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  • January 23, 2023 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    On Friday, January 27 at 7:00 PM ET, filmmaker John de Graaf will premier his new film, “Stewart Udall and the Politics of Beauty” at the National Conservation Training Center, Byrd Auditorium, 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV.

    "Stewart Udall and the Politics of Beauty" is a feature documentary for Public Television and beyond that examines the trajectory of Udall’s life from his childhood through his Mormon mission, his World War II service, his student years at the University of Arizona, his time in Congress, and then, most significantly, his years as Secretary of the Interior. The program introduces us to the birth pangs of modern environmental politics, to figures like Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, David Brower, and John Saylor. We see how Udall’s ideas evolved, best illustrated in his conversion from a pro-power dam Arizona representative to the Interior Secretary who dealt the death blow to proposed Grand Canyon dams. The film examines his long fight to win compensation for Navajo Indians and “downwinders” who got cancer from their exposure to radiation during the Cold War without being warned of the dangers. The film explores the relevance of his concerns including being one of the first public officials to speak out about global warming.

    Americans are looking for positive inspiration. The story of Stewart Udall brings audiences such inspiration and more. No American political figure is as relevant to the issues we face today as a nation--learning to work together, achieving racial and environmental justice, improving international relations, enhancing beauty and the arts, alleviating climate change and moving toward sustainability--as Stewart Udall.

    John de Graaf has been producing and directing PBS documentaries for 43 years. He spent 31 years at KCTS, the Seattle PBS affiliate. Fifteen of his programs have been broadcast nationally in primetime on PBS, including his 1997 hit special, Affluenza. He has directed and written many biographies and history programs, including the PBS National Earth Day 1990 Special, For Earth’s Sake: The Life and Times of David Brower, which includes an interview with Stewart Udall. His 1992 biography of Japanese American internment resister Gordon Hirabayashi, A Personal Matter, won the highest award for legal reporting from the American Bar Association and inspired the acclaimed play Hold These Truths. He has won more than 100 regional, national, and international filmmaking awards, and The John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award, named for him, is presented annually at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in California.

    Online broadcast date: February 2, 2023 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET, John de Graaf on his new film “Stewart Udall and the Politics of Beauty” Online at:

    For more information, please contact Mark Madison (304-876-7276)

  • January 13, 2023 3:41 PM | Anonymous

    On Monday January 23 at 7:00 PM ET author and former Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, H. Dale Hall, will present a lecture on his new book “Compelled: The Evolution of Natural Resource Conservation and Law” at the National Conservation Training Center, Byrd Auditorium, 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV.

    “Compelled” unfolds the journey of a young U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist being thrust into the controversial world of national conservation issues and the methods used to resolve them. The evolution of conservation history is told through the eyes of a first-hand witness to the first court challenge to the U.S. Clean Water Act and its protection of Waters of the United States, the introduction of expertise in environmental contaminants to unveil the harm of environmental pollutants in federal water development projects, the history of how conservation in the United States was championed by hunters and anglers, the often painful history of the northern spotted owl and the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), western water wars, and the complete story of the listing of the polar bear as America’s first threatened species under the ESA as a result of global warming. This epic journey also identifies the only real pathway to solving these complex issues: by opening the door for cooperative efforts and building trust between seemingly opposing interests.

    H. Dale Hall has more than forty years of professional experience in fish and wildlife resource management in both the federal and private sectors. He served over thirty years in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with duties reaching across the U.S. In the course of those assignments, Hall worked on nearly every high-profile environmental issue in America. A fisheries and wetlands biologist by training, Hall spent significant time working on the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. In his last three and a half years with the FWS, he was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Following retirement from federal service, Hall was CEO of Ducks Unlimited, Inc., for over nine years. During that time, the organization raised more than $2.3 billion and conserved more than two million acres of wetlands, grasslands, and waterfowl habitat.

    There will be an online re- broadcast on January 26, 2023 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

    H. Dale Hall, on his new book “Compelled: The Evolution of Natural Resource Conservation and Law” Online at:

    For more information, please contact Mark Madison (304-876-7276)

  • December 12, 2022 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    The NCTC Conservation Lecture Series will be hosting “Injurious Wildlife Under the Misunderstood Lacey Act" with Susan Jewell, Injurious Wildlife Listing Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on January 5, 2023 at 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET. It will be online at:

    What is the “Lacey Act” and how can it prevent invasions of injurious wildlife?

    How can a conservation law from 1900 still be so relevant today?

