Dr. Patricia Limerick to speak at ESA annual meeting

Author and historian, Dr. Patricia Limerick, will deliver the Public Plenary Address of the Ecological Society of America's 89th Annual Meeting, held this year in Portland, Oregon August 1 6, 2004. Her illustrated talk, "Naturalists, National Mission, and the Wonders of the West: The Lewis and Clark Expedition as a Parable," will launch the Society's meeting, the theme of which focuses on ecological lessons that can be learned from the two explorers. The ESA Public Plenary is free and open to the public.

Born and raised in Banning, California, Patricia Nelson Limerick is a Western American historian, with particular interests in ethnic and environmental history. She has published a wide variety of books, articles, and reviews, including The Legacy of Conquest, and Something in the Soil: Field-Testing the New Western History. She is currently at work on an anthology of poems and essays called The Nature of Justice: Racial Equity and Environmental Well-Being.

Limerick contends that two hundred years after the Lewis and Clark expedition, the political and cultural role of "scientific exploration" has become considerably more complicated, with scientistsespecially ecologists often serving as agents of caution and second thoughts, in weighing the legacy of the nation's westward expansion and taking part in projects for remediation and restoration. And yet, over these two centuries, the role of naturalists and scientists in awakening their fellow citizens to a sense of wonder and appreciation of Western landscapes and creatures has only gained in importance and consequence. Limerick believes that the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial presents a prime opportunity for ecologists to enhance the voice and role of scientific findings in today's decision-making.

A MacArthur Fellow, Limerick holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. As a Professor of History and Environmental Studies, she teaches courses on the American West, including

Contact: Nadine Lymn
Ecological Society of America

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