2018-2019 Philosophy Symposium – “The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship” (Part 2)

Our 2018-2019 Philosophy Symposium Series “The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship” looked at numerous philosophical issues & perspectives related to ethics, the environment, and conservation stewardship, ranging from:

  • Part 1: public vs. private land (including individual rights, collective rights, indigenous rights, other)
  • Part 2: landowner/steward-wildlife and habitat relationships (including agricultural, ranching & other relationships), and
  • Part 3: current & future environmental/conservation challenges

At this symposium — (Part 2 of 3) — five panelists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds focused on the second of these three areas of discussion — landowner-steward & wildlife-habitat relationships. What specifically was focused on within this overall topic varied based on the individual disciplines and life experiences of each speaker. Panelists poke for 7-10 minutes each, then the forum was opened up to free-flowing audience-panelist Q & A.  Please scroll down for the audio-video recording of the panelist presentations; a recording of the Q & A will be added soon.

Our Guest Panelists

Learn more about our guest panelists...

Marie Z. Bourgeois, MA (Engineer, Certified Biomimicry Professional & Associate Professor, Arizona State University).  Marie Zanowick Bourgeois is a creative civil engineer with 25 years of experience working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability.  Her work at EPA included assisting federal agencies in developing and implementing sustainability management systems, as well as providing technical assistance to EPA, Federal, State and local governments and industry to find innovative ways to reduce pollution and move toward sustainability.  Marie also served as an EPA international expert to provide regulatory and sustainability assistance to developing countries.  A graduate of the Biomimicry 2010 Masters Degree Program, Marie combines her educational background in Public Health Biology from the University of Colorado, her MS degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and her MS from Arizona State University in Biomimicry with her regulatory experience and facilitation skills to produce innovative solutions to a wide range of challenges.  Marie’s method of choice for solving environmental challenges is biomimicry.  Recently retired from government service, Marie teaches courses in biomimicry at ASU and is discovering places in her local community where biomimicry can assist in applying nature’s genius to a range of projects and influence emerging engineers. 

Thomas Baumeister, PhD (Conservationist, Educator & President, Orion – The Hunter’s Institute).  Thomas co-founded and currently runs Access WILD, a business devoted to introducing people to the wilds of the West. As Faculty Associate at Carroll College and Arizona State University, he teaches courses on ​The Science, Ethics, and Practice of Animal Welfare​; Wild Animals & Society; The Human-Nature Connection​; and ​The Biomimicry Ethos—A Pathway from Practice to Philosophy​.  While serving as Conservation Education Bureau Chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Thomas facilitated the establishment of Montana WILD, wrote the state’s hunter education manual, and chaired the committee for the International Hunter Education Association to develop U.S. hunter education standards.  In addition to serving as Board President for Orion – The Hunter’s Institute, he also serves on the board of the Helena Hunters and Anglers Association and is chair of the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame.  Thomas has been recognized as “Professional of the Year” by the International Hunter Education Association and is a three-time recipient of the Montana Governor’s Award for “Excellence in Performance.” He holds two M.S. degrees and a Ph.D. in Biology and Wildlife Biology from Universities in Germany and Montana

Lisa Kemmerer, PhD (Professor of Philosophy & Religion, Montana State University Billings).  Kemmerer is a philosopher-activist and professor of Philosophy & Religions at Montana State University Billings.  Her area of focus concerns the environment, non-human animals, and disempowered human beings.A graduate of Reed, Harvard, and Glasgow University (in Scotland), Lisa is an internationally known speaker and award-winning author with more than 100 scholarly articles and nine published books, including: Eating Earth, Animals & World Religions, and Sister Species.  She is also the founder of Tapestry:  Women’s Institute of Integrated Justice – a nongovernmental organization that works against systematic oppression with a focus on speciesism and sexism.

