Tanner Center and A.P.E.X. Events Present Dr. Nalini Nadkarni

Published: September 28, 2021 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Nalini Nadkarni photo“The family tree, the mathematical tree, and corporate hierarchies are all abstract forms that humans use to understand complex relationships,” states Dr. Nalini Nadkarni in her book Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees. An internationally renowned award-winning biologist, Dr. Nalini Nadkarni has been invited to give the 2021 Grace A. Tanner Lecture for Human Values at Southern Utah University. Known as the “Queen of the Forest Canopy,” Dr. Nadkarni’s topic will draw on four decades of research on the biota that live in rainforest canopies to address “Tapestry Thinking” as a way to weave diverse communities to strengthen awareness and conservation of nature. The lecture will take place on Thursday, October 7, at 11:30 a.m. in the Gilbert Great Hall and will kick off “The Year of Grace,” a celebration commemorating forty years of the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values at Southern Utah University.

Diverse treetop communities provide critical interactions for ecosystem processes but are vulnerable to negative effects of human activities such as forest fragmentation and climate change. Dr. Nadkarni has raised awareness of the need to protect and restore forests by incorporating the insights of human communities from sectors that lie far outside of academic science by creating collaborations with faith-based groups, artists, rap singers, corporations, and people who are incarcerated. Her approach of “tapestry thinking”—the intentional connection of multiple ways of knowing—can be applied to inspire appreciation for and restoration of ecosystems at local, regional, and global scales.

“We are excited to celebrate the legacy of Grace Adams Tanner this year,” states Dr. Danielle Dubrasky, director of the Grace A. Tanner Center. “Dr. Nadkarni’s work exemplifies Grace Tanner’s interdisciplinary appreciation for the sciences and the humanities.”

Grace Adams Tanner was an alum of Southern Utah University from Parowan, Utah. She married Obert C. Tanner in 1931, raised their six children, and helped with the business that originated from a basement and grew into a worldwide corporation. Her academic interests inclined toward the sciences, especially biology and anthropology, fields where she contributed generously.

The Grace A. Tanner Center at Southern Utah University has hosted the Tanner Lecture in Human Values since 1980. The Tanner Center seeks to promote access to scholarly and scientific learning in all areas of human values which embrace moral, artistic, intellectual, and spiritual concepts. Please refer to the Tanner Center website for other related events or email the Tanner Center directly at tannercenter@suu.edu .

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