University Begins Earth Month With Three National Experts on Sustainable Use of Resources

Lee Lynd, Marcus Eriksen and Thomas Hylton
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Lee Lynd, Marcus Eriksen and Thomas Hylton

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – April is Earth Month, and a consortium of campus groups is bringing a series of speakers to the University of Arkansas to discuss preserving resources, protecting the environment and planning for a sustainable future. All three lectures are free and open to the public.

The three-day series begins with a lecture by Dartmouth professor Lee Lynd at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in Giffels Auditorium in Old Main. Lynd is an internationally known expert in sustainable fuel production, particularly the use of cellulose biomass to produce ethanol. This technology, which uses plant and feedstock waste, produces fuel without competing for the food production resources needed to feed a growing population. “Bioenergy, Food and the Sustainable Resource Transition” is Lynd’s topic for this year’s Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture, which is also sponsored by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

Marcus Eriksen, a scientist, activist, adventurer and author will make a presentation on “Saving Our Seas: The Perils of Plastic Pollution in the Marine Environment” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in Giffels Auditorium.

Eriksen has worked for the past decade to focus attention on the harmful effects of plastics in the world’s rivers and seas. He journeyed 2,600 miles across the Pacific Ocean in 2008 on a raft made of 15,000 plastic bottles supporting a Cessna airplane fuselage as the cabin. The 88-day voyage drew attention to the ecological damage caused by plastics pollution in the seas.

Eriksen’s talk is sponsored by the Parks Family Professorship in Science Education, the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability and the Associated Student Government.

 Thomas Hylton wraps up the series with a discussion of the need for comprehensive planning to develop sustainable cities, towns and rural areas. Hylton won a Pulitizer Prize for his editorials advocating the preservation of farmland and open space, is the author of Save Our Land, Save Our Towns, and hosted the PBS documentary of the same name. Hylton’s work touches on all aspects of building sustainable communities including urban forestry, historic preservation and smart growth. At the center of all these issues is land use.

Hylton will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Willard J. Walker Hall, Room 203. His lecture is sponsored by Applied Sustainability Center and the Associated Student Government.


Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations


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