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​​2017 Keynote Speakers

Agenda subject to change.

Thursday Kickoff Keynote - Wallace J. Nichols

Go Deeper: The Seven Ages of Water
Thursday, April 6
9:00 - 10:45 am

Our Thursday morning keynote speaker was Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist who has synthesized much of the science on this topic in his 2015 best selling book Blue Mind

In his morning keynote, Nichols explored the cognitive, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual benefits of healthy waterways and oceans via each of the seven ages of our lives - from birth through death. The Seven Ages of Water form the backbone of our conversation as we plunge into our evolving, rich and complex lifelong relationship with water. The Seven Ages are overlapping, and the edges are not sharp, but this framework is robust and makes the cutting-edge research on water and people compelling, fun and immediately applicable to our lives.

Nichols has been an outspoken advocate for celebrating these connections, and he asks everyone he meets to recognize that water is vital to our well-being in many ways. For the most part, our society doesn’t capture these wellness-related values of water in our economic equations. Undervaluing the importance and impact of lakes and rivers makes it easier to degrade them and to quote the old saying “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” We will use this Lakes Partnership Convention to identify new ways that we can highlight and communicate such hidden values of water and ensure that policy makers consider them in their decision making. Learn more about how Dr. Nichols works to reconnect people with water at: 

Digital Production - Find Your Blue Mind shown prior to the Keynote by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols on Thursday, April 6 (link to YouTube)

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Friday Keynote/Lunch Speaker - Andrew Fusek Peters

Dipping Into the Landscape and Wildlife:
A Journey from Mental Health Into the Healing Power of Nature
Friday, April 7
11:45 am - 1:15 pm

Andrew Fusek Peters is an author, poet, playwright, and nature photographer residing in rural England. His recent memoir, Dip: Wild Swims from the Borderlands, recounts his experience with depression and the role of swimming in the outdoors in aiding his recovery. Andrew has been developing a deeper relationship with the countryside around his home, known as the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, through nature photography. His images of the region have been published in the British press and in two books, Wilderland: Wildlife and Wonder from the Shropshire Borders and Upland: Shropshire’s Long Mynd and the Stiperstones. Just before the lakes convention, Andrew spent time with the students at Wisconsin’s Northwest Passage program discussing photography, poetry and mental health. His talk at the convention reflected on his personal evolution and the importance of collective actions to protect the lands and waters we love.

Read an excerpt in Lake Tides (Vol.41-4) here​​​​​

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