“Earth Becomes Us: Coming Full Circle in Dealing with the Dead.” Are burial & cremation our only options? Larry Hurst presents the 2009 Esther Dayman Strong Lecture

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January 20, 2010
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Nadine Fiedler, Catlin Gabel publicity, 503-297-1894 ext. 301, fiedlern@catlin.edu
Catlin Gabel website: www.catlin.edu
“Earth Becomes Us: Coming Full Circle in Dealing with the Dead”
Are burial and cremation our only options? Larry Hurst presents the 2009 Esther Dayman Strong Lecture
Catlin Gabel teacher Larry Hurst will discuss the various options for dealing with the remains of our relatives or friends—options that may be new or surprising for most people, including “green” choices—on Tuesday, February 16, at 7 p.m. in the Cabell Center on the school campus, 8825 SW Barnes Rd. The event, this year’s Esther Dayman Strong Lecture, is free and open to the public.
Hurst is interested in the options for burial or “scattering,” and the consequences of our choices. Hurst will discuss current alternatives for dealing with the dead, and compare the costs and environmental impact of those choices. From traditional burial to resomation (dissolving of remains in alkaline solution), mummification to promession (freeze drying), and cremation to “natural burial,” which is the most affordable? Which is the most common? Which is the most sustainable? Hurst will outline the current funeral, cemetery and do-it-yourself options for resting in “green” peace.
“Most of us try to be as involved as we can with the birth of a new family member. Do we treat the burial or disposition of our loved ones with the same personal attention? The more involved we are in dealing with the death of a family member, the more complete our grieving can be,” he says.
A science teacher in Catlin Gabel’s middle school and a specialist in marine biology, Hurst has been involved in learning and teaching about environmental biology and conservation for more than 30 years. “As a member of the baby boomer generation, I will be faced with the reality of dealing with the death of a loved one, and myself, all too soon. I try to keep a low profile on my environmental impact, and I’d like to maintain that low profile after my death as well,” says Hurst.
In addition to his teaching in grades 3 to 12, Hurst has taught college courses in marine science and oceanography. A graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and the University of Florida, where he earned an MA in Latin American studies with a focus on tropical conservation, he has led numerous natural history trips to the Bahamas, Baja California, Belize, Costa Rica, and Martinique. He has served as a naturalist for Oceanic Society Expeditions, a foreign fisheries observer for the he National Marine Fisheries Service, a manatee biologist for Jamaica’s Natural Resources Conservation Department, and a science instructor at the Catalina Island Marine Institute and Desert Sun Science Center. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica and an Amigos de las Americas volunteer in Guatamala and Nicaragua.
The Esther Dayman Strong Lectureship in the Humanities was created in 1987 by the Catlin Gabel School board of trustees. The board wished to establish a living memorial to the human and academic values Esther Dayman Strong nurtured throughout her life, and especially as principal of the Catlin-Hillside School from 1944 to 1958. The lecture honors her legacy of lifelong learning by paying tribute to the intellectual excellence demonstrated daily by Catlin Gabel’s own faculty and staff members.
Catlin Gabel serves Portland and the world as an educational catalyst, drawing together dedicated educators, motivated students, superb curricular resources, and thoughtfully applied technology, in a beautiful and functional setting, all for the purpose of forming bold learners who become responsible action-takers for life. Catlin Gabel is an independent, non-sectarian, progressive coeducational day school serving 730 students from preschool through twelfth grade. Its roots go back to the Portland Academy, founded in 1859. The school occupies 54 acres on Barnes Road, five miles west of downtown Portland. For more about the school, please visit www.catlin.edu.
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