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  September 10, 2001

Nature and Environment Lecture Series
Announced for 2001-2002

Six eminent scholars and scientists will discuss environmental issues affecting the future of the planet during this year's Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series on Nature and the Environment. The series, now in its fifth year, brings experts from a range of disciplines to speak at UConn, to increase public awareness and promote understanding of problems and possible solutions.

"The series promotes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary thinking, teaching and research," says Gregory Anderson, professor and head of the ecology and evolutionary biology department and co-chair of the committee that selects the speakers. "Environmental issues are complex and multifaceted and cannot be solved by a single disciplinary approach."

The lectures, which take place at 4 p.m. in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, are:

  • Sept. 21, "The Concept of the Intrinsic Value: Theoretical and Pragmatic Considerations," by J. Baird Callicott, professor of philosophy and religious studies, University of North Texas, a past president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics. Callicott pioneered the teaching of philosophy courses in environmental ethics in the early 1970s. He helped create The Earth Charter proposed for adoption by the United Nations in 2002, which endorses the concept that nature has intrinsic value. He was recently named one of 50 key thinkers on the environment, and is author of the books: In Defense of the Land Ethic, Beyond the Land Ethic, and Earth's Insights.

  • Oct. 10, "Snowball Earth: Testing the Limits of Global Change," by Paul Hoffman, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology at Harvard University, a geologist who studies violent changes in earth's climate over the past 800 million years and has made major discoveries about earth's history, including billion-year old mountain ranges and continental margins. His research findings challenge long-held assumptions about the limits of global change and have implications for biological evolution.

  • Nov. 15, "The Value of Nature and Human Physical and Mental Well Being," by Stephen Kellert, a professor of social ecology at Yale University. Kellert is a leading authority on human relationships to animals. His books include Kinship to Mastery: Biophilia in Human Evolution and Development and The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society. He also co-edited with E.O. Wilson The Biophilia Hypothesis.

  • Feb. 18, "The Plaza or the Pendulum: Two Concepts of the Ecosystem," by Mark Sagoff, senior research scholar in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland. Sagoff is president of the International Society of Environmental Ethics. A specialist in environmental ethics, law, economics, and policy, he has received major grants from the National Science Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts, and is author of The Economy of the Earth: Philosophy, Law, and the Environment.

  • March 7, "Humanist Environmentalism," by William Cronon, Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Cronon is a past president of the American Society for Environmental History, and has been a Rhodes Scholar, Danforth Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, and MacArthur Fellow. His books include Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England, and Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. He also is editor of Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature.

  • April 17, "Forecasting the Future of Biodiversity in a Human-Dominate d World," by Gretchen Daily, Bing Interdisciplinary Scientist and director of tropical research, Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University. Daily is developing a scientific basis, along with political and institutional support, for managing the earth's life support systems. She has been honored as Pew Fellow in Conservation and the Environment, and 21st Century Scientist, and serves as a presidential advisor on science and technology. Daily is editor of the books Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems, and The Stork and the Plow: The Equity Solution to the Human Dilemma.

    Carol Davidge

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