Suggested Festival Programs for the Environmentalist


Like you, these authors are inspired by the beauty of nature and more concerned than ever about taking steps to protect it. The following programs consider the environment (and our relation to it) in illuminating and surprising ways. Attend them all and come away with a new perspective on how science, art, philosophy, and public policy intersect to shape the climate we live in. With a guided nature walk on Sunday’s agenda, you can even get outdoors while you’re at it! Keep reading for some highlights in our 2020 programming for environmentalists and nature lovers…

Following Bird Migrations: Kenn Kaufman
Wed. March 18, 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Jefferson-Madison Regional Library
Author, artist, and nationally acclaimed conservationist Kenn Kaufman (A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration) provides a keynote presentation on his lifelong work as a birder, which has carried him around the globe. His most recent book takes a timely, in-depth look at the effect of climate change on birds’ migratory patterns.

Science, Public Policy, and Law
Thurs. March 19, 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Uva Harrison Institute/Special Small Collections
Scientific discussion and political debate have long been tinged with disagreement about what constitutes “truth.” Authors and experts in their fields Sarah Milov (The Cigarette: A Political History), Igor Volsky (Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns), and James C. Zimring (What Science is and How it Really Works) offer clear-sighted takes on how scientific studies have been historically manipulated for economic and political gain.

Does Good Exist?
Fri. March 20, 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Corcoran Department of Philosophy at UVa
Explore existential questions with Lulu Miller (Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life) and Maggie Paxson (The Plateau), whose personable books cross disciplines to blend science, biography, and history with memoir and introspection to delve deep into philosophical and moral issues.

Writing the Anthropocene
Sat. March 21, 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
New Dominion Bookshop
What exactly is the Anthropocene epoch, and what does it feel like to inhabit it? Novelists Amitav Ghosh (Gun Island), Lindsay Lerman (I’m From Nowhere), and Johanna Stoberock (Pigs) consider the emotional and narrative impacts of our contemporary climate and species crisis.

Seeing Nature Anew
Sat. March 21, 12:00 PM-1:30 PM
New Dominion Bookshop
Merging memoir, poetry, natural history, and geography, Thorpe Moeckel (Down by the Eno, Down by the Haw), Margaret Renkl (Late Migrations), and Laura-Gray Street (editor, A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia) share perspectives on their engagement with the Appalachian landscape. Rivers, watersheds, mountain peaks, and woods will all be discussed as sources of inspiration and reverence.

Bird Walk at Ivy Creek with Kenn Kaufman
Sun. March 22, 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Ivy Creek Natural Area
The early bird catches the worm! Join lifelong birder Kenn Kaufman and other nature enthusiasts on a bright and early guided walk through the Ivy Creek Natural Area. You’ll be sure to see something new, whether you know the area or not. Binoculars will be provided in limited quantities.

Explore additional programming for environmentalists in the 2020 Festival schedule by clicking here.