Swedish sustainability scholar is 2014 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecturer

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Carl Folke, a world-renowned Swedish scientist who focuses on the need for people to be in partnership with nature to change, will deliver the 2014 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the Lincoln Room of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the Michigan State University campus.

Folke is founder and director of Science of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, of which is he is a member. His work focuses on the premise that supporting ecosystems is necessary for social and economic development, stewardship and governing and managing for resilience and transformation in social and ecological systems that are intertwined.

In short, global sustainability demands that humanity remain within Earth’s operating boundaries. The relevant question then becomes: What will it take?

The lecture, “Reconnecting People to the Biosphere” is open to the public and will begin at 3:30 p.m. A reception will follow.

"Dr. Folke is one of the world's leading scholars on coupled human and natural systems," said Jianguo "Jack" Liu, MSU University Distinguished Professor of fisheries and wildlife, who holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability and director of the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. "At a time when sustainability and climate change are a part of so many critical discussions at MSU, we are pleased he is able to come share such a vital global perspective. “

Folke co-founded the Resilience Alliance and was engaged in the development of the International Society for Ecological Economics. He is Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS-Net), which is based at MSU.

He has published more than 260 scientific publications including sixteen in Nature and Science and books like Linking Social and Ecological Systems: Management Practices and Social Mechanisms for Building Resilience.

The Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture will be presented by the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and supported by the National Science Foundation; the MSU offices of the President, Provost and Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; MSU AgBioResearch; International Studies and Programs; the Environmental Science and Policy Program; and Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project.

The Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture Series is a platform for prominent scientists and scholars to share their ideas about global challenges and opportunities with MSU students, faculty, staff and the general public.

Previous speakers have included Ian Cowx, professor of applied fisheries science at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom; Emilio Moran, an ecological/environmental anthropologist; Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in economic sciences; William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at Harvard University; Ruth DeFries, Denning Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University; Simon Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology at Princeton University; Billie Lee Turner II, Gilbert F. White Professor of Environment and Society at Arizona State University; and Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

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