WMU News

Renowned environmentalist to speak on campus

Sept. 6, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- It comes down to intentions versus consequences when considering the world's environmental problems.

That's the opinion of Dr. David Orr, chairperson of environmental studies at Oberlin College, who will visit Western Michigan University next week to talk about "Human Ecology as a Problem of Ecological Design." The talk is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in Room 2000 of Schneider Hall. The lecture is part of the Environmental Studies Sustainability Series and is sponsored by a grant from the Wege Foundation. It is free and open to the public.

"In Dr. Orr's view, many of our actions constitute design failures because we have not properly related human intentions to their ecological consequences," says Dr. Harold Glasser, associate professor of environmental studies. "His humor, sarcasm and biting wit make for an compelling plea for understanding our biophysical limits, and designing within nature."

Orr is known for his pioneering work in campus greening projects. From 1996 to 1999, he lead an effort to design and build the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College, a structure described by the New York Times as "the most remarkable of a new generation of college buildings." He is the author of numerous books and articles about ecological design and was the recipient of the National Wildlife Federation's National Conservation Achievement Award.

Media contact: Matt Gerard, 269 387-8400, matthew.gerard@wmich.edu

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