By Adrian Aumen, College of Arts & Sciences

McKibbenPULLMAN, Wash. – Environmentalist, educator and author William “Bill” McKibben will deliver two free, public presentations at Washington State University on Wednesday and Thursday, April 13-14.

“Bill McKibben is arguably the most prominent environmental activist at work in the United States today,” said Christopher Lupke, chair of the WSU Humanities Planning Group, primary sponsor of the talks. “His efforts to block the Keystone Pipeline project were instrumental in its defeat.”

McKibben’s 1989 book “The End of Nature” is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change; it has appeared in 24 languages.

“Despite much media attention to the challenges we face, McKibben reports that he has become more optimistic about the human element in nature,” Lupke said. “He will share highlights of his journey with audiences at WSU.”

McKibben will present “The Human Element in Nature: From Harm to Hope” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the CUB ballroom as the keynote address for WSU Humanities Week 2016 ( He will present “Report from the Front Lines of Climate Change,” a WSU Foley Institute Coffee & Politics talk, at noon Thursday in Bryan Hall 308.

More about the speaker

McKibben is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and winner of numerous awards for environmental and social activism, including the 2014 Right Livelihood Prize.

A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic and Rolling Stone.

About the Humanities Planning Group

Convened in 2011 with support of the late WSU President Elson S. Floyd, the Humanities Planning Group is working toward establishing a Center for the Humanities at WSU to make the humanities accessible and to underscore their integral nature to intellectual life and society.

Other Humanities Week supporters include the vice president for research, College of Arts and Sciences, Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, College of Education, School for the Environment and industrial design clinic.


Christopher Lupke, WSU Humanities Planning Group, 509-335-2755,
Adriana Aumen, WSU College of Arts and Sciences, 509-596-5353,