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Oct. 28: Authors to discuss nature’s wisdom, agriculture

By Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

Denison,-left,-and-MarrisPULLMAN, Wash. – A free, public symposium, “Saving Nature and Improving Agriculture: Where Does Nature’s Wisdom Lie?” will begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the CUB junior ballroom at Washington State University Pullman.

Authors Emma Marris and R. Ford Denison will share their views on nature, conservation, agriculture and evolution. A panel discussion with the authors will follow. Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR), the symposium will include a poster session highlighting projects funded through the BIOAg grant program (see

For more information, see

Author of “Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World,” Marris will highlight alternative conservation strategies that reach beyond a long-held value of returning nature to a pristine condition. From managed relocation of species threatened by climate change to the embrace of so-called novel ecosystems, she champions a blurring of the lines between nature and people and a conscious and humble care of our humanized planet.

She has written for magazines and newspapers including Slate, National Geographic, the New York Times and the scientific journal Nature, where she was on staff for five years.

Denison, author of “Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture,” will show how both biotechnology and traditional plant breeding can turn to Darwinian insights to improve crop genetics. He argues against blindly mimicking nature in agriculture but rather adopting a more sophisticated view of species in their native habitat.

He is a professor in ecology and evolution at the University of Minnesota, where he is also a fellow in the College of Agriculture.


Andy McGuire, WSU Extension, 509-754-2011,
Sylvia Kantor, WSU CAHNRS Communications, 206-770-6063,


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