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UNM Hosts Symposium On Alaska's Ecological Future

Subhankar Banerjee
Snow Geese I | Oil and the Caribou | 2002 | 59 in. x 74 in.

Tucked into the tax bill that Congress passed in December was a provision authorizing oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  This is a move that UNM Professor Subhankar Banerjee has been working for years to prevent, through lectures, articles and most importantly his photographs of the region's unspoiled beauty.  He has organized a symposium on Arctic Alaska, the last oil, February 21-23 at UNM.  It is free and open to the public.

"This is not an academic symposium," says Professor Banerjee.  "Its purpose is to address our ecologically precarious time in the Trump administration.  This convening will be the first of its kind nationally.  We are bringing in scientists, artists, indigenous activists, writers, conservationists, to have conversations on how we actually deal with this, and then what is the path forward."

In this longer version of the conversation, Professor Banerjee talks about some of the speakers whom he has invited to participate in the symposium.   He also explains that the symposium's website includes not just information on the Albuquerque gathering but will become an ongoing resources page for this issue as well as other ecological and indigenous rights issues.


Spencer Beckwith reports on the arts for KUNM. For ten years, until March of 2014, Spencer was the producer and host of KUNM's "Performance New Mexico," a weekday morning arts program that included interviews with musicians, writers and performers. Spencer is a graduate of the acting program at the Juilliard School, and, before moving to New Mexico in 2002, was for many years a professional actor based in New York City.
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