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March 25, 2013
Nationally Known Speaker, Susan Emmerich to Speak as Wendt Center for Character Education Spring Lecturer

On Monday, April 8, the University of Dubuque's Wendt Center for Character Education will host a lecture by Dr. Susan Emmerich, on environmental conflict management.  Her lecture, When Heaven Meets Earth: Creation Care as a Ministry of Justice, Reconciliation and Community Transformation, will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Stoltz Sports Center on the University of Dubuque Campus.  The event is free and open to the public.

Following the showing of the 27 minute film, Between Heaven and Earth, Dr. Susan Emmerich will discuss how conflicts over natural resources and the use of these resources are mounting with dire human and environmental consequences.  She believes that our love for God, our neighbors and the wider creation, as well as our passion for justice, compel us to urgent, prophetic and practical ecological responsibility. Emmerich will share her faith-based and transformational approach to managing environmental conflict between the Chesapeake Bay environmentalists and the Tangier Island watermen and Pennsylvania farmers. This approach awakened these conservative communities to the biblical mandate to care for God's creation and transformed their relationships with God, creation, environmentalists and one another. Although situations vary around the world, the method developed and applied in the Chesapeake Bay project is universal, and can be applied, in a productive manner, especially among those societies on the fringe who are struggling to sustain their livelihoods and cultures.

"Dr. Emmerich demonstrates deep concern for a responsible and engaged practice of Biblical care for the environment," commented Annalee Ward, director of the Wendt Center for Character Education.  Her work helps us see a positive approach to navigating care for the environment and the need to earn a living from it."

Emmerich is the founder and CEO of Emmerich Environmental Consulting and is a nationally known speaker on environmental stewardship.  She is a 1997 Harvey Fellow and former assistant professor of biology at Trinity Christian College where she taught environmental science and directed an environmental research partnership between Trinity and the Lake Katherine Nature Preserve. She founded and directed the Tangier Watermen's Stewardship for the Chesapeake, a non-profit organization, and is the co-producer of the Telly and Aurora award-winning PBS documentary on the Tangier Watermen's Initiative, Between Heaven and Earth: The Plight of the Chesapeake Bay Watermen. She is also the co-producer of When Heaven Meets Earth: Faith, Environment and Justice, an hour-long film based on two faith-based stewardship initiatives she has implemented.

Emmerich's film is also being shown as a part of the 2013 Julien Dubuque International Film Festival on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7.  For more information visit the website at www.jiffd.com .

The Wendt Character Initiative was established in 2004 at the University of Dubuque by the endowed Lester and Michael Lester Wendt Character Initiative Fund.  The Initiative operates under the care of the Wendt Center for Character Education.  This Initiative promotes a campus culture that nurtures the formation of excellent moral character, and that encourages all members of the community to live lives of purpose. The work of the Wendt Character Initiative is centered in the University's Mission and Values, a commitment to its Reformed Christian identity, and a sense of creative vocation in faithful response to the Creator.  This Initiative is part of the total educational experience of all University of Dubuque students through curricular and co-curricular programs.  Faculty and staff also participate in the Initiative through special programs during the school year.