Visiting Southam Lecturer

Erica Gies



UVic’s Department of Writing presents their 2023 Southam Lecture featuring Erica Gies, a National Geographic Explorer & award-winning independent journalist. Erica speaks on “Water Always Wins: Working with nature in an age of drought, fire & flood”.

Gies’ “quietly radical” book, “Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge” was recently published by the University of Chicago Press in the US, UK and China, and her reporting on water, climate change, plants and critters continues to appear in Scientific American, Hakai, The New York Times, The Narwhal, The Guardian and other publications.

She has received the Sierra Club’s Rachel Carson Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism, Friends of the River’s California River Award, the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation’s Excellence in Journalism Award and was a finalist for the Berlin-based Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year Award.

Gies is only the latest journalist to be named a Southam Lecturer, joining the recent likes of Tyee founder David Beers, climate journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, photojournalist Farah Nosh and many others. Since 2007, we have been bringing some of Canada’s leading print and broadcast journalists to campus to speak, teach and mentor our Writing students.

The annual Harvey Stevenson Southam Lectureship — named after UVic alumnus Harvey Southam — is made possible by a gift from one of the country’s leading publishing families.