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September 21, 2004

Marine Biological Laboratory Ecosystems Center Announces Fall Environmental Science Lecture Series

WOODS HOLE, MA - The Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL's) Ecosystems Center is pleased to announce the Semester in Environmental Science 2004 Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series. The Series is part of the Center's Semester in Environmental Science program. For the last eight 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.  The goal of the Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series is to give students in the program an opportunity to meet and interact with some of the best practitioners of environmental science in the world.

Lectures will be held on Fridays throughout the fall and are open to the public.  A full schedule is below.

John Pastor from the University of Minnesota Duluth will present the next lecture in the series on Friday, October 1 at 3:00 pm in the Whitman Auditorium, MBL Street, Woods Hole.  Pastor studies the effects of foraging and plant consumption by large herbivores such as moose and beaver on plant productivity and nutrient cycling in forest soils.  He has focused much of his research on northern ecosystems, including Isle Royale in Lake Superior and Voyageurs National Park northern Minnesota. Pastor’s work also explores potential impacts of global warming on the function and composition of northern peatlands.

Pastor is a Professor in the Department of Biology and Senior Research Associate in the Center for Water and the Environment at the University of Minnesota Duluth.  He received his B.S. in Geology at the University of Pennsylvania, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Soil Science and Forestry.  Pastor has authored more than 100 scientific papers, contributed to numerous books, and written more than 20 popular articles on topics ranging from skunk cabbage and blowflies to spring warblers.  He has served on several review committees and research panels for the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and others. He has also testified for two U.S. congressional committees regarding the Voyageurs National Park and Boundary Waters as well as on the effects of global climate.  In 1999, Pastor was elected an Honorary Life Member of the Finnish Society of Forest Science. He was also the first recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award from the University of Minnesota.

Semester in Environmental Science 2004 Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series:

September 17, 2004 – 3:00 Whitman Auditorium, MBL Street, Woods Hole
Michael Pace, Institute of Ecosystem Studies
“Are Fish Made from Algae or Trees?”

October 1, 2004 – 3:00 Whitman Auditorium, MBL Street, Woods Hole
John Pastor, University of Minnesota, Duluth
“Grazing, Browsing and Ecosystem Function”

October 15, 2004 – 3:00 PM, Whitman Auditorium, MBL Street, Woods Hole
Walter Boynton, University of Maryland
“Eutrophication History of Chesapeake Bay”

October 29, 2004 – 3:00 PM, Location TBA
Alan Covich, Director, University of Georgia
“Biodiversity and the Role of Benthic Invertebrates in Organic Matter Processing within Stream Ecosystems”

November 5, 2004 – 3:00 PM, Location TBA
Jon Foley, University of Wisconsin
“Global Land Use Practices are Undermining Ecosystem Services and Human Health”

November 19, 2004 – 3:00 PM, Location TBA
Pamela Matson, Stanford University
“Agricultural Intensification in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico: Does it ‘Save Land for Nature?’”


The Marine Biological Laboratory is an independent scientific institution, founded in 1888, dedicated to improving the human condition through basic research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. The MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the western hemisphere. 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.