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Humans and the Coast

Bridge and remains of a wharf at Oregon coast

This interdisciplinary speakers series celebrates Oregon’s Year of Water, a statewide theme of events hosted by various University of Oregon programs.

Co-organized by the Department of Earth Sciences and the Department of History, the Humans and the Coast talks focus on the interactions between humans and coastal regions. These talks are free and open to the public, sponsored by the UO College of Arts and Sciences, the Departments of Biology, Anthropology, and the Environmental Studies Program.

The Year of Water

Humans and the Coast is part of the Oregon Year of Water. This statewide effort—coordinated by University of Oregon, Oregon State University and Portland State University—highlights the role that Oregon’s research universities play as community and industry leaders and partners seeking to address water-related challenges in Oregon, regionally and worldwide. The Year of Water runs from March 2020 through February 2021 and is sponsored at UO by the Vice President for Research and Innovation (VPRI). Learn more about the Oregon Year of Water on Facebook.

Year of Water logo

Upcoming Events

Event Cancelled

Paul Holm, “From Hindsight to Foresight: How History May Help Understand Oceans Past and Future”


“Arctic Marine Mammals and Human Communities in Greenland”

Thursday, May 21, 2020
3:30–5:00 p.m.
Knight Library, room 101 (map link to Knight Library)

Kristin Laidre, assistant professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington


Past Events

“A Tribal Perspective on Protecting Marine Resources: Jordan Cove Energy, Traditional Cultural Properties, and Environmental Programming”

Thursday, February 27, 2020
Margaret Corvi, Cultural and Natural Resource Consultant, Hanis Coos enrolled with Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw

“The Evolution of Marine Protected Areas: Protecting Biodiversity AND Cultural and Indigenous Rights”

Friday, March 6, 2020
Patrick Christie, professor, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, University of Washington



photo of David Sutherland

David Sutherland is an associate professor with the UO Department of Earth Sciences. As an oceanographer, his research focuses on coastal and estuarine systems of the Pacific Northwest and how humans interact with these environments. Learn more about his work at

photo of Ryan Jones

Ryan Tucker Jones is an associate professor with the UO Department of History, specializing in the histories of Russia, the Pacific, and global environments. His book Empire of Extinction: Russians and the Strange Beasts of the Sea (Oxford University Press, 2017) describes how Russian naturalists heralded the onset of the Sixth Great Extinction.