January 24, 2007 | By: Terri McLean

Acclaimed author and historian John Perlin, whose book “A Forest Journey” was named one of Harvard University’s 100 Great Books, will kick off an invited speaker series hosted by the University of Kentucky Department of Forestry. Perlin will speak at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at UK’s W.T. Young Library.

“We wanted to kick the series off with somebody really special and nationally renowned. John fit that ticket,” said Heather Alexander, a doctoral student and past president of the Forestry Graduate Student Association, which is co-sponsoring the free event. “We’re really excited to have him talk at UK.”

In his book, “A Forest Journey,” Perlin addresses the importance of wood to society’s existence – something people often overlook, Alexander said. Throughout history, the abundance or scarcity of wood has greatly shaped the culture, demographics, economy, internal and external politics, and technology of societies. The scarcity of wood, for example, led to society’s dependence on fossil fuels today.

“From a historical angle, it’s really interesting. But also everybody needs to understand our current situation and understand how important it is to try to sustain and manage our resources,” she said.

Perlin, who is also considered an expert on solar energy, will be available to sign copies of “A Forest Journey” during a reception following his talk. He is the first of several speakers invited to UK to address forestry-related topics that Alexander said will have applicability to a wide audience.

“John’s overview and historical perspective will provide an excellent start to this ongoing series,” she said.


Heather Alexander, 859-257-2806