September 10, 2008

Acclaimed speaker and president of The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, Thomas E. Lovejoy, will explore the impact of climate change on the natural world in an upcoming installment of the University of Kentucky Forestry Graduate Student Association Seminar Series Oct. 1. He will also discuss the implications of climate change for climate policy and natural resource management.

Before becoming president of The Heinz Center in 2002, Lovejoy was the World Bank's chief biodiversity adviser and lead specialist for environment for Latin America and the Caribbean and senior adviser to the president of the United Nations Foundation. Lovejoy has been assistant secretary and counselor to the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, science adviser to the Secretary of the Interior, and executive vice president of the World Wildlife Fund-U.S. He is the founder of the public television series, "Nature," and is credited with coining the term "biological diversity."

Lovejoy received the 2001 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, being cited as a pioneer in conservation biology. He conceived the idea of minimum critical size of ecosystems, which was important in calling attention to the problem of dwindling tropical forests. Also, he originated the concept of "debt-for-nature swap," which allows developing nations to convert foreign debt to nature reserves and conservation programs.

Lovejoy served on science and environmental councils and committees under the Reagan, the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. He received his bachelor's and doctorate in biology from Yale University.

The seminar begins at 4 p.m. in the William T. Young Library auditorium on UK's campus. A reception will follow.

Erin Barding, vice president of the Forestry Graduate Student Association, said the event is open to anyone interested in the topic.

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"Climate change is a ‘hot' topic that deserves everyone's attention, and having the opportunity to learn more about the effects and implications from such a renowned expert is very exciting for students, the community, and all Kentuckians - anyone who is concerned about our state and what we can do to help alleviate stress put on the environment," she said.

The Forestry Graduate Student Association Seminar Series titled "Forestry Grows Up: Integrating Policy, Science and Management," attempts to bring guest speakers to UK every semester to talk about natural resource-related topics that have applicability to a wide audience. Natural resources management research is a varied and dynamic field, and the ongoing seminar series provides an opportunity for students and the public to learn about current research and future directions for managing the natural world.

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