Author Jack Nisbet to present the PNW Nov. 9 as it was seen in the 1820s

Monday, November 5, 2012 - 8:52am
Western Today staff


David Douglas. Image courtesy of the Oregon History Project.
David Douglas. Image courtesy of the Oregon History Project.

Author Jack Nisbet will present “David Douglas and the Landscape of the Pacific Northwest” as part of Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 in CF 125 on the Western campus.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Between 1825-33, Scottish naturalist David Douglas traveled with Hudson’s Bay Company fur men throughout their Columbia and New Caledonia Districts, actively interacting with the flora, fauna, and families that lived there. This slide presentation will focus on what ideas Douglas’s journals, letters, scientific specimens, taxonomy, artwork, and oral legacy can offer to understanding the place where we live today.

Spokane-based teacher and writer Jack Nisbet’s books include “Visible Bones,” “Purple Flat Top,” “Sources of the River,” and “The Mapmaker’s Eye.” “The Collector,” his biography of David Douglas, was named as one of the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Association’s 2010 Books of the Year. His latest title, “David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work,” is an illustrated collection of essays that both provide context for Douglas’s journeys and relate his work to the modern landscape. It serves as the companion book for a museum exhibit of the same name that is now open at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane.

The exhibit will travel to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma in Fall 2013.

The remaining fall-quarter speakers in the Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series are:

  • Nov. 16: Screening (excerpts) and discussion of the film “American Meat” with director-producer Graham Meriwether.
  • Nov. 30: The Future of Land, Land Trusts, and Food. Panelists: Laura Ridenour (Sustainable Connections Food and Farming Manager), Steve Hollenhorst (dean of the Huxley College of the Environment), Eric Carabba (Huxley Grad, Whatcom Land Trust Development Director), Samya Lutz (Fairhaven grad, Whatcom County Planning and Development Services).
  • Dec. 7: Scott Miles and Rebekah Green of Western’s Resilience Institute will speak on Japan's recovery in housing and critical infrastructure following its devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Anyone interested in these topics is encouraged to come and participate; the presentation will include a question-and-answer period. The speaker series is held by Western's Huxley College of the Environment to bring together the environmentally minded community and other interested members of the WWU and Bellingham communities. Speakers address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and the world.

For more information, please contact the main office of Huxley College of the Environment, at (360) 650-3520.

Western’s Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized national leader in producing the next generation of environmental stewards. The College’s academic programs reflect a broad view of the physical, biological, social and cultural world. This innovative and interdisciplinary approach makes Huxley unique. The College has earned international recognition for the quality of its programs.


David Douglas. Image courtesy of the Oregon History Project.