Ecologically sound


Charlottesville writer Jennifer Ackerman will be the guest speaker of UVA’s Brown College as part of its ongoing series of Readings in Nature and Culture.

“Winter Ecology,” Ackerman’s talk at the Ivy Creek National Area, will include slides from her recent trip to Japan where she has been researching an article on wildlife conservation.

Ackerman is the author of two books, Notes From the Shore, a portrait of wildlife of the mid-Atlantic coast, and Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity. She is currently at work on a third book, which will explore the biological happenings within the human body over the course of 24 hours.

A former staff writer and researcher for the National Geographic Society, Ackerman has written on a wide range of nature and science topics. Her articles and essays have appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, and Natural History, and have been included in a number of literary anthologies. A Yale graduate with a degree in English, Ackerman brings a literary sensibility to her writing on scientific subjects.  People magazine has praised her “naturalist’s eye for detail and [her] poet’s soul.”

UVA’s Brown College sponsors an undergraduate seminar on environmental literature and hosts a distinguished American nature writer each semester. Past guests have included such luminaries as Wendell Berry, Rick Bass, Sue Hubbell, Scott Russell Sanders, and Janisse Ray. This semester’s seminar focuses particularly on local/bio-regional writers and writings.

Who knows what the weather may have in store for us for the next couple of weeks? Local ski slopes are open only off and on, and cold spells are routinely interrupted by balmy days. When in doubt, Ivy Creek always has something to offer, whether it’s an educational seminar or a jaunt through the grounds. The flora and fauna provide enough year-round interest to keep even the minimalist nature lover peeked with interest.


Jennifer Ackerman will speak at 10am on Saturday, February 23, at the Ivy Creek Natural area. Route 743. Call Ann Dickinson at 924-7859 for more information.