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Elder Climate LegacY

There is a virtual and on-site Symposium at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Morrill Hall on July 16-18, 2024 celebrating the 100th birthday of Mary Louise Hanson Pritchard, the founding curator of the H.W. Manter Laboratory, Division of Parasitology at the State Museum. The Symposium will be bringing together experts in the field of parasitology and related fields from the world over, and the first two days will relate to the relevance of their past and present work to issues facing humanity—issues we all can relate to.


But, the 3rd day, July 18th will be of particular interest to Nebraskans. It will focus on potential climate impacts on this state AND the possibility of combining climate migration with Rural renaissance/revitalization across our state. Nebraska and the Northern Great Plains may be a location where people migrating from climate insecure locations, mainly coastal, etc. may be attracted to our natural resources and livability. How do we make towns, cities, and even our larger metro areas appealing to these ‘Push-Pull’ demographic forces? How might we prepare to welcome those migrating from climate challenged areas? How do we change our perspective from "dealing with outsiders" to "welcoming new neighbors" and fully embracing them as part of our growing and thriving communities?


Many issues to address. From expanding infrastructure of high-speed internet and rural broadband, affordable housing, alternative energy, etc. And not to forget the benefits of lower population density and substantial water and land resources that could make Nebraska an attractive landing site for a whole new generation of homesteaders. Bottom Line: could this be part of Nebraska’s future where its rural areas have been emptying out for decades?


Two speakers on Thursday, July 18th (Brooks and Brown) will discuss the alternatives of either ‘managed migration’ of preparing now for increased numbers of climate migrants, or of ‘forced migration’ in which communities must deal with people fleeing major catastrophes without prior planning. This article explains it better through words of two of the speakers at the conference:



The conference website, , will continue to have some updates. There is no prior registration so look over the full schedule and then focus on the last day. Just for organization purposes for July 18th, please let us know if you plan to attend. There is no cost for attending, but the organizers would appreciate any donations to the Manter Lab and its focus on climate change, biodiversity, and emerging infectious diseases. By the way, parking should be available in the lots directly north of the Morrill Hall entrance on City Campus.


Thank you. We hope to see you there!


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