Statewide environmental speaker coming to library for special event


The Brown County Public Library is one of more than two dozen organizations across the state selected by Indiana Humanities in 2023 to host a speaker, free of charge. The Unearthed Speakers Bureau is a curated list of interesting and informative presentations, discussions and workshops from Indiana scholars on topics such as Indiana’s environmental history, climate change, environmental racism and more.

“The scholars in the speakers bureau are excited to travel the state to have conversations with Hoosiers about the environment and our place in it,” said Indiana Humanities’ President and CEO Keira Amstutz. “We hope that the Unearthed Speakers Bureau is just one way we can encourage Indiana residents to come together and consider and explore our actions and interactions.”

Thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library and Indiana Humanities, the Library is pleased to welcome back Indiana DNR State Botanist, emeritus, Michael Homoya. Before retiring in 2019, Homoya served as Botanist/Plant Ecologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Nature Preserves for 37 years. He has authored several books about Indiana’s natural features, including Orchids of Indiana, Wildflowers and Ferns of Indiana Forests: A Field Guide, Wake Up, Woods, and Wildflowers of the Midwest (with co-author Scott Namestnik). Homoya is a Fellow and former president of the Indiana Academy of Science as well as board member and immediate past president of the Indiana Native Plant Society. He is currently an adjunct faculty member in biology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Marian University.

Homoya’s presentation, “Shifting Baselines: Indiana’s Natural Landscape of 1816 and Today,” will cover how much Indiana’s natural landscape has changed over the past 200 years, and how what we now think of as “normal” is so different from the “normal” of our predecessors. Learn about the plant and animal species that once occupied our land and get inspired to protect the remaining remnants of the “original” Indiana.

Since 2021, Indiana Humanities’ Unearthed programming has encouraged Hoosiers to discover and discuss their relationships with the natural world. Through engaging speakers, a statewide read, a tour of the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibit, Campfires treks, films, a podcast and more, Hoosiers continue to explore how we shape the environment and how the environment shapes us.

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