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For Immediate Release: January 19, 2011

Gina Hebert, Marine Biological Laboratory
Phone: (508) 289-7725, E-Mail: ghebert@mbl.edu

Elizabeth Braun, Woods Hole Research Center
Phone: (508) 540-9900, ext. 109, E-Mail: ebraun@whrc.org

Author and Sustainable Agriculture Pioneer Wes Jackson to Deliver Free Lecture, February 2

Wes Jackson

WOODS HOLE, MA—Wes Jackson, one of the foremost figures in the international sustainable agriculture movement and founder and president of The Land Institute will present a special lecture on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the MBL’s (Marine Biological Laboratory’s) Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole. The lecture, co-sponsored by the MBL and the Woods Hole Research Center, is free and open to the public. A public reception with Dr. Jackson will precede the lecture from 6:00 to 6:45 PM in the MBL’s Swope Center, 5 North Street, Woods Hole.

Dr. Jackson is a geneticist-agronomist who abandoned academic life to pursue his vision of a natural farming system based on perennial crops. He has pioneered research in natural systems agriculture—including perennial grains, perennial polycultures, and intercropping—for more than 30 years and is a longtime leader of the sustainable agriculture movement.

According to Dr. Jackson, soil erosion, overgrazing, and the poisons polluting our water and air—all associated with our contemporary form of American agriculture—foretell a population with its physical health and land destroyed. In the lecture, Dr. Jackson will discuss his new book, Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture (Counterpoint, 2010) where he asks us to look to natural ecosystems as the measure against which we judge all of our agricultural practices.

Dr. Jackson earned a B.A. from Kansas Wesleyan, an M.A. from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. 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, Becoming Native to This Place and, most recently, Consulting the Genius of the Place.

Dr. Jackson is a recipient of the Pew Conservation Scholars award (1990), a MacArthur Fellowship (1992), the Right Livelihood Award (2000), also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” and widely recognized as the world's premier award for personal courage and social transformation, and the Louis Bromfield Award (2010). He has received four honorary doctorates and in 2007 received the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Award. Life magazine named Dr. Jackson one of 18 individuals it predicts will be among the 100 "important Americans of the 20th century." In November 2005, Smithsonian called him one of "35 Who Made a Difference."


The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Americas. For more information, visit www.mbl.edu

The Woods Hole Research Center addresses the great issues for a healthy planet through science, education, and policy. Center staff combine remote sensing with field research to study, model, map and monitor Earth’s land surface, and advance the knowledge gained to define solutions for sustainable well being. Current core areas for the Center include climate change, land use, and water. For more information, visit www.whrc.org.