Huxley Speaker Series 6/7/18: Denise Attwood, Ric Conner: Patagonia

Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 3:29pm

Date: Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 4:00pm

Location: AW-204

Heart of Patagonia – The Legacy of Doug and Kris Tompkins

Denise Attwood (Huxley ’83) and Ric Conner (Huxley ‘85) will present a slide show and discussion on the historic creation, development and donation of Doug and Kris Tompkins private parks in Patagonia, Chile. Denise and Ric were invited to tour Park Pumalin and Park Patagonia in December with their friend Nancy Schaub who has been an advisor to Tompkins Conservation for many years. The presentation will be a photo journey through these new National Parks and a discussion of land conservation and restoration, philanthropy, community involvement and adventure travel.

(See also: With 10 Million Acres in Patagonia, a National Park System is Born - New York Times)


Denise Attwood and Ric Conner, co-founders of Ganesh Himal Trading LLC, ( have spent 30+ years working to promote positive, mutually beneficial partnerships through Fair Trade. Their business model is based on the fair trade principles of partnership, co-creativity, fair wages, open communication, long-term relationships, democratic decision-making, friendship and respect. Since 1984, they have actively implemented and advocated for the practices of fair trade and supply fairly traded products from Nepal to over 400 socially conscious and fair trade businesses throughout the US and Canada. They are longstanding members of the Fair Trade Federation and Green America.

In the 1990’s, Denise helped to establish Spokane’s first non-profit Fair Trade retail store, Global Folk Art, serving on its board for 10 years. She has mentored many fair trade business owners and importers and served on the national board of the Fair Trade Resource Network helping to educate North American consumers about the positive impacts of Fair Trade.

In 2010, Denise co-founded with Sita Gurung the Baseri Health clinic to provide primary health care to a remote part of central Nepal. In 2014, Denise then co-founded the Conscious Connections Foundation  (CCF (, with their son Cameron Conner.  Ric sits on CCF’s board.  CCF was formed to support the operation & maintenance of the Baseri Health Clinic as well as to fund a girl’s educational stipend benefitting 100’s of low-income families in Nepal.

Denise was a board member and is now a board member emeritus of The Center For Justice in Spokane, WA. CFJ a non-profit Law firm working to create a more fair, just and effective justice system and advocating for the Spokane River.

Denise graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Huxley College in 1983 and a J.D. from the University of Washington Law School in 1988.  Ric graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Marine Ecosystems in 1985. Denise and Ric were two of the students featured in “Green Fire” the history of Huxley College.


The Huxley Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment, at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Presentations are held each Thursday in the Academic Center West (AW-204) on the WWU campus in Bellingham, WA.

You can subscribe to announcements about upcoming Huxley Speakers here: Subscribe