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Momentum 2012 Event Series Kicks Off Apr. 5

Internationally renowned nature photographer Paul Nicklen to lead off spring event series of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment

March 6, 2012

Following in the footsteps of last spring’s popular Momentum 2011 event series, the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota announces an all-star lineup for Momentum 2012, to be held Apr. 5, May 10 and May 23 at the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis.

Headlining Apr. 5 will be National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen, with a featured performance by Mu Daiko Drumming. Using images of the stark beauty and wildlife found in Earth’s coldest regions, Nicklen will tell stories of his travels around the world and share a photographic tribute to some of the world’s most vulnerable habitats and their inhabitants. Master of ceremonies for the evening will be meteorologist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul Douglas.

Second up in the Momentum 2012 event series is conservation visionary M. Sanjayan, who will be hosted May 10 by IonE director Jonathan Foley and accompanied by a featured performance by Zorongo Flamenco Dance Company. Sanjayan, lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, will deliver a presentation on “Awakening the Environmental Movement.” Instead of talking about a planet that will be destroyed if we do nothing, he'll discuss how people, and nature, will thrive if we change the conversation and reboot the environmental movement by engaging three often ignored constituents: the business community, the two billion poor, and today's kids.

Environmental theologian Martin Palmer will wrap up the season with a May 23 talk on the intersection of the conservation movement and the religious community. Palmer's organization – the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) in England – currently works with 11 major religions worldwide, as well as with a variety of international secular organizations such as WWF, the United Nations and the World Bank. Preluding his presentation will be a featured performance by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. The evening’s events will be emceed by Karen Hanson, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Minnesota.

All three events in the series will begin at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, contact the Northrop Box Office, 612-624-2345, or visit

Momentum 2012 is made possible by premier sponsor General Mills, media sponsor Minnesota Public Radio and other supporters and benefactors.

Momentum talks are professionally videotaped and archived for viewing on IonE’s YouTube channel, Talks currently available on the the site are Majora Carter, “You Don’t Have to Move Out of Your Neighborhood to Live in a Better One”; Hans Rosling, “A Fact-Based World View”; and Sylvia Earle, “Sustainable Seas: The Vision, the Reality.”

The University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment seeks lasting solutions to Earth's biggest challenges through research, partnerships and leadership development. For more information, visit

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