The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies at Western Connecticut State University will present a lecture by deep ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university's Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Tickets for "One Ocean, One People" are $10 for the public, $5 for WCSU faculty and staff, and WCSU students will be admitted free with valid I.D. Call (203) 837-TIXX.
There also is a VIP reception before the lecture for anyone who would like to make a donation to Western's Jane Goodall Center. Individual donations start at $50 and group or corporate donations start at $200. For more information, call (203) 837-8453.
The grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, Fabien grew up on the salt-stained decks of his grandfather's ships, Calypso and Alcyone. As a result, he was "destined to follow in the family footsteps of exploring and tirelessly working to protect our planet's immense and endangered marine habitats," according to his biography.
Diving since age four, Cousteau was "irrevocably imprinted with an unwavering appreciation for the wonder, beauty and importance of our aquatic ecosystems to sustaining life on this big blue planet of ours."
With his vast experience in the field and a degree in environmental economics from Boston University, Cousteau has refined a public policy platform grounded by his strong belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for innovative solutions that strike a balance between regional and global environmental problems and the realities of market economies.
Cousteau will share his knowledge about the marine ecosystems that make up 73 percent of our planet and how to protect these life-giving waters. He will discuss connections between our water, our planet and our health — and why care for all three is vital. He is a sought-after speaker who will also convey how innovative ideas are shaping environmental policy reform.
WCSU Professor of Archaeology Dr. Laurie Weinstein serves as chair of the university's Jane Goodall Center. She explained the history of the center and how guest speakers like Cousteau are selected.
"The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies was created at WCSU in 1995 when Dr. Goodall and Dr. William Cibes, then-president of the CSU System, signed a compact creating our center," Weinstein said. "Since that time, Jane has come to Western many times to lecture, teach and be a part of various symposia and activities on campus. The university also served as the national hub for Jane's Roots & Shoots educational program from 2005-12. As part of our continuing mission to protect the earth, promote awareness of environmental issues and connect Western students with the wider community, we are bringing in well-known ocean conservationist Fabien Cousteau.
"Like many people, I grew up watching his grandfather's program, 'The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau,' and the travels of the Calypso. Jacques was one of the first conservationists to sound the horn about how human populations were destroying their environment. Fabien continues the conservationist work started by his grandfather and we are honored to have him here on campus."
Upcoming events sponsored by the Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies will include a trip on Saturday, Sept. 21, to the United Nations for International Day of Peace events, and a discussion about creating a permaculture garden on campus on Wednesday, Oct. 9, led by Ryan Harb, a certified permaculture designer and instructor, LEED accredited professional and permaculture faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For more information about these events, visit www.wcsu.edu/goodall/events.asp.