Join UVA and National Geographic for the National Geographic On Campus program at the University of Virginia on March 1-2, 2019. We’re bringing together innovative National Geographic Explorers—photographers, scientists, storytellers, and educators—UVA scholars, and YOU!

You’ll explore solutions to the critical issues facing the planet—and its citizens—during the Science & Storytelling Symposium and gain real-world skills during our hands-on On Campus Workshops. We’ll also provide information about projects and grant programs available to students in a variety of disciplines.

This campus-wide event is open to all current undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and UVA faculty and staff. This year’s program focuses on “resilience” in partnership with the Environmental Resilience Institute. Explore your future and gain the tools you need to take your place among the world’s leading changemakers.

Science and Storytelling Symposium

March 1, 2019

Space is limited

This daylong symposium in Old Cabell Hall features dynamic panels exploring the topic of resilience. The speakers include ERI Director, Karen McGlathery, and affiliated faculty Scott Doney, Deborah Lawrence, Ellen Bassett, Matthew Burtner, and others. Panelists will address pertinent issues such as the global water crisis, the creation of resilient cities to support population growth, and the preservation of fading cultures. The program encourages discussion on these critical challenges facing our planet and actions that can be taken to empower communities in the face of change.

09:00 AM – 09:10 AM

Keynote: Michael “Nick” Nichols, National Geographic Photographer

09:10 AM – 09:30 AM

Panel: Waterways

09:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Clean, dependable water is critical for all life, and more than half of the world’s population lives on coasts and along rivers. But climate change, pollution, and development are threatening to make water security one of the defining issues of the 21st century. What is the status of the world’s water supply? How are scientists working with local communities to study and safeguard water resources? And what can we do to ensure that the world has enough water for all?

Scott Doney, Joe D. and Helen J. Kington Professor in Environmental Change, UVA // Greg Kahn, Documentary Fine Art Photographer // Andres Ruzo, Geoscientist, National Geographic Explorer // Wally Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology, UVA-Wise // Moderator: Karen McGlathery, Professor, UVA; Director, Environmental Resilience Institute, UVA


11:00 AM – 11:15 AM

Panel: Resilient Cities

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

By 2050, the world will have to support 9.8 billion people, and nearly 70 percent will live in cities. How can we create resilient cities that support both growing populations and the natural systems upon which all life depends?

Ellen Bassett, Associate Professor and Chair, Urban + Environmental Planning, UVA // Deborah Lawrence, Professor of Environmental Sciences, UVA // Lillygol Sedaghat, Fulbright-National Geographic Storyteller // Moderator: Rob Kunzig, Senior Environment Editor, National Geographic Magazine

Lunch (provided)

12:30 PM – 01:45 PM

Auksalaq: A Performance by EcoSono

01:45 PM – 02:15 PM

Auksalaq, the Inupiat word for “melting snow/ice,” is an opera by composer Matthew Burtner and visual media producer Scott Deal that provides an in-depth journey into the vast, remote—and rapidly changing—arctic regions of Alaska and Canada. Founded and directed by Matthew Burtner, EcoSono, a nonprofit environmental arts organization, is a collective of environmentalists, musicians, and artists working for environmental sustainability and human creativity in collaboration with nature.

Matthew Burtner, Professor of Composition and Computer Technologies, UVA // EcoSono Ensemble: Lisa Edwards-Burrs, voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano; I-Jen Fang, percussion; Travis Thatcher, technology

Resilience in the Era of Climate Change: A Conversation with Victoria Herrmann

02:15 PM – 02:45 PM

The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere else on the planet, but climate change is already affecting communities across the globe, including here in Virginia. UVA Ph.D. candidate Alison Glassie joins National Geographic Explorer Victoria Herrmann, president and managing director of The Arctic Institute, for an in-depth conversation about what her work in the Arctic has taught her about resilience, and how we can create more resilient communities in the era of climate change.

Victoria Herrmann, President and Managing Director, The Arctic Institute; National Geographic Explorer // Discussant: Alison Glassie, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, UVA


02:45 PM – 03:00 PM

Panel: Building Cultural Resilience

03:00 PM – 04:15 PM

Throughout history, many cultures have disappeared while others have survived. What lessons can we learn from those cultures that have endured and even thrived despite oppression, violence, and environmental hazards? And how can we build resilience among all cultures in our rapidly changing world?

Jennifer Kingsley, Journalist, National Geographic Explorer // Giulia Paoletti, Assistant Professor of African Art, UVA // Losang Rabgey, Co-founder and Executive Director of Machik, National Geographic Explorer // Moderator: Debra Adams Simmons, Executive Editor, Culture, National Geographic Magazine

Picturing Race at National Geographic and UVA: Susan Goldberg in Conversation with John Edwin Mason

04:15 PM – 04:45 PM

Pictures do more than just show us the world. By teaching us how to see the world, they also teach us what to think about it. But, sometimes, pictures lie.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for example, photography taught white Americans that people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America were not only different from them, but that they were inferior, as well. Images of African American delivered the same message. Photographs portrayed people of color as exotic, primitive, often dangerous, and almost always trapped in the past.

National Geographic magazine editor in chief, Susan Goldberg, joins UVA history professor, John Edwin Mason, for a frank discussion about how pictures both reflected and reinforced a larger cultural narratives about race, including Jim Crow segregation at home and colonialism abroad. Their conversation will address the University of Virginia’s visual and intellectual history and the early history of National Geographic magazine. They will also discuss the important steps that both institutions have taken to acknowledge their histories and transform their approaches to photography and other kinds of storytelling.

Susan Goldberg, Editorial Director, National Geographic Partners; Editor in Chief, National Geographic Magazine // John Edwin Mason, Associate Professor, Corcoran Department of History, UVA

Closing Remarks

04:45 PM

James Ryan, President, University of Virginia