October 4, 2007
Vol. 27 No. 2

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    Technology advances, policy development focus of lectures on impact of climate change

    By Steve Koppes
    News Office

    The sun rises over a cottonwood tree in a lowland, tallgrass prairie along Central Platte River in the TNC Caveny Tract of Hall County, Neb., a central mixed-grass eco-region. (Photo by Chris Helzer, © May 1995)

    Leaders in science, academia and business will address critical conservation issues and solutions at a three-part lecture series to be held at the Gleacher Center this month. The series, “Envisioning a Sustainable Future,” is presented by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the University’s Graham School of General Studies.

    Advances in technology and policy development addressing the impacts of climate change and the need for a sustainable economy will be at the forefront of the discussion. “The series presents a tremendous opportunity to hear from some of the world’s leading thinkers on the interplay between human society and the natural world, as well as on potential solutions to balance the needs of both,” said Bob Moseley, director of conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Illinois.

    The lecture series is one of numerous events in 2007 that celebrate the 50th year of The Nature Conservancy in Illinois. Lecture topics and dates are as follows:

    “Our Future on a Warming Planet,” Wednesday, Oct. 10. Peter Kareiva, Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy, will be joined by panelists in analyzing the impact of abrupt climate change on vulnerable ecosystems and outlining practical responses to emerging climate disruptions. The crucial role of effective policy development and technological advances will be a central theme.

    “Making Economic Growth Sustainable,” Thursday, Oct. 25. Don Coursey, the Ameritech Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, will lead this panel, which will focus on the importance of everyday economics in conservation and describe how market mechanisms can be used to protect the land and waters of the planet. The panelists will consider how economists assign a value to environmental resources and discuss habitat conservation as an investment for the future.

    “The Future of Conservation,” Tuesday, Nov. 6. Sir Peter Crane, the John and Marion Sullivan Professor in Geophysical Sciences and the College, will lead this panel discussion on issues affecting freshwater, current approaches to conservation in the face of growing threats to biodiversity and the integrity of ecosystems around the world. The panel also will address the impact of population growth and increasing global consumption. Finally, the focus will shift to the responsibility of the United States in leading the world toward lasting beneficial changes.

    The lectures will be held on the sixth floor of the Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive. Each session begins with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by a lecture at 5:30 p.m. The cost for an individual lecture is $25, or $60 for the entire series.

    To register, call (312) 580-2167, or visit http://www.nature.org/Illinois.