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Science advisor to national parks to speak at Linfield

Gary MachlisGary Machlis, science advisor to the director of the National Park Service and professor of conservation at the University of Idaho, will speak on “The Ecology of Hope and Devastation,” Monday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Ice Auditorium of Melrose Hall.

Machlis will discuss the effects of war on the ecology of impacted communities and how ecological principles can be used to help restore ecosystems that have been destroyed by natural and human disasters. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Jane Claire Dirks Edmunds Lectureship and PLACE (Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement).

Machlis is the first scientist appointed as the science advisor of the NPS. He advises the director on a range of science policy issues and programs. He has served as interim associate vice president for research at UI and has been a visiting professor at Nanjing Technological College in China and at Yale University.

Machlis received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Washington and his Ph.D. in human ecology from Yale. He has written numerous books and scientific papers on issues of conservation, including “The State of the World’s Parks” (1985), the first systematic study of threats to protected areas around the world. He is currently at work on his next co-authored book, “The Structure and Dynamics of Human Ecosystems.” His research has been published in journals as varied as Bioscience, Climatic Change, Conservation Biology, Society and Natural Resources, and Science.

The Jane Claire Dirks-Edmunds Lecture series honors Dr. Dirks-Edmunds, a professor of biology at Linfield from 1941 to 1974. The endowment is used to bring speakers to campus to address critical environmental concerns and biological issues, and to support student-faculty collaborative research. Dirks-Edmunds recognized the importance of ecological issues and humanity’s impact on nature long before environmental issues became part of the public agenda.

For more information, contact Jeremy Weisz, assistant professor of biology, 503-883-2704, jweisz@linfield.edu.