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April 11, 2012


The University of Maine at Fort Kent's third annual Scholars' Symposium, to be held on Friday, April 20, will feature a keynote address by the internationally-acclaimed author and ecologist, Dr. Sandra Steingraber, author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment.

The day-long celebration of scholarly work will feature oral and poster presentations, exhibits, and performances by more than 100 current UMFK students. The theme of this year's symposium is: One World, One Health.

UMFK's Scholar Symposium is open to the general public.

Keynote speaker Steingraber is a recognized authority on the environment, links to cancer, and human health. Her highly-acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, presents cancer as a human rights issue. Originally published in 1997, it was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries and won praise from international media including The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, The Lancet, and The London Times.

Dr. Steingraber's address at the Scholars' Symposium will be: A Tree with Two Trunks: Dispatches from the Environmental Human Rights Movement.

Also scheduled to speak at the symposium are Dr. Dan Ferber, award-winning science writer/author, and Dr. Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh, associate vice president for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity at the University of Southern Maine.

Dan Ferber will kick-off this year's event with an address: Climate Change as a Health Crisis: Disease, Disasters, and a Path to Resilience, on the eve of the symposium, Thursday, April 19, at 7 p.m., in UMFK's Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room.

Dr. Ferber is coauthor of the new book, Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do about It.

In his symposium kick-off address, Ferber will look at how the climate crisis threatens our health and what we can do about it. Ferber's work on Changing Planet, Changing Health helped him tie such threads together and grasp the fundamental interconnections human health, healthy ecosystems, and a livable climate.

Dr. Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh will speak Friday morning in Fox Auditorium. Her address will be: Getting the lead out of urban residential soils of Portland, Maine.

Dr. Langley-Turnbaugh teaches classes in Soil and Land Use; Soil and Water Conservation and Engineering; Bioremediation; and Phytoremediation and Forest Ecology. Her areas of research interest include the role of soils and dust in triggering adult and childhood asthma, the applications of phytoremediation techniques in mitigating lead contamination in urban soils, and the interactions between soil quality and vegetation health in urban and forest ecosystems.

In its relatively short history, the UMFK Scholars' Symposium has helped foster a community of engaged educators, researchers, and life-long learners who value academic excellence, scholarship, and intellectual curiosity.

During the past two years, the day has presented stimulating presentations and discourse focused on issues relevant to the region and to UMFK's mission of providing students with experiential learning, and nurturing responsible citizenship, and environmental stewardship.

For further information about the Scholars' Symposium, please visit the website at: