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Robin Wall Kimmerer photo

The Stuckeman School will virtually host Robin Wall Kimmerer, scientist and author of the New York Times’ best-selling Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, for a Bracken Lecture at 6 p.m. on March 2 part of the school’s Lecture and Exhibit Series.

Cohosted by the Department of Landscape Architecture in partnership with The Arboretum at Penn State, the Sustainability Institute and Centre County Reads, “The Fortress, the River and the Garden” will be broadcast by WPSU. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register ahead of time via WPSU.

In the talk, Wall Kimmerer will examine the relationship among three metaphors for types of knowledge in application to the landscape. According to Wall Kimmerer, the fortress is the metaphor for the dominance of western science and its virtual erasure of Indigenous knowledge; the river refers to Indigenous models of autonomy and coexistence between western and Indigenous knowledge; and the garden examines the potential for a productive symbiosis between western and Indigenous knowledges, which could grow together in harmony.

Wall Kimmerer’s first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. Her work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain and numerous scientific journals. She tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s “On Being with Krista Tippett.” In 2015, she addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.”

Wall Kimmerer is a State University of New York (SUNY) College Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology. She is also the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, which strives to “create programs that draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability.”

Wall Kimmerer holds a bachelor’s degree in botany from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and master’s and doctorate degrees in botany from the University of Wisconsin.