Terry Todd was an avid nature lover and longtime supporter of the Kalamazoo Nature Center and many other community organizations. She was an advocate for education and believed that people of all ages should never stop learning. The Terry Todd International Speaker Series was created by her family as a memorial to her and in recognition of her commitment to these ideals. This endowment fund invites dynamic individuals in the fields of nature and the environment to Kalamazoo to share their knowledge and passion with the community Terry loved.

 

 

Upcoming Terry Todd International Speakers Series Events

Terry Todd Speakers Series of KNC presents:

Dr. Drew Lanham: Coloring the Conservation Conversation

Monday, September 12, 6-7 pm, followed by book signing from 7-8pm 

Location: Chenery Auditorium
Free event. Pre-registration required. Books will be available for purchase.

with opening music from local avant garde Cellist and vocalist Jordan Hamilton from 5:35-6:05 pm

Register Here
Drew Lanham
Photo: Camilla Cerea

Dr. Lanham will discuss what it means to embrace the full breadth of his African-American heritage and his deep kinship to nature and adoration of birds. The convergence of ornithologist, college professor, poet, author and conservation activist blend to bring our awareness of the natural world and our moral responsibility for it forward in new ways. Candid by nature — and because of it — Lanham will examine how conservation must be a rigorous science and evocative art, inviting diversity and race to play active roles in celebrating our natural world.

J. Drew Lanham is a native of Edgefield and Aiken, South Carolina. He holds an endowed chair as an Alumni Distinguished Professor and was named an Alumni Master Teacher in 2012. Dr. Lanham is a widely published author and award-nominated poet, writing about his experiences as a birder, hunter and wild, wandering soul. He is the author of “The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature” and “Sparrow Envy”.

Thanks to partners: this is a bookstore and Kalamazoo Public Library

Thanks to our sponsors:

Audubon Society of Kalamazoo
Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy
WMU College of Arts and Sciences Biological Imaging Center
WMU College of Arts and Sciences
WMUK

Join the Kalamazoo Public Library Tuesday, August 16 at 6 pm for a community book-group discussion of “The Home Place” at the Alma Powell Branch in the Douglass Community Center, 1000 W Paterson St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. There is no charge for this event. Come to discuss this fascinating read with your fellow community members!

Previous Terry Todd International Speakers

Michelle Jonshon: Land Legacy: A Black Kalamazoo Land and Ethic
May 28, 2022

This lecture by Dr. Michelle Johnson contextualized the Raising Hay podcasts and included her interview from the “State of Water.” The conversation articulated a distinctive environmental perspective at the intersection of place, ancestry, food and cultural insistence. Listen to the podcasts, Raising Hay and Planting Roots: Black Women, the Arts, and Farming here >

Michelle S. Johnson is a public scholar at the Institute for Public Scholarship in the fields of African American history, literature and cultural production.   During her work as the Freedom Trail coordinator for the State of Michigan, Dr. Johnson solidified her public scholarship and leadership and expanded her contribution to assist professional and lay-historians in the preservation, documentation, and promotion of Underground Railroad histories.

Johnson currently consults on a statewide Black history project that documents the people, stories and places of late 19th century Michigan.  She researches, writes and lectures for academic and public settings on aspects of African American culture including Paradise Valley, Idlewild and Motown.

 

Michelle Johnson

Conversation with Amitav Ghosh
April 12, 2022

Acclaimed writer Amitav Ghosh finds the origins of our contemporary climate crisis in Western colonialism’s violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment.

A powerful work of history, essay, testimony, and polemic, Amitav Ghosh’s new book, “The Nutmeg’s Curse” traces our contemporary planetary crisis back to the discovery of the New World and the sea route to the Indian Ocean. The Nutmeg’s Curse argues that the dynamics of climate change today are rooted in a centuries-old geopolitical order constructed by Western colonialism. At the center of Ghosh’s narrative is the now-ubiquitous spice nutmeg. The history of the nutmeg is one of conquest and exploitation—of both human life and the natural environment.


