Thursday, December 11, 2008
Belleville BioClub Starts Speaker Series
Reception after Dr. Short's lecture
The Belleville East BioClub (Belleville IL) has started a Speaker Series to highlight outstanding orators in the St. Louis Area. On November 12, 2008 Dr. Philip Short gave a presentaiton titled "In the Shadow of the Shaman" See below for the Summary
Shadow of the Shaman The Loss of Traditional Ethnobotanical Knowledge in Suriname And the Implications for Education, Health, and Sustainability in the U.S. A Public Presentation by Dr. Philip C. Short An intricate knowledge of local plants is generally found in approximately 1/2 billion people living in tropical societies. Unfortunately, this traditional ethnobotanical knowledge (TEK) – so long a vital part of indigenous culture as food, shelter, and medicine – is being lost among the younger cohorts in many societies. In the culturally and biologically diverse Amazonian country of Suriname, the lure of modernization is not matched by promised benefits, and the loss of TEK creates a deficit in food and medicine. You are invited to come for a captivating experience with Dr. Short as he follows an elderly shaman, Frits, from the Saramaccan clan of Suriname’s Busi Negro rainforest culture. As an aging medicine men and native botanist, Frits is on an urgent quest to transfer his knowledge to the next generation. Explore a colorful landscape of rivers, rainforests, birds, reptiles, bats, and howler monkeys while being enlightened in the shadow of the shaman. Dr. Philip Short has a bachelors degree in biology and chemistry, a masters degree in zoology, and a Ph.D. in science and environmental education. He has taught a variety of science courses over 25 years from middle school through university graduate courses. He currently teaches wildlife biology and advanced ecology at Belleville Township High School East, conducts research and coordinates environmental education workshops at the Center for Instruction, Staff Development, and Evalutaion, and is a consulting editor for the Journal of Environmental Education. From his rural childhood exploring forested ravines and river swamps to wilderness adventures and interactions with local people in diverse settings, Dr. Short’s philosophical approach to experiential learning stimulates dialogue on the ultimate relevance of our educational systems.