Australian artist, rancher, and UNL panel to address environment Oct. 5

 Mandy Martin and Guy Fitzhardinge
Mandy Martin and Guy Fitzhardinge

"Braided Channels: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on Environmental Art, Science, and Humanities focused on the Australian Outback and the American Great Plains" is the focus of two talks and a panel discussion 2-5 p.m., Oct. 5 in the Great Plains Art Museum.

UNL associate professor of English Tom Lynch organized the fall Plains Humanities Alliance Research and Region event, bringing two Australian environmentalists to speak at UNL along with a panel of UNL and community experts. The talks are free and open to the public.

Mandy Martin, one of Australia's leading contemporary artists, will speak on "Landscape Studies: Environmental Art and the Impulse to Conserve." Guy Fitzhardinge, a rancher who manages several properties in New South Wales and Queensland, will speak on "Production Lands, Philanthropy, and Biodiversity." Both speakers are involved in promoting environmental protection and sustainable rural economic development in arid and semi-arid grasslands.

Members of the panel are UNL associate professor of art and art history Dana Fritz; UNL assistant professor of art and art history Jeff Thompson; UNL professor of English Robert Brooke; UNL extension specialist Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel; UNL associate geoscientist Mark Burbach; Martin Massengale, Foundation Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Grassland Studies; National Drought Mitigation Center researcher Donna Woudenberg; Teresa Franta, communications fellow with the Grassland Foundation; and Larkin Powell, UNL professor in the School of Natural Resources.

"The braided river channels of both the Australian Outback and the American Great Plains provide an imaginative model for how different academic disciplines, different human communities, and diverse ways of knowing can combine to further conservation efforts and to nurture a common human and natural landscape," said Lynch.

For more information, go to or call 402-472-3082.