    The law commonly known as the “Lacey Act” has diverged over the years into two provisions, one of which is the Federal designation of injurious wildlife species. That purpose has always been to protect the United States from the introduction of invasive and otherwise harmful wildlife. Injurious listing prohibits the importation of wild vertebrates and some invertebrates that can cause harm to wildlife resources, humans, and other U.S. interests. However, most natural resource biologists and managers are more familiar with the more prominent provision of the “Lacey Act,” which tackles trafficking of wildlife and plants. What the “Lacey Act” is and isn’t and the difference between the injurious and trafficking provisions will be explained. The presentation will emphasize how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service focuses on adding high-risk wildlife species to the Federal injurious list before they become established and how effective that has been in preventing the establishment of those injurious animals. Finally, the relevance of injurious wildlife listing to the COVID-19 pandemic may surprise you.

    Susan (Su) Jewell is the Injurious Wildlife Listing Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, based in the headquarters in northern Virginia. She coordinates the regulatory listing of harmful wildlife species as injurious, which prohibits their importation. She is an authority on the 122-year history of injurious wildlife listing, known as part of the “Lacey Act”. Prior to her 12 years working on injurious wildlife, she spent 11 years with the Service’s Endangered Species program, and 12 years in the Everglades studying alligators, wading birds, fisheries, and ecosystem health. Su holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont and a M.S. in Systematics and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut.

  • December 05, 2022 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    "Silent Spring at 60 with author Linda Lear" will be December 8, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET at: Tune-in online from the NCTC Studio where Dr. Mark Madison will host an interview with author Linda Lear to discuss Silent Spring at 60 and recall Rachel Carson’s 16 year career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

    Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, published in 1962, did more than any other single publication to alert the world to the hazards of environmental contaminants and to inspire a powerful environmental movement that would alter the course of American history.

    Linda Lear is the author of the acclaimed biography, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature (1997). She is also the editor of Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1998) - a collection of Carson’s writings over the course of her life. Linda Lear is the author of numerous academic and popular articles on Carson, as well as the author of introductions to the 40th and 50th anniversary editions of Silent Spring. (2002, 2012).

    Lear's biography of Carson was awarded the prize for the best book on women in science by the History of Science Society in 1999. Chatham University (Carson’s alma mater) conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters on Linda in 2008 for her research and writing on women in the environment. Lear’s research papers and adjunct collections dealing with Carson’s life, Carson’s friends and colleagues, and the controversy over Silent Spring form the core of the Lear/Carson Collection at The Linda Lear Center for Archives and Special Collections at Connecticut College in New London, CT. Lear is also the biographer of the English author, artist and naturalist Beatrix Potter. Her prize-winning book, Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature (2007) was published in the UK as Beatrix Potter: The Extraordinary Life of a Victorian Genius. (2008)

  • November 07, 2022 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    “Wild by Design: The Rise of Ecological Restoration” with author Laura Martin will be an in-person, public lecture, as NCTC's campus is back open! It will be held on Monday November 14, 2022 at 7:00 pm at the Byrd Auditorium, National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV.

    The online broadcast will be available for this in-person lecture on Thursday November 17, 2022 at 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET. You can follow this link to see it:

    Wild by Design examines how in our age of biodiversity crisis, many wild species will not survive without acts of human care. What should that care look like? And how can ecological restoration be made socially just? In her new book, historian and ecologist Laura Martin asks what we can learn from the past century of ecological restoration, including the work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from predator eradication to captive breeding to assisted migration.

    Laura J. Martin is a historian and ecologist who studies how people shape the habitats of other species. She is the author of Wild by Design and articles in journals including Environmental History and Science. Her writing and research have been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. She is an environmental studies professor at Williams College and is working on a global history of hormonal herbicides.

    No tickets or reservations are required.

    For more information, please contact Mark Madison (304-876-7276)

  • August 19, 2022 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    Author and University of Delaware Professor, Douglas Tallamy, will present a lecture on his book, Nature's Best Hope on Wednesday, September 14 at 1:00 PM (ET), here:

    The award-winning author and entomologist will discuss his new “Homegrown National Park” initiative.

    Douglas W. Tallamy’s first book, Bringing Nature Home, awakened thousands of readers to an urgent situation: wildlife populations are in decline because the native plants they depend on are fast disappearing. His solution? Plant more natives.

    In Nature's Best Hope, Tallamy takes the next step and outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. Nature’s Best Hope shows how homeowners everywhere can turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats. Because this approach relies on the initiatives of private individuals, it is immune from the whims of government policy. Even more important, it’s practical, effective, and easy—you will walk away with specific suggestions you can incorporate into your own yard.

