Panel to Discuss Ecology, Sustainability, Social Justice and the Arts in the Everglades

by FAU College of Arts and Letters | Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

The University Galleries in Florida Atlantic University's Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters presents a panel discussion on "Everything Everglades" on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in the University Theatre, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. Panelists will provide a variety of perspectives on the ecology, sustainability, social justice and the arts in the Everglades. The event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Common Ground: Artists in the Everglades," which is in the Schmidt Gallery through Wednesday, Nov.5. The exhibition and panel are free and open to the public.

"Common Ground" presents selected artists from Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE), a unique program that provides an opportunity for artists to reside within the Everglades National Park. This program was started in 2001 after the U.S. Congress passed the $8 billion Everglades Restoration Plan. The program brings professional artists to reside for one month within the park to create original works from their experience of living in our nation's most environmentally endangered eco-system. The exhibition aims to provide an overview of the dynamic works that have been produced by a variety of artists from this distinctive residency. 

The panel will be moderated by Patricia Widener, Ph.D., FAU associate professor of sociology. Widener studies the political economy of the environment and community responses to the social, economic and environmental impacts of oil disasters and natural resource extractions. Currently, she is developing research projects on climate change and food-system justice in South Florida. Panelists include:

  • Dale Gawlik, Ph.D., professor in FAU's Department of Biological Sciences and director of the environmental science program. Gawlik's broad research interests are in avian ecology, wetland ecosystems, and restoration ecology.  The main research questions being addressed in his lab focus on mechanisms by which prey in a fluctuating wetland become available to wading birds, the response of wading birds to prey limitations, and species-specific models of habitat suitability. 
  • Steve Traxler, senior biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Traxler has been working on the Everglade's restoration since 1996.  Recently, he is working on conservation adaptation planning for the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Traxler's other projects include Everglades RECOVER (System wide evaluation, monitoring and adaptive management team) and climate change. 
  • Tim B. Wride, the William and Sarah Ross Soter curator of photography at the Norton Museum of Art Florida. Wride will present in spring 2015, "Imaging Eden: Photographers Discover the Everglades," a two-year curatorial research project on the Everglades through the lens of local and national photographers.  
  • New York-based photojournalist Adam Nadel. Nadel is an exhibitor in "Common Ground," where he presents works from his series "Getting the Water Right," a project about the ecology and people in the Greater Everglades Watershed. 

The Schmidt Center Gallery will be open one hour prior to this event. The University Galleries at FAU are open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays, from 1 to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Group and class tours are welcome during public hours as well as at other times scheduled by appointment. Gallery exhibitions are sponsored by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. For more information, call 561-297-2661, email or visit