoreau,” Herron said.
Though nothing official has been decided, Herron hopes this lecture could build excitement for it.
“The most important thing is to follow your passion, but I hope that some of that journey will inspire everyone to get involved with Mother Nature and seek solutions to global environmental issues,” Lowman said.
For more information about Lowman visit www.canopymeg.com.