He will speak on "Desert Fishes: Reflections on Reality, Desirability and Conscience." His lecture will delve into the dilemma faced by managers of arid land ecosystems and their related biotas, as water use continues to expand dramatically to accommodate the wants and needs of society. Examples will be discussed, based upon Pister's 50-year career in dealing with such issues as a California Department of Fish and Game conservation biologist. He will address concerns such as what the future holds for desert aquatic resources and where will we be in the year 2102.
Pister has spent virtually his entire career supervising aquatic management and research within an area encompassing approximately a thousand waters of the eastern Sierra and desert regions of California, ranging from the 14,000 foot crest of the Sierra Nevada to the floor of Death Valley lying below sea level. He founded and serves as executive secretary of the Desert Fishes Council and is involved in desert ecosystem preservation throughout the American Southwest and adjoining areas of Mexico. He holds special interest in the fields of conservation biology and environmental ethics and has served on the Board of Governors of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and of the Society for Conservation Biology. He also serves on the President's Advisory Committee of the University of California's system-wide White Mountain Research Station. He teaches regularly at the National Conservation Training Center (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) in West Virginia, has lectured at more than 70 universities in North America and the United Kingdom, and has authored 74 published papers and book chapters.
The lecture is free and open to the public and honors Dr. Dirks-Edmunds, a Department of Biology emerita faculty member at Linfield. The endowment is used to bring speakers to campus to address critical environmental concerns and biological issues. Dr. Dirks-Edmunds recognized the importance of ecological issues and humanity's impact on nature long before environmental issues became a major part of the public agenda.