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The Franklin News-Post
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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Finding a place in the world
Author, naturalist to speak at Ferrum College
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Courtesy Photo: Author, photographer and naturalist Fred First will speak at Ferrum College on Feb. 5.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Noted author and naturalist Fred First will speak in Ferrum College's Garber Hall auditorium at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5 as part of the college's "Sustainability: More for Less, for All" program.

Also known for his photography, First will give an illustrated lecture on "Knowing Where We Are: Sense of Place and a Sustainable Future."

A discussion will follow the presentation and the program will conclude by 8:30 p.m.

"Fred will explore personal ecology as an ethic for the anthropocene, which is a way of seeing ourselves that can lead to reconciliation with nature, place and planet," said Dr. David Johnson, chair of the programming committee. "He has devoted the past 10 years to exploring the sense of place, which has given Fred a strong sense of self."

An avid naturalist, former biology teacher and physical therapist, First moved to Floyd County in 1997. In 2002, his personal focus shifted from what he did for a living to where it was that he lived. He continues to explore the beauties and perplexities of his rural Blue Ridge home in words and images, including a daily photo-journal called Fragments from Floyd.

The author of "Slow Road Home: A Blue Ridge Book of Days" and "What We Hold in Our Hands -- a Slow Road Reader," First has been a regular essayist on Roanoke's NPR station and his written and photographic works are published in various places, including Blue Ridge Country Magazine, Petlife, Greenprints, Birmingham Arts Journal and Nantahala Review. He contributed a regular column, "A Road Less Traveled," to the Floyd Press for seven years and to Roanoke's Star Sentinel for three. He currently serves on the board of SustainFloyd and is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

First and his wife, Ann, live in a remote valley in Floyd County where they enjoy what he calls "progressive life in the slow lane."

"Fred has the wisdom that comes from a life well-lived," said Johnson. "His musings appeal to folks of all ages, but his message is especially relevant for college students who are engaged in the important task of finding their place in the world."

 
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