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University of Nature

October 7, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm


Join The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education for a full-day of in-depth learning. The day offers a mixture of natural history, environmental art, and humanities. Sessions include urban coyotes, peregrine falcon ecology, environmental art, media and its influence on perceptions of the environment, and a hands-on workshop on restoring your yard or garden.


Members: $40
Non-Members: $50

Registration coming soon.

Not a member? Join today!

Sessions include:

Coyotes in our Midst: A Roundtable Conversation

Bernard “Billy” Brown, Christian Hunold & Dan Lynch

Keynote | 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Recent sightings of coyotes in Roxborough have jump started a community conversation about urban wildlife while presenting some interesting biological questions, especially the debate over whether or not this is a new species of wild dog.  Join us for a conversation about the behavior and natural history of urban coyotes, and how we might coexist with this intriguing animal.

Bernard “Billy” Brown, wildlife biologist and co-host of the Urban Wildlife Podcast, Drexel University’s Christian Hunold—who will share his stunning coyote photos—and the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Dan Lynch answer all your coyote questions.  


Restoration Techniques for Your Yard

Andrew Kirkpatrick, Schuylkill Center | 11:10 AM – 12:10 PM

Foster biodiversity by turning your yard into an eco-friendly habitat! In this workshop you’ll learn how to apply ecological restoration techniques to your own yard to restore ecosystem function whether in the city, suburbs, or country. Techniques from the practice of ecological restoration include stabilizing slopes to reducing runoff to managing garden invaders.  Join us to learn how to apply these methods to solve problems in your own yard or garden.

Space is limited for this session.

Media and the Politics of the Earth

Patrick Murphy, Temple University | 11:10 AM – 12:10 PM

Today’s global media sustains a potent new environmental consciousness. Paradoxically, it also serves as a far-reaching platform that promotes the unsustainable consumption ravaging our planet.  Patrick Murphy musters theory, fieldwork, and empirical research to map how the media draws the cultural boundaries of our environmental imagination, examining how how the media pushes us to save the whales even as we are invited to devour all the fish.

Patrick D. Murphy (Ph.D., Ohio University) is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production in the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. Additionally, he was a Fulbright-Garcia Robles fellow in Mexico, served as a delegate for the Latin America team of the American Documentary Showcase series, and taught as a visiting professor for the University or Virginia’s Semester at Sea program.

His teaching and research interests include global media, media and the environment, documentary media, media and social justice, ethnographic method, and Latin American media and cultural theory.  Murphy is author of The Media Commons: Globalization and Environmental Discourses (University of Illinois Press, 2017), co-editor of Negotiating Democracy: Media Transformation in Emerging Democracies (SUNY 2007) and Global Media Studies (Routledge, 2003), and his work has appeared in Communication, Culture and Critique; Communication Theory; Popular Communication; Cultural Studies; Environmental Communication, Global Media and Communication; Journal of International Communication; and Qualitative Inquiry as well as chapters in many edited books.  He has also translated into English articles by some of Latin America’s most prominent communication scholars.

Environmental Art

Ellie Irons, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | 12:20 – 1:20 PM

Explore an artisanal process for creating watercolors from wild urban plants during this hands-on workshop. As a method for exploring human engagement with weedy plants, artist Ellie Irons will lead participants in movement exercises, discussion, and plant-based storytelling over the course of the session. She will also demonstrate the process of making watercolor paints from common weedy species, culminating in a group painting activity.

Ellie Irons is an artist and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She works in a variety of media, from video to workshops to gardening, to reveal how human and nonhuman lives intertwine with other earth systems. She is co-founder of the Next Epoch Seed Library and the Environmental Performance Agency, and a contributor to the Chance Ecologies project. She will join the Electronic Arts PhD program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in September 2017.


Peregrine Falcons: The Death and Life of the World’s Fastest Bird

Dr. Doug Wechsler | 12:20 PM – 1:20 PM

While once endangered in the country and extinct in the Northeast, the peregrine falcon—the world’s fastest bird—has made a stunning comeback in Philadelphia, nesting on City Hall, our river’s bridges, and St. John’s church steeple in Manayunk.

Roxborough’s own Dr. Doug Wechsler, a wildlife biologist, book author, and extraordinary photographer, shares the story of the peregrine, from its near-death from egg-shelling thinning and DDT in the 60s to the recent resurgence in its population, while sharing the bird’s natural history and ecology.


October 7, 2017
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
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Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
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Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
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