Invermere residents will have a chance to catch renowned scientist and author Wade Davis when he visits the valley and makes a presentation to mark United Nations International Mountain Day on Tuesday, December 10th.

In his presentation Mr. Davis will examine the way different cultures from places such as the farflung islands of Polynesia, the lush depths of the Amazon, the towering peaks of Nepal and the thick, misty forests of Borneo, among others, approach the fundamental question of what it means to be human and alive.

During the evening Mr. Davis will talk about how as many as half of the world’s 7,000 languages may disappear within in our lifetimes, each one vanishing along with its own unique catalogue of imagination, knowledge and expertise. Mr. Davis calls rediscovering an appreciation for the diversity of human spirit, as expressed by culture, a key challenge facing humans today.

The event will be collobratively hosted by the Invermere branch of Wildsight and the Human Network (East Kootenay) and will feature a discussion around the question, “What do mountains mean to you?” led by the David Thompson Secondary School leadership class. The class has been writing their anwers to the question on a giant wall poster and is encouraging attendees to do the same at the presentation.

A lifelong resident of British Columbia, Mr. Davis is a licensed river guide and has also worked as park ranger and forestry engineer. He has been described as a rare combination of scientist, scholar and poet. His scientific work has taken him to Mongolia, New Guinea, Tibet, East Africa, the high Artic, Borneo, the Amazon, the Andes, Nepal, parts of West Africa as well as Polynesia and other parts of the South Pacific — occasionally for years at a time.

When not out in some remote corner of the planet, Mr.Davis and his family divide their time between the Stikine Valley in northern B.C., Vancouver and Washington.

Mr. Davis is the author of 17 bestselling books and has written for National Geographic, Newsweek, Outside, Harpers, Fortune, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Globe and Mail among others. His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series produced for National Geographic, Grand Canyon Adventure (IMAX 3D), and Earthguide, a 13-part series on the environment for Discovery. As a photographer Mr. Davis has curated several major exhibits and his own work has been widely published and exhibited.

A professional speaker for 25 years, Davis has lectured at more than 200 universities and spoken before a wide range of corporate clients. His four TED talks have been seen by millions of viewers. In 2009, he delivered the Massey Lectures, Canada’s most prestigious public  forum.

The presentation is at 7:30 p.m. with a book signing at 6:30 p.m. at the Invermere Community Hall on Tuesday, December 10th. The event is free, but tickets — available at Circle Health Foods or the Book Bar — are required to get in. Ticket holders must show up early to be guaranteed a seat. For more information, contact Luke Wonneck at 250-341-6898 or .