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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Hosts "Forum on the Gulf of Mexico and the Oil Spill"

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University hosts "Forum on the Gulf of Mexico and the Oil Spill," 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8 at the Student Union ballroom. Scientists will discuss their research on the Gulf of Mexico and authors will read from "Unspoiled: Writers Speak for Florida's Coast." The forum is free and open to the public.

The forum includes panel presentations by scientists working on the oil spill and readings from authors in "Unspoiled: Writers Speak for Florida’s Coast." The event is part of the International Humanities and Sustainability Conference. After the reading, authors will be available to sign copies of the book.

In addition, all attendees are invited to the evening's keynote speaker Patrick Murphy at 7 p.m., also in the Student Union ballroom. Murphy has been working in literary ecocriticism since the writing of his 1983 master’s thesis on spirituality and place in the poetry of Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry. He is professor of English at the University of Central Florida, and has edited and co-edited numerous books, including "The Literature of Nature: An International Sourcebook" and "Ecofeminist Literary Criticism." Currently, he is focusing on literary and cultural representations of climate change and international water issues.

Attendees will have an opportunity to hear readings from the book "Unspoiled: Writers Speak for Florida's Coast," an anthology of Florida authors writing on behalf of the Gulf, released on June 11 by the Tallahassee-based Red Hills Writers Project (

According to Jim Wohlpart, professor of environmental literature at FGCU and co-editor of the book, "'Unspoiled' is a love story, a collection of 38 essays, poems and even a short story about Florida's Gulf of Mexico, and plea for its protection."

Local environmental educators, authors, scientists and students contributed to the volume, including Bill Hammond, Mike Savarese, Myra Mendible, Marty Ambrose, Megan Melvin,
Kat Wohlpart and Mandie Rainwater.

Scientific and educational presentations include faculty in the Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences at FGCU Mike Savarese and Darren Rumbold, and director for Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Gary Lytton.

No registration or RSVP is required to attend the conference.

For more information contact Jim Wohlpart at, or Mike Savarese at

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