sealPurdue News

March 27, 2003

Purdue University sponsors environmental symposium

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – An environmental symposium featuring a prominent ecologist and conservationist will take place from 1-5 p.m. Friday, April 11, at the Holiday Inn Select City Centre in Lafayette.

David Blockstein

The symposium is sponsored by the Environmental Sciences and Engineering Institute at Purdue University.

David Blockstein, a senior scientist with the National Council for Science and the Environment, will present a lecture at 1:30 p.m. entitled "Politics, Science and the Environment: An Explosive Mixture." Blockstein served as the first executive director for the National Council for Science and the Environment, a nonpartisan organization of scientists, environmentalists, business people and policymakers who work to improve the scientific basis of environmental decision making.

Blockstein also serves as executive secretary of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, a professional organization for the nation's deans of colleges of environment and natural resources and directors of institutes for environmental studies.

As the 1987-88 Congressional Science Fellow of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and American Society of Zoology, Blockstein also worked with the House of Representatives' Environment Subcommittee of the Science Committee to prepare the National Biological Diversity Conservation and Environmental Research Act.

An ornithologist, Blockstein also is the founding chairman of the Ornithological Council, which provides scientific information about birds to policy-makers and represents the interests of ornithologists in Washington, D.C. Blockstein's research has focused on conservation of tropical pigeons and doves and on population and community ecology of forest birds. He is the author of the "Birds of North America," an account of the extinct passenger pigeon.

Other policy issues addressed by Blockstein include increasing the representation of minorities in science, improving the link between science and decision making on environmental issues, and promoting the electronic communication of scientific information on the environment.

Ron Turco, director of the Environmental Sciences and Engineering Institute, says Blockstein's lecture, along with poster presentations and other symposium activities, should motivate environmental scientists to renew their work with increased vigor.

"Investigators working in environmental discovery, learning and engagement will be coming from throughout the nation to attend the fourth annual Environmental Symposium," Turco says. "The goal of this symposium is to promote awareness of environmental research and to foster and encourage idea and information exchange among the members of the Purdue community, other academic institutions, industry and government agencies."

More information on the Purdue institute is available on the Web.

CONTACT: Turco, (765) 496-3209,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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