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Matt Wasson of Appalachian Voices Will Keynote the Watauga Democratic Convention


Matt Wasson, program director for Appalachian Voices, will give the keynote address at the Watauga County Democratic convention on April 8 on the topic “Rolling Back the Enlightenment: Inside the Conservative War on Science.”

Matt Wasson moved to Boone in 2001 as the new executive director of Appalachian Voices, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the land, air, water, and people of the Appalachian Region. Since 2001, Matt has served the organization in many other capacities including editor of The Appalachian Voice newspaper. As the current director of programs, Wasson provides long-range vision and oversees the organization’s response to major pollution events like the Dan River Coal Ash spill in 2014. 

Wasson received his B.S. in zoology from the University of Washington and Ph.D. in ecology from Cornell University. Beginning with his dissertation research on the impacts of acid rain on birds, Wasson has worked on all aspects of the “coal cycle” — from mining, transportation and combustion of coal to the disposal of power plant waste. A nationally recognized authority on mountaintop removal coal mining and coal economics, Matt frequently testifies before Congress and state legislative committees and is a contributor to high-profile media outlets including Huffington Post, Grist and Climate Progress. 

The 2017 Watauga Democratic convention will convene at noon on April 8 for potluck luncheon in the lobby outside Courtroom No. 1 in the Watauga County Courthouse. The convention program will begin at 1 p.m.