Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"The State of the Global Environment:
Reflections on Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change and Global Environment after Rio + 20"

Thomas Lovejoy
University Professor
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
George Mason University

Chair, Biodiversity
Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment
Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Tom has been an inspiration to a generation of conservationists, and a good friend to leading researchers and conservationists, such as our own John Melack. He founded the field of climate change biology and has introduced influential people, from Al Gore to Tom Cruise, to the importance of rain forests and the Amazon. He speaks from the heart and frequently without Powerpoint, making this a perfect start to the new year for anyone interested in the environment." — Lee Hannah, faculty host

Twenty years after the Earth Summit and six months after Rio + 20, what are the pluses and minuses of the global environment, and what might be some of the more important ways forward

Thomas Lovejoy is an innovative conservation biologist who coined the term “biological diversity.” In 2010 he was elected University Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. He currently also holds the Biodiversity Chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment based in Washington, DC. He served as President of the Heinz Center from 2002-2008. Before assuming this position, Lovejoy was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. Spanning the political spectrum, Lovejoy has served on science and environmental councils under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. At the core of these many influential positions are Lovejoy’s seminal ideas, which have formed and strengthened the field of conservation biology. In the 1980s, he brought international attention to the world’s tropical rainforests, and in particular, the Brazilian Amazon, where he has worked since 1965. In 1980 he produced the first projection of global extinctions for the Global 2000 Report to the President. Lovejoy also developed the now ubiquitous “debt-for-nature” swap programs and led the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project. He also founded the series Nature, the popular long-term series on public television. In 2001, Lovejoy was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. In 2009 he was the winner of BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology Category. In 2009 he was appointed Conservation Fellow by the National Geographic. In 2012 he was recognized by the Blue Planet Prize. Lovejoy holds B.S. and Ph.D (biology) degrees from Yale University.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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