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Times Blogger To Discuss Global Population

Times Blogger To Discuss Global Population

Iowa State University's 2011 Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture will feature an award-winning writer on environmental issues. Andrew Revkin, former science reporter for New York Times speaks Oct. 24 at Ames.

Andrew Revkin, author and award-winning blogger on environmental issues, will speak at Iowa State University in Ames on Monday, October 24 for the 2011 John Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture.

Revkin's talk, entitled "9 Billion People + 1 Planet = ?", will focus on the predicted peak of the human population at nine billion in 2050—adding approximately two Chinas to current numbers—and how humanity might respond. "Will we overheat or innovate, conserve or despoil, crash or round the curve with a few scrapes?" Revkin asks. The lecture will take place at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. It is free and open to the public.

Revkin is a senior fellow and lecturer at Pace University's Academy for Applied Environmental Sciences, a former science reporter at the New York Times, and the author of several books on climate change and the Amazon rain forest. He writes the Dot Earth blog, which Revkin describes as "an interactive exploration of trends and ideas with readers and experts." The blog examines efforts to balance human affairs with the planet's limits, and it received a National Academies Communication Award in September. 

He writes about hot-button issues like global population, climate change

In a March 2008 blog, Revkin described differing perceptions on how the human population will grow and what will happen to the Earth's resources as a result. "Some say we've already shot over the edge of the cliff and, like Wile E. Coyote in the old cartoons, simply haven't noticed," Revkin wrote, adding that so much variability exists in population trends that we can't know for certain what the future holds. Revkin will explore this uncertainty in his lecture, and offer paths toward progress. 

As a journalist, Revkin made three trips to the Arctic to report on climate change and was one of the first to file stories and photos from the North Pole's floating sea ice. After years of covering events and issues ranging from Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami to the assault on the Amazon and the troubled relationship of climate science and politics, Revkin left the newspaper's staff in 2009 to become a senior fellow at Pace University's Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. A pioneer in multimedia journalism, he continues to write The New York Times' Dot Earth blog, (

Revkin previously worked as a senior editor of Discover Magazine and a senior writer at Science Digest. He authored several books, including "The Burning Season: The Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest" and "Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast." And he recently became the first two-time winner of the Communication Award bestowed jointly by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. Revkin has a biology degree from Brown University and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. In 2007, he received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Pace University.

Event honors John Pesek who for years headed ISU Agronomy Department

The Pesek Colloquium is sponsored by the Henry A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture. The annual lecture honors John Pesek, Iowa State University emeritus professor of agronomy. Pesek is distinguished for his work on soil fertility, crop production and sustainable management practices. 

The event is co-sponsored by the ISU Bioeconomy Institute, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU, Practical Farmers of Iowa, the ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture, ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the departments of Agronomy, also Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology and Natural Resource Ecology and Management; the ISU Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and the Committee on Lectures (funded by GSB).

More information on ISU lectures is available at, or by calling 515-294-9935.

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