Professor Emeritus Discusses Decline of Nature and Challenges to Sustainability

Professor Emeritus Gilbert LaFreniere of Willamette University's Environmental and Earth Sciences Department will speak about the major findings of his book, The Decline of Nature, in a free lecture Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Collins Science Center, Room 210, at Willamette University.

LaFreniere has been a professor of environmental and earth sciences at Willamette for many years. He also worked as a trained geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies in California.

LaFreniere combines personal experiences exploring the natural history of Europe, New England, California, the Pacific Northwest and Canada with advanced degrees in both geology and history to create a unique synthesis of philosophy, history and science. In the context of his new book, he will examine long-term environmental problems known as "ultra vire" (beyond political jurisdiction) and their challenges to future sustainability. These problems include biodiversity loss, climate change, nuclear waste, population, overconsumption and resource constraints that impinge upon economic growth. More wealth and technological innovation will be dedicated to energy efficiency, but as we shift to alternative energy sources this will affect funding for the preservation of ecosystems and species.

This event is open to the public and will be followed with a book signing with the author. This lecture is sponsored by the Willamette University Center for Sustainable Communities and the Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences.

For more information call Andrea Foust at (503) 370-6654.