Earth Day With J.

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | April 22, 2008 8:24 am

I can’t think of a better way to kick off Earth Day 2008 than brunch with Wallace J. Nichols – third culture oceanographer and Ocean Conservancy senior scientist. Later today, he’s giving a keynote address here at Duke, so it’s a good opportunity for us to catch up. Readers may remember J.’s research featured here on loggerhead sea turtles last October, and tonight he’ll announce the winner of the first annual EcoDaredevil Award during his talk titled: ‘Jump the Chasm: Are you an EcoDaredevil?


EcoDareDevil is a cool concept… Check this out:

Everywhere I go, I meet EcoDaredevils. They are debating, creating, evolving–yes, sometimes crashing–but always, always coming back for more.

The EcoDareDevil award will recognize young people across the nation who, through science, policy or personal action, have taken a particular risk and shown exceptional courage and creativity to go against the mainstream to successfully solve or raise public awareness for an environmental issue. He’s celebrating the folks Chris and I call ‘Intersection Personalities‘ meaning we’ll definitely be in good company! So with that, I’m off to find J. with more coming on this year’s EcoDareDevil soon…


Comments (7)

  1. Fred

    Sounds like the Intersection Award you two hinted at in Jan.

  2. We are going to need every EcoDareDevil we can find, encourage, train.

    I spent some time working on a Congressional Campaign for Pete McCloskey back in 2006. McCloskey, a Republican in the House, and Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat in the Senate, were there co-chairs of the very first Earth Day. I am thankful that McCloskey still has some fire because we still need such leadership.

    At the same time, my very local newpaper, the Morgan Hill (CA) Times ran a an OpEd today my Michael S. Berliner of the Ayn Rand Institute. Berliner declared thatEnvironmentalism’s Goal is not the advancement of human health, human happiness, and human life; rather it is a subhuman world where “nature” is worshiped like the totem of some primitive religion.” We all know that the Ayn Rand Institute is not mainstream thinking but the very fact that they are publishing this tripe makes one wish PZ would aim his rhetoric there as well.

    We all know that evolution, as it has shaped our world in the past, is continuing to shape our world for the future. I wonder what type of world Berliner is trying to shape, maybe one with out humans at all unless we change our ways.

  3. Happy Earth Day to the Intersection — I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about what people should do to make the world a better place. All I have to offer on my site are some pretty pictures from space. Happy Earth Day!

  4. Mr_G

    EcoDareDevil is a cool concept

    No it’s not.

  5. Gared

    Eh, that Mr_G character is just bitter from the earlier threads. EcoDareDevil is wonderful. I’ll be interested to find out about the recipient tomorrow.

    We need more. And fast!

  6. Mr_G

    Totally OT, but I would like to introduce a word that would apply to ID, Framing, Postmodernism, etc.:


    It’s pronounced pretty much like “nonsense”.

  7. Mr_G


    Why would I be bitter? I felt like I was riding the tide.

    EcoDareDevil is lame^20.


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry.Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.comFor more information, visit her website or email Sheril at


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