 

adrienne maree brown  |  2021

Like communities around the globe, Kalamazoo has experienced stress caused by the COVID-19, racial reckoning, and climate change. KNC’s Terry Todd Interational Speakers Series invited adrienne maree brown to join Kalamazoo virtually in September, 2021, to help us explore ways we can emerge from these challenging times. Her talk and the companion programs in the Community Emergence Series offered a call to listen and imagine collective community solutions

Inspired by Octavia Butler’s explorations of our human relationship to change, “Emergent Strategy” is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist “spirituality” based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us.


Dr. Dorceta Taylor  |  2018

Dr. Dorceta Taylor is known as an environmental sociologist for her work on environmental justice and racism. She is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability.  Dr. Taylor explores the rise of the U.S. conservation movement and the origins of nature protection in America as well as historical and contemporary gender, class, and racial dynamics in nature protection around the country.


Brett Harper  |  2015

“I count the wings, not the feathers,” was the credo of the late modernist Charley Harper (1922-2007).  Brett Harper, the son of Charley and Edie Harper and director of the Harper studio, presented an illustrated lecture about his father’s 60-year career to  accompany an exhibition of Charley Harper’s work,  Nature Seen Through the Eyes of Artist Charley Harper.  Brett’s presentation demonstrated how Charley developed the style that he described as “minimal realism”, where he captured the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. Harper’s true love was the portrayal of birds, animals, insects, sea life, in the world around.


Michael Pollan  |  2014

Michael Pollan writes about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment.  Pollan is the author of five books: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008) The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006), The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001), A Place of My Own (1997), and Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education (1991). Pollan co-starred in the documentary, Food, Inc. (2008), for which he was also a consultant.


Jean-Michel Cousteau  |  2011

Since first being “thrown overboard” by his father Jacques Cousteau at the age of seven with newly invented SCUBA gear on his back, Jean-Michel has been exploring the world’s oceans for much of his life.  Jean-Michel founded the Ocean Futures Society in 1999, a marine conservation and education organization which fosters a conservation ethic, conducts research, and develops marine education programs.


Brother Yusuf Burgess, ”Using the Power of Nature”  |   November 5, 2009

Brother Yusuf was an Environmental Educator at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and coordinator of Urban Outreach. His thought provoking presentation focused on how to engage youths in the natural world through outdoor recreational activities like boating, camping, fishing, hiking and skiing excursions. A leader in the No Child Left Inside movement, Brother Yusuf left us too soon, but his insights on the transformations that occur when youths spend meaningful time outdoors, will impact many for decades to come.


Jeff Corwin – ”Tales from the Field”  |  October 18, 2009

Jeff Corwin is an Emmy winner as host of ”The Jeff Corwin Experience”, one of the most popular shows on cable television. Corwin has been working for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems around the world since he was a teenager.


Cheryl Charles, Ph.D. -The ”No Child Left Inside” Movement  |  April 16, 2009

Cheryl Charles is President and CEO of the Children & Nature Network and co-chair of the Education for Sustainable Development Working Group of the Commission on Education and Communication, World Conservation Union (IUCN-CEC). Cheryl is an innovator, educator, author and organizational executive. Cheryl served for close to 20 years as national director of the two most widely used environment education programs in North America, Project Learning Tree and Project WILD, and has received numerous awards for her leadership.


Jerome Ringo  |  2008

Jerome Ringo has vast experience in organizing environmental and labor communities and his drive to further diversify the environmental movement bridges many of the Apollo Alliances partners to ]create a broad based coalition, providing real solutions to our energy crisis.


Andrew Winston- ”Green to Gold” Author |  November 13, 2008

Andrew is a globally recognized expert on green businesses and is dedicated to helping companies both large and small use environmental strategy to grow, create enduring value, and build stronger relationships with employees, customers and other stakeholders.


Jerome Ringo- President, Apollo Alliance. ”The Color of Green, The Next Inconvenient Truth”  |  November 13, 2008

Jerome Ringo has vast experience organizing environmental and labor communities and his drive to further diversify the environmental movement bridges many of the Apollo Alliances partners to create a broad based coalition, providing real solutions to our energy crisis.


Douglas Tallamy- ”Bringing Nature Home”, Author  |  October 11, 2008

Douglas W. Tallamy is professor and chair of the Department of Entomology at the University of Delaware in Newark Delaware. He has written more than 65 research articles and has taught insect taxonomy, behavioral ecology and other courses for many years. Chief among his research goals is to understand the way insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities.