Patrick Kelly, PhD (Philosopher & Conservationist, University of Montana).  Patrick earned his M.A. in Philosophy from the University of New Mexico, with a focus on environmental ethics, and his PhD in Forestry and Conservation from the University of Montana, where he partnered with the US Forest Service on wilderness ethics and management.  Patrick works at the confluence of philosophy and environmental policy and has a strong interest in applying critical thinking to the many pressing ecological issues facing our species and the rest of life on our planet.  He believes the most important task ahead for philosophy is to contribute to the formation of effective policy and to the clear articulation of environmental values. As a lifelong backpacker, fly fisherman, and lover of all things riparian, Patrick has a strong personal and emotional connection to the land and to all of the processes that sustain it.  This connection is, in turn, what sustains and motivates him to work however he can to contribute to a vision of respectful stewardship for the only planet we have.   

Gary Burnett, MA (Conservationist & Executive Director, Heart of the Rockies Initiative).  Gary has 35 years of experience in natural resource management and nonprofit development. He holds an MA in Wildlife Biology from University of Montana, and served as the Blackfoot Challenge’s Executive Director for ten years before joining the Heart of the Rockies Initiative in November 2017 as their executive director.  Gary has worked with and for public and private landowners/managers on land protection and stewardship, and has developed and directed annual fund, major gift and planned giving programs for local, regional and national organizations. He serves on the leadership team for Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, the coordinating committee for the Network for Landscape Conservation, the Executive Committee for the Board of Sustainable NorthwestGary also volunteers on the local fire department as a fire fighter and board member.

Co-Directors & Facilitator

Learn more about our co-directors & facilitator...

Marisa Diaz-Waian is the Founder & Executive Director of Merlin CCC.  Born in Santa Monica, CA, she spent the majority of her formative years along the coastlines of Southern & Northern California.  As she grew older, Ennis, Bozeman & Helena, MT became regular stomping grounds.  Her summers were frequently spent fly fishing, bird watching & “wandering into the great wide open” with her late father (and buddy), Lee. B. Waian.  Marisa happily “hangs her hat” at Merlin Nature Preserve (located just outside of Helena) & serves as its trustee and steward.  A Summa Cum Laude graduate of San Diego State University, Marisa has an M.A. in Philosophy (and a B.A. in Psychology & Philosophy), was a high school & collegiate scholar-athlete & civilian member of the U.S. Marine Corps (Camp Pendleton) Women’s Basketball Team.  She has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and regularly participates/presents at academic & professional conferences and events.  Marisa also holds credentials in basic & elder mediation, advanced-status philosophical practitioner credentials in Logic-Based Therapy, is an assistant and trainer for the U.S. LBT Institute of Critical Thinking & the National Philosophical Counseling Association, a referee for The Journal of Ethics: An International Philosophical Review, and an Adjunct Philosophy Instructor at Carroll College.

Mark Smillie is a professor in the Philosophy Department at Carroll College. He received a B.A. from Thomas Aquinas College, and a Ph.D. in 1992, from the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in medieval philosophy, the Philosophy of Human Being, and teachers applied ethics courses in Bioethics, Business Ethics, and Environmental Ethics.  He recently co-edited the book, Augustine and the Environment. He has given papers/presentations on Thomas Aquinas, Catholic Identity, End of Life Decision-Making, Artificial Intelligence, and other issues.

Michael Chapman has been a loyal volunteer of the Merlin team since we opened our doors for business in the Winter of 2015.  In addition to research and assistance with many of our community events, Michael donates his time and expert photography skills to Merlin CCC, helping us capture memorable moments at numerous of our organization activities.  He also plays an integral role in the development and implementation of our philosophy walks and symposiums.  A compulsive philosopher and perpetual student, Michael has a B.S. in science from the US Naval Academy and graduate work in solar energy and the future of climate via an Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of Montana.  He regularly audits philosophy courses at Carroll College, has consistently served as a firetower watchman in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and enjoys writing, philosophy, history of ideas, brain and neuroscience, complexity science, evolution, nature photography, and much more.

Chris Fuller is the Dean of Mission Integration and Effectiveness and the Director of the Hunthausen Center for Peace & Justice here at Carroll College.  Chris earned his Ph.D. at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., where he concentrated on blending biblical studies with film studies. His B.A. is in Mass Media Communications from UCLA and his M.A. is in Biblical Studies from the Graduation Theological Union. From 1995 until his hiring at Carroll, Dr. Fuller taught at Saint Mary’s College of California near San Francisco and served as its campus minister. Outside of work, Dr. Fuller’s main hobby is spending time with his family and photography. 

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