Four of Maine’s well-known animal nonprofits are teaming up to present a special series of educational webinars on animal wellness during February school vacation week (Feb. 16-19). Participating nonprofits include Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, Center for Wildlife of Cape Neddick, Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, located in Windham, and Marine Mammals of Maine, based in Bath.

Each day will feature a 40-minute-long webinar from one of the participating nonprofits, focusing on the animal population its mission serves and how those animals survive – and thrive – in the wintertime.

During the interactive webinars, students will be encouraged to ask questions, explore the animals’ world virtually and engage their feelings of empathy and compassion. Students will leave the webinars knowing how they can help animals of all kinds this winter. The winter wellness webinars are open to children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Winter wellness webinar schedule

  • Tuesday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m., Animal Welfare Society.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m., Center for Wildlife.
  • Thursday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m., Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals.
  • Friday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m., Marine Mammals of Maine.

The daily webinars will take place via the meeting app Zoom. Registrants will receive the Zoom credentials, which will be good for one or all of the presentations. Students are welcome to attend one, two, three or all four, based on their interests.

Kindness to Animal Week webinars are presented free of charge. Donations to the participating nonprofits are welcome. Donations support each nonprofit’s operations and daily animal care needs. Registration opens Jan. 22 at https://animalwelfaresociety.org/youth/kindness-week.

Oil and indigenous peoples in the Russian Arctic

The Camden Conference and Kennebunk Free Library will host Laura Henry, professor of government at Bowdoin College, on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.

Laura Henry

The rapid growth of the oil and gas industry in the Russian Arctic is crucial the country’s plans for continued economic growth and international influence. However, many of the sites of extraction are located in close proximity to the country’s Arctic Indigenous communities and overlap with their territories of traditional use, such as reindeer herding, hunting, and fishing. In this talk, Henry examines how oil companies interact with indigenous peoples and when they come into conflict and when they reach agreement.

Examining several cases in the Russian Arctic and sub-Arctic, Henry considers how local communities navigate a complex political context in which global rules and standards that prioritize indigenous rights and environmental protection interact with domestic laws and institutions that tend to advantage industry. Research in Russian indigenous communities in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the Komi Republic, and on Sakhalin Island also illustrates how expectations based on the Soviet era shape how communities engage extractive industries in order to ensure their economic and social well-being.

Henry is a professor in the Department of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College. Her research investigates Russia’s post-Soviet transformation, focusing on state society relations, environmental politics, and the interaction of transnational and local actors. Henry’s current book project (“Bringing Global Governance Home”) compares how NGOs from the BRICS countries use global agreements on climate change, HIV/AIDS, and deforestation to leverage policy change at home. Henry is the author of “Red to Green: Environmental Activism in Post-Soviet Russia” (Cornell University Press, 2010) and the co-editor of “Russian Civil Society: A Critical Assessment” (M.E. Sharpe, 2006).

Her work has appeared in Environmental Politics, Global Environmental Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs, and Europe-Asia Studies, among other journals. She has been a Watson Foundation fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. Her research has received support from the National Security Education Program, Social Science Research Council, and the International Research and Exchange Board.

For the Zoom link to the seminar, visit www.kennebunklibrary.org or email [email protected] For more information please call 207-985-2173.

A visitor to Middle Beach in Kennebunk on Jan. 15 takes advantage of another unseasonably mild day. The National Weather Service in Gray is calling for a sun-splashed weekend with high temperatures near 30. Dan King photo