    If you’re concerned about doing something good for the environment, Nature’s Best Hope is the blueprint you need. By acting now, you can help preserve our precious wildlife—and the planet—for future generations.

    Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 106 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 41 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities.

    His books include Bringing Nature Home, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller and, The Nature of Oaks, winner of the American Horticultural Society’s 2022 book award. In 2021 he cofounded the “Homegrown National Park” program with Michelle Alfandari. His awards include recognition from The Garden Writer’s Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, Allegheny College, The Garden Club of America and The American Horticultural Association.

    For more information on the “Homegrown National Park” initiative and Tallamy’s books visit:

  • March 22, 2022 3:27 PM | Anonymous

    On Wednesday, April 13 at 3:00 PM (ET), author and University of Florida History Professor, Jack E. Davis will present “The Bald Eagle – The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird” online at the National Conservation Training Center broadcast page: This Pulitzer Prize-winning author will discuss his sweeping cultural and environmental history of the bald eagle in America.

    The Bald Eagle forces us to reconsider the story of America through the lens of our relationship to the natural world. As Davis reveals, no other animal in American history, certainly no avian one, has been the simultaneous object of such adoration and cruelty as the bald eagle – first beloved and hailed as an emblem of the rarefied natural environment of North America, then hated, and, finally, revered and protected.

    Jack E. Davis is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea and An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century. The Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities at the University of Florida, he lives in Florida and New Hampshire.

  • February 17, 2022 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    On Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. (ET) author Finis Dunaway will present “Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice” online on the National Conservation Training Center Livestream.

    This talk will focus on his recent book, “Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice” (2021). Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most contested lands in all of North America. Considered sacred by Indigenous peoples in Alaska and Canada and treasured by environmentalists, the refuge provides life-sustaining habitat for caribou, polar bears, migratory birds, and other species. The potential presence of oil and gas resources beneath the refuge's coastal plain has made this land the focus of ongoing controversy. Defending the Arctic Refuge reveals how unlikely activists, diverse alliances, and grassroots visual culture helped build a political movement that transformed the issue into a struggle for environmental justice. The talk will share stories from the book, feature images from Arctic lands and communities, and trace the history of a movement that is still alive today.

    Finis Dunaway is professor of history at Trent University. He is the author of “Natural Visions: The Power of Images in American Environmental Reform” (2005) and “Seeing Green: The Use and Abuse of American Environmental Images” (2015). “Seeing Green” received the John G. Cawelti Award from the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and the History Division Book Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. His writings have also appeared in American Quarterly, Environmental History, and other scholarly journals and in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Hill, Truthout, and the Globe and Mail.

    For more information, please contact Mark Madison (304-876-7276; or visit

  • February 09, 2022 3:27 PM | Anonymous

    This two-part lecture will take place on Monday, February 28, 2022 at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History & Education Auditorium, Shepherdstown, WV.

    The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia will present two talks on actions for climate resiliency and forest conservation in West Virginia and the Appalachians. The lectures are as follows: "Restoring an Iconic West Virginia Ecosystem: Status and Outlook for High Elevation Forests in West Virginia with Mike Powell" (5 p.m. EST) and "Resiliency in Appalachia: Conservation, Climate and Community Actions with Thomas Minney" (7 p.m. EST).

    Both presentations are free and open to the public (masks required) at the Robert C. Byrd Center Auditorium or you may RSVP to receive a link for virtual attendance.

    Mike Powell is director of lands for The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia, where he manages a portfolio of conserved lands, including a network of nature preserves and conservation easements. He has been principally interested in restoration of the red spruce ecosystem since joining the Conservancy in 2006.

    Thomas Minney, a Shepherd graduate, has been the state director of The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia since 2015. He has worked closely with private landowners, industry, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, researchers, scientists, energy industry partners, and others to identify, prioritize, protect, and restore the Central Appalachians and West Virginia’s natural resources.

  • February 02, 2022 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    Join NCTC host, FWS Historian Dr. Mark Madison, and his guests; Maime Parker, Ariel Elliott, and Lois Johnson-Mead for this special Martin Luther King Day broadcast, from the NCTC studio.

    Throughout "Working Towards the Dream - Past, Present & Future", the panelists will be taking a look at Dr. Martin Luther King's contributions to the civil rights movement, as well as his conservation efforts. They'll also discuss the legacy of other African American conservationists using original film clips and archival objects to enhance their discussion.

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