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September 4, 2003
Marine Biological Laboratory Kicks Off Environmental Science Lecture Series with Talk on Eliminating Hunger in Africa

WOODS HOLE, MA— Pedro A. Sanchez, Director of Tropical Agriculture at Columbia University’s Earth Institute will present the first lecture in the 2003 Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series, sponsored by the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL's) Ecosystems Center. The lecture will be held on Friday, September 5th at 3:00 pm in the Whitman Auditorium, MBL Street, Woods Hole. Sanchez, who has worked around the world to improve soil fertility in tropical agro-ecosystems, will speak about his pioneering work to restore fertility to the poorest and most degraded soils and eliminate hunger in Africa.  The public is invited to attend.

The Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series is part of the Ecosystems Center's Semester in Environmental Science (SES) program. For the last seven years, undergraduate students from around the country have come to Ecosystems Center during the fall semester to study environmental science with some of the world’s experts on the subject.

A native of Cuba, Sanchez received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University.  His professional career has been dedicated to improving the management of tropical soils through integrated natural resource management approaches to achieve food security and reduce rural poverty while protecting and enhancing the environment.  Sanchez has lived in the Philippines, Peru, Columbia, and Kenya and was the 2002 recipient of the World Food Prize. Sanchez also serves as coordinator of the Hunger Task Force of the Millennium Project, an advisory body to the United Nations.

Sanchez is author of over 200 scientific publications and is currently writing the second edition of his best-selling soil science book, Properties and Management of Soils of the Tropics.  He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America and has received decorations from the governments of Columbia and Peru and was awarded the International Soil Science and the International Service in Agronomy Award.  In February 2001 the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium awarded him a Doctor Honoris Causa degree for his work on tropical soils in Africa.  In August 2001 Sanchez was anointed a Luo Elder with the name of Odera Kang’o by the Luo community of Western Kenya, in recognition for his assistance in eliminating hunger from many villages in the region.

The Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series will continue throughout the fall at the MBL. The remaining lectures in the series are:

September 26, 2003
3:00 PM, Redfield Auditorium, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
"Benthic Processes in the Arctic Ocean: Temporal / Spatial Variability and Global Change"
Jackie Grebmeier, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee

October 17, 2003
3:00 PM, Whitman Auditorium
"Biodiversity and the role of benthic invertebrates in organic matter processing within stream ecosystem"
Alan Covich, Director, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia

November 7, 2003
3:00 PM, Whitman Auditorium
"Agricultural Land Use and the Transformation of the Earth System"
Jon Foley, Reid A. Bryson Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies,
University of Wisconsin

November 21, 2003
3:00 PM, Whitman Auditorium
"Abating the threat of invasive species - putting science to work in public policy"
Ann Bartuska, Executive Director, Invasive Species Initiative, The Nature Conservancy

The Marine Biological Laboratory is an independent scientific institution, founded in 1888, that undertakes the highest level of creative research and education in biology, including the biomedical and environmental sciences. The research of the MBL's Ecosystems Center, which was established at the MBL in 1975, is focused on the study of natural ecosystems. Among the key environmental issues being addressed are: the ecological consequences of global climate change; tropical deforestation and its effects on greenhouse gas fluxes; nitrogen saturation of mid-latitude forests; effects of acid rain on North American lakes; and pollution and habitat destruction in coastal ecosystems of the United States.