Northwest Missouri State University's Distinguished Lecture series lineup for 2013-2014 starts off with a freed death row inmate and continues with three environmentally flavored presentations featuring an award-winning nature photographer, a climate scientist and a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The long-running series has brought many nationally and internationally known figures to the Maryville campus, including political leaders, writers, thinkers, celebrities and scholars.
Speakers for 2013-'14 include:
∙ Damien Echols and Lorri Davis, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, Charles Johnson Theater.
Echols served more than 18 years on death row for a trio of brutal murders that evidence now suggests he did not commit.
One of the defendants known collectively as the "West Memphis Three," Echols and two other men, then teenagers, allegedly murdered three 8-year-old boys in Arkansas.
While Echols was in prison, Lorri Davis, a Brooklyn, N.Y., architect, became interested in the case after watching a documentary about the killings. She began corresponding with Echols and sought to help appeal his conviction. The two married in 1999.
Numerous books and articles have been written about the murders, and Echols and Davis themselves co-produced a documentary titled "West of Memphis." Echols also published the autobiography "Life After Death."
View the film trailer for "West of Memphis" at www.sonyclassics.com/westofmemphis.
∙ James Balog, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts
Balog is an award-winning nature and science photographer and a contributing editor for National Geographic Adventure. He is also the subject of the short film "A Redwood Grows in Brooklyn" and founder of the Extreme Ice Survey.
His photography has been published in National Geographic, The New Yorker, Life, Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine.
The Extreme Ice Survey, a wide-ranging photographic study of glaciers, is featured in the documentary "Chasing Ice," which explores the impact of climate change.
"Chasing Ice" won the Excellence in Cinematography award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival along with numerous other prizes. Northwest will host a free screening of the film at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.
To view some of Balog's photography, go to www.jamesbalog.com.
∙ Michael Mann, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts
Mann, a climate scientist and distinguished professor of meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University, is director of the Earth System Science Center, which works to describe, model and understand the planet's climate system
He is the author of two books, "Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming" and "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Line."
Mann's website is located at www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/.
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∙ Jean Brennan, 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, Charles Johnson Theater
Brennan shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
She is currently landscape conservation coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and works with the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
An accomplished field biologist, Brennan has conducted research on primates in Kenya, carnivores in Madagascar, endangered large animals in Peninsular Malaysia and orangutans in Indonesia.