Stetson to Host Florida Humanities Speaker Series

Craig Pittman, a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, leads off the Florida Humanities Speaker Series Oct. 18 on Stetson’s DeLand campus.

Presented by the Florida Humanities Council in partnership with Stetson University, the Florida Humanities Speaker Series will showcase four engaging talks on various aspects of Florida’s environmental history.

The series, each featuring a well-known, Florida-based expert, begins with “Paving Paradise: Florida’s Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss,” a presentation by Craig Pittman, staff writer, Tampa Bay Times. The talk is scheduled for Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center on Stetson’s historic campus in DeLand.

“As a community, Stetson is committed to implementing sustainability initiatives, and many of our students are preparing to be leaders in the field of environmental science,” said Wendy Anderson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies at Stetson. “Understanding Florida’s environmental concerns and history is critical for tomorrow’s leaders. We are excited to bring this series to our faculty, students and the community.”

A native Floridian, Pittman is a four-time recipient of the Waldo Proffitt Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism in Florida, and twice has won the top investigative reporting award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. During his presentation, he will address Florida’s unbridled development and the impact on its wetland systems and biodiversity.

The Florida Humanities Council ( partners with community organizations throughout the state. Support for the speaker series is provided by the Florida Humanities Council, with funds from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs.


Florida Humanities Speakers Series at Stetson University

(All events are free and open to the public.)

Oct. 18, 2017, 7 p.m.

“Paving Paradise: Florida’s Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss”

Craig Pittman, staff writer, Tampa Bay Times

Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center, Stetson


Nov. 8, 2017, 7 p.m.

“The Rivers Run To It”

Jack Davis, Ph.D., professor of history and sustainability studies, University of Florida

Lynn Business Center, Rinker Auditorium, Stetson

Davis, an award-winning author and editor of seven books on environmental history, will address the historic connections and present cultural connections between Florida’s rivers and the sea. He recently published “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.”


Jan. 30, 2018, 7 p.m.

“Marjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida’s Environment”

Peggy Macdonald, Ph.D., executive director, Matheson History Museum

Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center, Stetson

Peggy Macdonald is executive director of the Matheson History Museum. Her book, “Marjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida’s Environment,” won Honorable Mention in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award contest in Women’s Studies.


April 12, 2018, 7 p.m.

“Rain: A Cultural and Natural History”

Cynthia Barnett, environmental journalist

Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center, Stetson

Cynthia Barnett teaches environmental journalism, and nature and adventure writing at the University of Florida. She is an award-winning environmental journalist who has reported on water and climate change across the world. Her latest book is “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History,” nominated for the National Book Award and a finalist for the 2016 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.