Adult Speaker Series

Date: Sep 16, 2019 19:00:00 to 20:30

Discovering the Forests through the people in Papua New Guinea
Dr. Michelle Venter, Post-Doctoral researcher, University of Northern British Columbia

Michelle’s work in ecology has allowed her to lead field expeditions in remote locations including the Australian Outback, Bering Sea and tropical forests of Papua New Guinea. She studies the relationship between forest carbon, climatic, and abiotic variables. Her research also involved exploring novel forest management practices that engage local people while improving their livelihoods. She currently works at UNBC as a Post-Doctoral researcher.

The rugged geography responsible for the outstanding cultural and biological diversity of Papua New Guinea (PNG) also presents a formidable barrier for access to the region. As a result, PNG remains one of the world’s most under-researched countries. Considerable investments into forest management for climate mitigation are now demanding an improved understanding of the state of these forests and the management options for protecting or restoring them. To help fill this information need, Michelle led seven expeditions in forests far from roads and villages with the help of over 70 local assistants from five forest-dependent communities, working on extreme steep slopes. Through this work, the tallest trees yet recorded at extreme altitudes and carbon-rich montane forests were discovered. Her research underlines the importance of including local Indigenous knowledge in forest management when people depend on these forests for subsistence.

6:45pm doors open
7:00pm lecture begins
Q+A after the lecture until 8:30pm

Cash beer + wine bar

As always, this event is free thanks in part to the generous support of the Prince George Community Foundation and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.