Richard Louv- ”Last Child in the Woods” Author  |  October 22,2008

Kalamazoo Nature Center hosts Richard Louv for a second time at the Concert Auditorium at Michigan State University. The “No Child Left Inside” movement has grown to a national scale and more than 2000 people attended to hear the story of the Children and Nature Network.


Jeff Corwin – ”Tales from the Field”  |  October 29, 2006

Jeff Corwin is an Emmy winner as host of “The Jeff Corwin Experience”, one of the most popular shows on cable television. Corwin has been working for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems around the world since he was a teenager.


Richard Louv  

Richard Louv, child advocacy expert and journalist, has created a groundswell of action/reaction across the country with this powerful presentation of research showing the adverse effects of “nature deficit disorder” on today’s generation of plugged-in children.


Tom Turpin – ”A Bug in Your Syrup”  |  September 24, 2005

Torn Turpin is a professor of Entomology at Purdue University. Dr. Turpin is the creator of Purdue’s “Bug Bowl,” a celebration of insect science. He has been featured in numerous news stories includingTime and People magazines, quoted on major television and radio programs, and has appeared on “Good Morning America,” the Guinness World Record Show” and the “Prairie Home Companion” radio show. He also writes a bi-monthly column, “On Six Legs” that appears in over 40 newspapers. He currently is a monthly guest on AM 920 magazine on WBAA.


Jack Hanna-Animal Planet (Wildlife TV Show)  |  May 13, 2005

Jack Hanna is the Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He is the television host of ”Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures”. Jack shares conservation messages through stories of global animal encounters. He regularly appears on ”Good Morning America”, ”The Late Show with David Letterman”, ”Larry King Live”, and the ”Fox News Program”.


Dennis Fijikowski ”Michigan is Cougar Country”  |  October 19, 2004

Dennis Fijikowski is the Executive Director of the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy. In 2001, this non-profit organization proved the existence of cougars in the Upper Peninsula with a variety of evidence including tracks, cougar-killed deer, and DNA from scat (droppings). The Conservancy recently proved with DNA and other evidence that cougars exist in the Lower Peninsula counties of Emmet, Presque Isle, Alcona and Roscommon.


Bil Gilbert  Natural Coincidence, The Trip from Kalamazoo  |  September 22, 2004

Bil Gilbert is one of America’s most prominent and popular natural history essayists and authors.  Over the last four decades, Gilbert has appeared in Audubon, Smithsonian, Discover, Esquire, and the New York Times. And he’s authored several books, including Nature”, ”In God’s Countries”, and ”The Weasels”.


The Kratt Brothers, Adventurers  |  November 15, 2003

Chris and Martin Kratt began by founding the Earth Creatures Company in 1990, now known as the Kratt Brothers Company, and then formed the Kratt Brothers’ Creature Hero Society, and group that empowers kids to be creature heroes by helping animals in a variety of facets. The success of these endeavors encouraged them to launch the popular PBS television series, ”Kratts’ Creatures” in 1996. Their television series, ”Zoboomafoo with the Kratt Brothers” earned an Emmy Award for outstanding direction in a children’s show in May of 2001.


Ann Bancroft, Journey Across Antarctica  |  October 12, 2002

Ann Bancroft was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame (1995), named MS. Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1987, and featured in the book ”Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century”. In 1986, Bancroft crossed 1,000 miles by dogsled from the Northwest Territories in Canada to the North Pole and the only female member of the Steger International Polar Expedition, earning the distinction of being the first known woman in history to cross the ice to the North Pole.


Dr. Robert Bakker- Dinosaurs   |  July 27 & 28, 2001

Dr. Robert Bakker is a paleontologist who began studying dinosaurs in the 1960’s. He introduced a new way of looking at dinosaurs and their role in the world and was the catalyst for what has been called the “dinosaur renaissance.” He is the author of “Dinosaur Heresies and Raptor Red”.


Dr. Jane Goodall – Wildlife Research, Author   |  2000

Dr. Jane Goodall is one of the world’s most recognized scientists, the recipient of numerous awards, the subject of many documentary films, and the author of more than ten books for children and adults, including the best-selling “In the Shadow of Man” (1971).