Professor to Provide a ‘Wild Suggestion’ for Climate Change

Posted: April 18, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: April 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Thomas E. Lovejoy

In a Vision Series lecture on Monday, April 25, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy Thomas Lovejoy will give listeners “A Wild Suggestion for Climate Change.”

Lovejoy, a noted environmentalist and former executive vice president of the World Wildlife Fund, will explain in his talk, which will be given at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the Fairfax Campus, that our planet does not work as just a physical system, but rather as a physical and biological system combined.

He says this is more apparent now as the biology of the planet responds to the current amount of climate change. His talk will begin by describing the response and great sensitivity of nature to the current temperature increase. Then he will project ahead to what further increases could bring, and finally focus on how managing the ecosystems at a planetary scale could contribute to a solution.

A tropical biologist and conservation biologist, Lovejoy has worked in Brazil’s Amazon since 1965. His 1971 PhD thesis introduced the technique of bird banding to Brazil and identified patterns of community structure in the first major long-term study of birds in the Amazon.

Lovejoy was the first person to use the term “biological diversity” in 1980 and made the first projection of global extinction rates in the Global 2000 Report to the president that same year.

Lovejoy is the founder of the public television series “Nature,” the most popular long-term series on public television.

From 2002 to 2008, he was the president of The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, a nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the scientific and economic foundation for environmental policy. In 2008, he became the Heinz Center Biodiversity Chair.

Lovejoy has served on advisory councils in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations. In 2009, the National Geographic Society appointed him Conservation Fellow. He chairs the Scientific and Technical Panel for the Global Environment Facility, which provides funding related to the international environmental conventions.

Lovejoy earned a BS and a PhD in biology from Yale University.

Ticket information: Free tickets are required. Tickets are available online, at the Center for the Arts Ticket Office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and on the evening of the event.


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