Guest Lecture: Michael Nelson

Coming up on Tuesday, February 17, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Anderson 22, you are invited to join a guest lecture with Professor Michael P. Nelson: “The Science and Philosophy of Isle Royale Wolves and Moose: Toward the Inevitable Fusion.”

Isle Royale MooseIsle Royale is a remote wilderness island in Lake Superior, North America, and home to the longest continuous study of a predator-prey system in the world. Currently in the 56th year of the project, ecologists are learning how wolves and moose interact in this single-predator, single-prey system. But this isn’t just about long-term ecological science. The Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project team also includes geneticists, social scientists, filmmakers and one bewildered philosopher, Michael Paul Nelson. The project has had important implications for and direct impact on our policies about wolves, and offers an example of efforts to understand something about the human relationship with nature that lies at the edges, or requiring fusions, of our academic disciplines.

About the Speaker
A professor of environmental ethics and philosophy, Michael Paul Nelson holds the Ruth H. Spaniol Chair of Renewable Resources and serves as the lead principal investigator for the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Long-Term Ecological Research Program at Oregon State University. He also serves as a senior fellow with the Spring Creek Project for Nature, Ideas, and the Written Word; the philosopher in residence for the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project; and the co-director of the Conservation Ethics Group.  His most recent book, with Kathleen Dean Moore, is entitled Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. In his work he strives to combine the rigor of philosophical and ethical analysis with empirical insights gained from ecological and social science to begin to understand the answer to a single, simple question: What is an appropriate human relationship with the non-human world?

Photos © Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project.

Isle Royale Wolves