Thurs., Dec. 6, 2012 

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Indiana Association of
Soil and Water
Conservation Districts
Local author and climate change research center director to serve as conservation keynote speakers next month  


Indianapolis -- Local author and Bloomington, Ind. resident Scott Russell Sanders will open the 2013 Annual Conference of Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts on January 7 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. 


The retired Indiana University professor is the author of 20 books of fiction and nonfiction, including A Private History of Awe and A Conservationist Manifesto, his vision of a shift from a culture of consumption to a culture of care taking. The best of his essays from the past 30 years, plus nine new essays, are collected in Earth Works, published in 2012 by the Indiana University Press.


Russell's message, From Consumption to Conservation, will be heard by over 400 Hoosier conservationists at the 70th Annual Conference of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Indianapolis. The theme for the conference is The Power of Conservation: Today's Actions, Tomorrow's Rewards. The event is hosted by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. 

A Tennessee native, Sanders studied physics and English at Brown University. From 1971 until his retirement in 2009, he taught at Indiana University from 1995 onward as a Distinguished Professor of English.

The Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature named Sanders the 2009 winner of the Mark Twain Award; in 2010 he was named the National Winner of the Glick Indiana Authors Award; and in 2011 the Fellowship of Southern Writers presented him with the Cecil Woods, Jr. Award in Nonfiction.

It is no coincidence that Otto Doering, Director of Purdue's Climate Change Research Center, returns as the Tuesday, January 8 keynote speaker to discuss "Extreme Weather, Climate Change, and Building Resilience into Our Future."

With the drought of this past year, there is again more interest in climate change. However, weather is not climate. 


Doering's message centers on understanding what we do and do not know about climate change and what we may be facing in future years that affects our weather environment. More to the point, as we make decisions today we have the opportunity to build resilience into our landscapes and our cropping systems as inexpensive insurance against whatever eventuality does occur.

Otto Doering is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. He has directed Purdue's Climate Change Research Center and has experience in assessing the impacts of climate change and climate variability on agriculture. He also has directed Purdue University's Energy Policy Research and Information Program and Indiana's State Utility Forecasting Group.  


The 70th Annual Conference brochure is available online with full details about hands-on training sessions, including five sessions qualifying for continuing education units in crop management and soil and water management. Special hotel rates with the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown are available until December 21.  


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IASWCD Staff:  

For additional information contact:

DeeDee Sigler, IASWCD communications manager, 317-692-7374

Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts 


President: Ray McCormick
, Knox Co.

Vice President: Jeff Meinders,, Ripley Co.

Secretary: Paul Cummings, Owen Co.
Treasurer: Jamie Scott, Kosciusko Co. 

Region Directors: 


North-NW: Larry Strole, Newton Co.

South-NW: Mike Starkey, Hendricks Co.

North-NE: Tom Crowe, Allen Co.

South-NE: Bobby Hettmansperger, Wabash Co. 

North-SW: Les Zimmerman, Vermillion Co.

South-SW: Jim Droege, Posey Co.  

North-SE: Mike Schwab, Franklin Co.

South-SE: Brad Ponsler, Jennings Co. 


Soil health and water quality are not something the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts takes lightly. 


The results of good soil and water stewardship are critical not only for today, but for generations to come, so we can provide food and fiber for the world's population.


Together with Indiana's 92 county Soil and Water Conservation Districts and almost 400 volunteers statewide, we work to coordinate technical, financial, and other forms of assistance from available sources (public and private, local, state and federal) in an effort to develop locally driven solutions to natural resource concerns.