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The IIC hosts a variety of conservation lectures and panels, film screenings, information sessions, research presentations, and social events.

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Conservation Speaker Series

Each year the IIC collaborate with the W&M community and our conservation partners to produce a series of speaking events on a particular theme, designed to explore the different ways we can envision conservation and expand the landscape of opportunity to protect biodiversity. 

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2023-24 Series: Conservation Histories and Hope

This series focuses on the histories of specific conservation challenges, diverse conservation knowledges and perspectives, and emerging technologies and approaches that broaden or challenge conservation narrative and storytelling, and give us hope for the future of biodiversity conservation.

Check out our events anouncements (bottom of our home page). Get event details and register at WM events

This series features:

Sharon Wilcox: Senior Texas Representative, Defenders of Wildlife on "Borderland and Borderline: Seeking a path forward for endangered wild cats in the U.S.-Mexico frontera"

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka: Co-founder, Conservation Through Public Health on "Walking with Gorillas: Integrating health and people in conservation"

Ami Vitale: National Geographic photographer, filmmaker, writer, explorer and Executive Director of Vital Impacts on "Reframing the Narrative"

Steve DeRoy: Anishinaabe/Saulteaux, Co-founder and CEO of The Firelight Group on "Indigenizing the Map: Restorying and reconsciling our homelands using GIS"

Alex Dehgan: CEO, Conservation X Labs on "Preventing the next pandemic through planetary health"

2022-23 Series: Reimagining Protected Area Conservation

This theme calls on us to be open-hearted and open-minded learners, to consider multitude ways of perceiving, being in, and relating to each other and to our environments, to examine the foundational assumptions that much conservation is based on, and to explore alternative approaches to conservation in our rapidly changing world. 

This series features:

Nomvuselelo 'Mvusy' Songelwa: With South African National Parks since 1996. She is an expert in Management of Protected Areas at local, regional, and executive level, policy development and implementation and stakeholder engagement that spans from local communities to ministerial level. She is also a life coach, focussing on empowering, nurturing and guiding (mostly) women Executives.  Her talk is on "Reimagined Protected Area Conservation  A South African Experience"

Ken Ilgunas: Author, adventurer, and back country ranger. Ken has hitchhiked ten thousand miles across North America, paddled one thousand miles across Ontario in a birchbark canoe, and walked 1,700 miles across the Great Plains, following the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. He give a talk on "How we lost the right to roam, and how to take it back"

For a panel discussion: "Addressing Biodiversity Conservation Challenges and Environmental Injustices through GIS":

Breece Robertson: Director of Impact Assessment and Monitoring, One Tree Planted.

Sushma Shrestha: Social Scientist, Moore Center for Science, Conservation International.

Robert Rose: Executive Director W&M Institute for Integrative Conservation 

Christina Sabochick: GIS Fellow, W&M Center for Geospatial Analysis


For a panel discussion: "Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Hydropower Reform":

Jeremy Takala: Chair of the Fish and Wildlife, Law and Order, and Legislative Committees for the Tribal Council of the Yakama Nation Kahmiltpah, Rock Creek Band

Elaine HarveyFisheries biologist and Hydrosystems oversight coordinator and Environmental Coordinator of the Yakama Nation Kahmiltpah, Rock Creek Band

Wendy Poppy Ferris-GeorgeMPS-Cultural and Heritage Resource Management Archaeologist; Business Owner: Ferris Institute, World Renewal Non-Profit; Enrolled Hupa, descendant of the Karuk, Chameriko and Yurok Tribes

Brett FessellRestoration Section Leader and River Ecologist, Natural Resources Department, for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

2021-22 Series: Indigenous Voices in Conservation

This theme brings forward indigenous perspectives on conservation, which include perspectives on foundational orientations (ontologies, cosmologies, epistemologies, world views) definitions, environmental justice, equity, inclusion and diversity in conservation.

This series features: 

Charles F. Chuck Sams: Cayuse & Walla Walla, 19th Director of U.S. National Park Service. An evening discussion on the changing physical and public nature of U.S. public lands.

Kim Tallbear: Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society. A Talk on "Beyond Diversity, Inclusion, and Conservation to Decolonization in Science, Technology, and Policy"

Dina Gilio-Whitacker: Colville Confederated Tribes: An academic, journalist, author, and senior research associate and policy director at the Center for World Indigenous Studies.  A talk on "The Indigenous fight for Environmental Justice"

Wilbur Slockish, Jr.: Klickitat Band of the Yakama Nation, Yakima, Columbia River region. A talk on :"Reflections on the "Salmonscam" and his lifelong fight for tribal rights to clean water and health"

For a panel discussion: "The impact of informal road building on Indigenous communities and forest in Honduras"

Erik Nelson: Associate Professor at Northern Arizona University

Edgardo Benitz: Director, Instituto para un Futuro Común Amerindio

Jeremy Radachowsky: Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Mesoamerica program

2020-21 Series: Trailblazing Women in Conservation

This series brings forward diverse womens voices in global conservation. The series features:

Winona LaDuke: Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg: Native American activist, economist, and author, has devoted her life to advocating for Indigenous control of their homelands, natural resources, and cultural practices. 

Céline Cousteau: Documentary film director, producer, explorer, artist, public speaker, brand ambassador and designer. She is the Founder/Director of CauseCentric Productions and Co-Founder/ Chairman of the Board of the Outdoor Film Fellowship. She is the daughter of ocean explorer and filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau, and granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau.

Erin Spencer (W&M '24): Marine Ecologist, Science Communicator, National Geographic Explorer, and PhD candidate at Florida International University studying shark ecology and conservation.

Christine Wilinson: Conservation Biologist, National Geographic Explorer. She is Co-founder of Black Mammalogists Week—an event dedicated to creating a network of Black mammologists, addressing systematic racism in the conservation field, and developing opportunities for Black and POC scholars in the conservation field.

Tara StoinskiPrimatologist and President, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

Pauline Arroyo: Expert in Rights-based Conservation and Equitable Development and Program Officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Andes-Amazon Initiative.

Visit the IIC YouTube channel to see all of our recorded events and lectures. 

Film Screenings

The IIC partners with the Wild & Scenic Film Festival (WSFF) as an "On Tour" festival host. As a festival host, the IIC offers a series of streaming and in-person film screening events that align with our Conservation Speaker Series theme.

Film screening and streaming opportunities are be available at no cost to William & Mary students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the broader IIC network of conservation partners and allies. 

The WSFF, led by the South Yuba River Citizens League, inspires environmental activism and a love for nature–through film. Globally, Wild & Scenic On Tour generates critical funds and increases awareness for grassroots environmental causes. Much aligned with the IIC, the WSFF is committed to presenting diverse programming and is passionate about amplifying stories from voices and perspectives that often go unheard.

Conservation Career and Research Information Sessions

The IIC sponsors information sessions on a variety of conservation careers that intersect almost any discipline. Learn how you can apply your knowledge, skills, and passion in a rewarding conservation career!

The IIC hosts information sessions about the IIC and the research opportunitites available to W&M students. Join one of these sessions to learn about applied conservation research opportunites open to students in any major.

Social Events

The IIC invites you to a social events throughout the year including open houses, backyard grills, and a weekly coffee hour. 

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All of our posted events are free and open to the public. We look forward to sharing space, place, and memories with you.