Date of Press Release: Oct. 4, 2009
At the next Evening at Egan, author, academic and activist Riki Ott shares the long ranging effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill two decades later. Her talk, “The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill IMPACT: on Ecology and Community” is Friday, October 9, 2009 at 7 p.m. in the Egan Library on the University of Alaska Southeast Auke Lake campus.
“The oil spill was more than an environmental disaster. It was a democracy crisis,” said Ott. “It didn't just happen in Prince William Sound. It's playing out across America as failed pensions and loan guarantees, and people losing homes and jobs. What we learned in Cordova was: when you've lost everything, you're free to build what you want. The spill legacy is that many lessons can be widely applied across America.”
Riki Ott, PhD, is a community activist, a former commercial salmon “fisherm’am,” and has a degree in marine toxicology with a specialty in oil pollution. She experienced firsthand the devastating effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill—and chose to do something about it.
She is the author of two books on this spill. Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$ exposes the long-term health impacts of the spill to wildlife and humans. Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (Chelsea Green, 2008) is about social trauma -- what breaks in a community and how it can be healed. She is also the founder of three non- profit organizations that deal with lingering harm from man-made environmental disaster.
An author, scientist, and story-teller, Ott weaves her evolution from academic to citizen-activist with the nation’s largest oil spill—the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. She offers thought-provoking remedies for the climate crisis, the economic crisis, and the democracy crisis by building sustainable communities and separating corporation and state
All lectures are free and open to the public. For other Evening at Egan Lectures, visit the Evening at Egan Website.