CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will host a conference Feb. 11-13 that will examine the changing culture, environment and people of the Pacific Northwest and present views on the region from a variety of perspectives.

Called "The Pacific Northwest: A Region in Transition," the conference will be held at OSU's LaSells Stewart Center. Registration for the entire conference is $15. The conference is sponsored by the university's College of Liberal Arts and the Oregon Council for the Humanities, with support from other OSU units.

Two free public lectures will highlight the three-day conference. Jack Ohman, award-winning editorial cartoonist for The Oregonian newspaper, will speak on "The Pacific Northwest in Images: A Cartoonist's View." His free, illustrated lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, in Austin Auditorium.

Novelist Ivan Doig, who was nominated for a National Book Award for "This House of Sky," will speak on Friday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m., also in Austin Auditorium. His presentation, including a reading from a forthcoming book, is called "Words Marked by a Place: The Literary Northwest."

The OSU conference will include sessions on "Identity and Sense of Place," which will look at the Northwest from a variety of viewpoints, including Native American, African American and literary; "The Cultural Construction of the Region," which includes historical talks on Celilo Falls, the 49th parallel, and attempts to create a Columbia Valley Authority; "Science and Ecology," which looks at a cross-section of science in the region and the intersection of history and ecology; and "Regional Perspectives," that looks at the Northwest's economy, climate and its forgotten neighbor (Alaska).

Presenters will include historians, ecologists, novelists, educators, philosophers, anthropologists, and other scientists and social scientists from a variety of universities and public agencies.

The conference includes a workshop on nuclear energy that will run from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 in Memorial Union 206. "Hanford, Energy and Waste Regulations: 1945 to the Present" will look at Hanford Nuclear Reservation's role in regional and local politics, the energy industry and nuclear waste regulation.

Presenters include F.G. Gosling, U.S. Department of Energy, John Findlay and Bruce Hevly, University of Washington; and Daniel Pope, University of Oregon.

More information is available by telephone, 541-737-4583, or on the web: Note to Editors: This story originally contained a World Wide Web address. The characters used in Web addresses will not telecommunicate in our system. Please call us at 541-737-4583 for the address. The conference schedule follows (all events at LaSells Stewart Center unless indicated):




  • Thursday, Feb. 11

    3 to 5:30 p.m.

    "Hanford, Energy and Waste Regulation: 1945 to the Present," a pre-conference workshop on nuclear energy. Featuring F.G. Gosling, U.S. Department of Energy; John Findlay and Bruce Hevly, University of Washington; and Daniel Pope, University of Oregon (Memorial Union Room 206)

    7:30 p.m.

    "The Pacific Northwest in Images: A Cartoonist's View," a free public lecture by Jack Ohman, The Oregonian.


  • Friday, Feb. 12

    8:30 a.m.

    "Identity and Sense of Place"


    • "A View from the Mid-Columbia: Columbia River Tribes and Treaties," by Don Sampson, Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission.
    • "Oregon Gardens: Discovered and Created," by Kenneth Helphand, University of Oregon.
    • "HOLDFAST: A Natural History of Living in Place," by Kathleen Dean Moore, Oregon State University.

    12:45 p.m.

    "Contested Regional Stories: Race and Region, the African-American Pacific Northwest," by Quintard Taylor, University of Oregon.

    1:30 p.m.

    "The Cultural Construction of the Region


    • "Rescuing Regional Stories: Celilo Falls as Myth and History," by Katrine Barber, Washington State University.
    • "The 49th Parallel and Its Defining Moments," by Jeremy Mouat, Athabasca University.
    • "A Futile Federalism: Regionalism and the Columbia Valley Authority," by William L. Lang, Portland State University and director of the Center for Columbia River History.

    7:30 p.m.

    An Evening With Ivan Doig - "Words Marked by a Place: The Literary Northwest," a lecture and readings by the Seattle-based novelist.


  • Saturday, Feb. 13

    8:30 a.m.

    "Science and Ecology"


    • "The Maturation of Science in the Northwest: From Nature Studies to Big Science," by Keith Benson, University of Washington.
    • "The Intersection of History and Ecology," by Emily Russell, Rutgers University.

    10:30 a.m.

    "Regional Perspectives"


    • "Stories About Livelihoods: An Economy in Transition," by Thomas Power, University of Montana.
    • "The View from Above: Alaska and the Great Northwest," by Stephen Haycox, University of Alaska-Anchorage.

    12:45 p.m.

    "Northwest Climate and Culture: Damp Myths and Dry Truths," by David Laskin, a Seattle-based writer.

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Bill Robbins, 541-737-4583