24th annual Odum Lecture to be held

Biologist Gretchen C. Daily to speak at 24th annual Odum Lecture

Athens, Ga. – Renowned scientist Gretchen C. Daily will be the keynote speaker at the annual Odum Lecture Seminar, sponsored by the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology. Daily’s presentation, “Ecosystem Services in Decision-Making” will begin at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4 in the ecology building auditorium.

“I will discuss my new vision of conservation for the 21st century,” said Daily. “This is a world in which people and institutions appreciate natural systems as vital assets, recognize the central roles these assets play in supporting human well-being, and routinely incorporate their material and intangible values into decision-making.”

Daily is a Bing Professor in Environmental Science in the Stanford University department of biology. Her primary scientific efforts concern the future of extinction, the resulting changes in ecosystem services and novel opportunities for biodiversity conservation. She works extensively with economists, lawyers, business people and government agencies to incorporate environmental issues into business practice and government policy.

Gary W. Barrett, Odum Chair of Ecology, said that “Books such as Gretchen Daily’s Nature Services help educate the public regarding challenges that must be addressed to maintain a certain quality of life. Dr. Eugene P. Odum would be pleased that Dr. Daily was invited to present the 2009 Odum Lecture because she has awakened a public understanding of integrating economic capital with natural capital.”

Daily is the recipient of several honors and awards, including being named a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society, Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), David H. Smith Senior Scholar of the Nature Conservancy and being named among “The 50 Most Important Women in Science” by Discover Magazine in 2002. She has authored over 125 scientific and popular articles, and serves as a scientific advisor for the production of documentary films on topics including agriculture, conservation and population.

Honoring the late Eugene P. Odum, founder of the Odum School of Ecology, the annual Odum Lecture series is permanently funded through an endowment created by friends, colleagues and former students. With the exception of 2005, the lecture has been held every year since 1984.

With roots that date back to the 1950s, the UGA Odum School of Ecology offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a certification program. Founder Eugene P. Odum is recognized internationally as a pioneer of ecosystem ecology. The school is ranked tenth by U.S. News and World Report for its graduate program. The Odum School is the first standalone school of ecology in the world. For more information, see http://www.ecology.uga.edu.