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10-28-2008

Clarkson University Presents Noted Author and Plant Scientist Wes Jackson Nov. 13

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/wjackson.jpg]

Noted author and plant scientist Wes Jackson will speak on Thursday, November 13, from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the Sara M. Snell Auditorium of Clarkson University’s downtown Snell Hall. His talk, titled "What Will the Ecosphere Require from Us?," is free and open to the public.

Jackson was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992 for his pioneering work in Natural Systems Agriculture and named by Smithsonian Magazine in 2005 as one of 35 people who have made a difference.wjackson

In describing his work in 2007, the editors of Scientific American said, "The challenge is monumental, but if these plant scientists succeed, their achievement would rival humanity’s original domestication of food crops over the past 10 millennia, and be just as revolutionary."

Clarkson University awarded Jackson an honorary degree in 1999 for "his international leadership in developing the principles of ecological agriculture, and for his imaginative and exemplary work as a humanistic visionary in a technological field."

Jackson, president of The Land Institute, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kansas Wesleyan, a master’s degree in botany from University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in genetics from North Carolina State University.

He established and served as chair of one of the country’s first environmental studies programs at California State University-Sacramento and then returned to his native Kansas to found The Land Institute in 1976.

He is the author of several books, including New Roots for Agriculture, and Becoming Native to This Place, and is widely recognized as a leader in the international movement for a more sustainable agriculture. He was a 1990 Pew Conservation Scholar, in 1992 became a MacArthur Fellow, and in 2000 received the Right Livelihood Award (called the "alternative Nobel prize").

Jackson and Clarkson University Professor Bill Vitek have coedited two books, the Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge; and Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place. They are currently writing a book together titled Consulting the Genius of the Place.

For more information about the talk, please contact Prof. Bill Vitek at vitek@clarkson.edu or 315-268-4424.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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