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Re-Valuing the Ocean  Perspectives from the Law, the Sciences and the Blue Humanities  February 14th - 15th, 2019

Re-Valuing the Ocean is a two-day symposium connecting prominent ocean thinkers across multiple disciplines. Participants will spotlight the oceans’ centrality to global well-being, examine the ocean as a cultural object, and illuminate the oceans’ importance for both academic and popular audiences.

Utah is the perfect place to host an interdisciplinary conversation about the oceans. The Mountain West depends on the oceans for its weather, for its oxygen, for its CO2 uptake and for its dinner. At the same time, Utah is important to the world’s oceans because we are burning the coal that acidifies the reefs, eating the fish that are trawled there, importing our goods across the Pacific, and – now -- joining the conversation about ocean ecology.

Keynote Speaker

Jeremy B.C. Jackson is an emeritus professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and senior scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian. His books include Breakpoint: Reckoning with America’s Environmental CrisesandShifting Baselines: The Past and the Future of Ocean Fisheries.
He will deliver the public keynote address  "Humanity's Changing Relationship to the Ocean" at 6:30p.m. at Natural History Museum of Utah, 5th Fl.

Guest Speakers

  • Maxine Burkett, University of Hawaii, Professor of Law, Director of the Institute for Climate and Peace.
  • Chris Finlayson, Member of Parliament, Attorney General, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, New Zealand.
  • Tierney Thys, National Geographic Explorer and California Academy of Sciences.

University of Utah Participants

  • Hokulani Aikau, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies, University of Utah
  • Brenda Bowen, Director, Global Change and Sustainability Center, Associate Professor, Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah
  • Robin Craig, James I. Farr Presidential Endowed Professor of Law, University of Utah
  • Jeffrey McCarthy, Director, Environmental Humanities Graduate Program, Professor, Honors College, University of Utah
  • Thomas Michael Swensen, Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies, University of Utah


12:15 p.m

Green Bag Lecture at the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and Environment
S.J. Quinney College of Law
6th Floor
Dr. Jeremy B.C. Jackson, “Breakpoint—Reckoning with America’s Environmental Crises

6:30 p.m.

Opening Keynote Address: Dr. Jeremy B.C. Jackson, "Humanity's Changing Relationship to the Ocean"

Natural History Museum of Utah, 5th Fl.

S.J. Quinney College of Law, 6th floor 383 South University St.

8:00 a.m.

Buffet breakfast

8:30 a.m.

Introduction by Robin & Jeff

9:00 a.m.
PANEL #1: People Interacting with the Ocean

Moderator: Diana Leong, Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities and English, University of Utah

Steve Mentz
"Creating Ocean: Global Immersion and Pre-Modern Globalization"

Hokulani Aikau
"Intersection of Ocean and Land-Based Practices, from a Makau to Makai Perspective"

Margaret Cohen
"The Undersea Imagination: From Environment to Filmset, 1954-1956"

10:15 a.m.


10:45 a.m.
PANEL #2: Communicating the Ocean’s Importance

Tierney Thys
"The Human Face of the Ocean: Creative Conservation for the Unconverted"

Brenda Bowen
"The Power of Experiential Education and the Crafting of Narratives: Teaching about the Plastic Plague"

Robin Kundis Craig
"What’s the Value of a Marine National Monument? Massachusetts Loberstermen's Association v. Ross"

12:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m.
PANEL #3: Fisheries and Indigenous Rights

Moderator: Jeremy Jackson, Scripps, Smithsonian

Chris Finlayson
"Maori Fishing Rights and the Kermadec Sanctuary in New Zealand"

Joshua Reid

"Indigenous Environmental Activism along the Salish Sea"

Thomas Swensen
"Alaska Native Fishing Rights and Hynes v. Grimes Packing Co."

2:15 p.m.


2:45 p.m.
PANEL #4: Climate, the Ocean, and People

Moderator: Brett Clark, Associate Professor, Sociology Department, University of Utah

Maxine Burkette
"Climate Change Impacts on the Republic of the Marshall Islands" [remotely]

Kate Davies

"Adaptive and interactive futures: developing ‘serious games’ for coastal community engagement and decision-making"

Jeff McCarthy
"Literary Oceans: Ship, Crew, Climate"

4:00 p.m.

Final Facilitated Discussion

-What themes have emerged?
-How should we organize the conference volume?
-Next steps

Please contact Jeffrey McCarthy 801-585-7052 or Robin Craig 801-585-8228 with questions. Re-Valuing the Ocean is sponsored by S.J. Quinney College of Law, Environmental Humanities Graduate Program with generous support from Global Change and Sustainability Center, and Natural History Museum of Utah.


Last Updated: 6/3/21