CLAS Lecture Series Starts With Local Food Advocate

Gary Paul Nabhan, an internationally known writer, conservationist, local food advocate and lecturer, will be the Distinguished Lecture Series speaker for October.

The series is sponsored by the University of Arizona Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science, or CLAS.

Nabhan's lecture, "Restoring Place-Based Foods to Our Tables: Fostering Regional Food Security in a Time of Economic and Climatic Change," is Thursday, Oct. 8, starting at noon at the Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm Street.

Registration starts at 11:30 a.m., and costs $35, which includes lunch. Seating is limited. To request a registration form or for more information, call 520-621-4090.

Nabhan, who is also a UA alumnus, is currently a research social scientist in the UA Southwest Center. In his lecture, Nabhan will link food diversity to food security and "just" access to culturally-appropriate foods in our multi-cultural region.

He also will highlight the work of a new borderlands food alliance that began at the UA, Sabores Sin Fronteras, that is working on reducing the carbon footprint of our food system by fostering "direct marketing of solar-saturated rather than fossil-fuel-saturated foods."

Dubbed the father of the local food movement by Mother Earth News, Nabhan has edited and authored more than 20 books on natural history, conservation, sustainable agriculture and culinary folklore.

He is the co-founder of Renewing America's Food Traditions Alliance, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Canyon Country Fresh Food Network and Amazon Conservation Team.

Active in the disciplines of conservation biology, biocultural geography, agro-ecology, literary natural history, and borderlands studies, Nabhan is involved in many interdisciplinary projects.

Nabhan is equally esteemed in both the scientific and literary communities. He has received a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, a Pew Scholarship on Conservation and Environment, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology.

Likewise, his writing is widely anthologized and translated, and he has won the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing, a Western States Book Award and a Lannan Literary Fellowship.

Nabhan's most recent book, "Arab/American: Landscape, Culture, and Cuisine in Two Great Deserts" (UA Press) is a finalist in the 2010 ONEBOOKAZ competition. This fall, Nabhan also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Carleton College in Minnesota.

The Distinguished Lecture Series features prominent scholars in the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science, which includes the colleges of Fine Arts, Humanities, Science and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The theme of this year's series is "New Intersections" and will explore the exciting interdisciplinary research in CLAS.

The series is sponsored by the UA Foundation.