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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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3/23/2006 Plant ecologist to give Dirks-Edmunds lecture at Linfield

McMINNVILLE – Award-winning author and plant ecologist Robin Kimmerer will present the Jane Claire Dirks-Edmunds Endowed Ecology Lecture, "Gathering Moss: Lessons From the Small and Green," on Thursday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. in 101 Graf Hall at Linfield College.

In addition to the public lecture, Kimmerer, professor of environmental and forest biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forest Biology in Syracuse, New York, will spend the week at Linfield, participating in classes and interacting with students.

During the lecture, Kimmerer will explore the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Mosses play ecological roles that belie their small stature and intertwine with the lives of countless other beings. The talk will bring to life the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses as a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.

Kimmerer earned a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1983. Her research interests include ethnobotany, conservation biology and bryophyte ecology. She has published numerous articles on the biology and ecology of mosses, as well as articles on traditional Native American knowledge of the natural world. Her new book, "Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses," won this year’s 79th annual John Burroughs Medal for outstanding natural history writing. Past Burroughs medalists include Rachel Carson, Loren Eiseley and Aldo Leopold. She is currently working on a second book exploring dimensions of reciprocity of relationships with land.

Kimmerer is former director of the Cranberry Lake Biological Station, where she teaches and conducts ecological research on Adirondack ecosystems. Her research interests include the ecology of mosses, vegetation recovery after disturbance, and the role of traditional and local knowledge in ecological restoration. She is chair of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section of the Ecological Society of America. Her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of human relationships to land, which she explores in her writing. She is also active in literary biology and has served as a Writer in Residence in the Long Term Ecological Reflections program and the Mesa Refuge.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It 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.

Dr. 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, call 503-883-2551.