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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Norman Myers, prize-winning British environmental scientist and conservationist, will discuss "Mass Extinction of Species: What We Can Do About It" on Friday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Reed College psychology auditorium. The lecture, sponsored by the Reed biology department, is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Reed events line at 777-7755.

In the past two decades, Norman Myers has worked as a researcher, consultant, policy analyst, photographer, and lecturer and has written eight books, more than 200 scientific papers, and many popular articles. Throughout his career, Myers has earned many honors. He was the first British Scientist to receive the Volvo Environment Prize and the United Nations Saskawa Environment Prize. His work has earned him the title of "the Paul Revere of the environmental movement," in the words of Michael Wright, a senior fellow at the World Wildlife Fund.

Myers became an independent scientist and a consultant after working in Kenya for a dozen years, where he developed a great love for wildlife. Since then, he has won international renown for his role in awakening corporate executives, government officials, policymakers and planners, and laypeople to the importance of biodiversity, to the worldwide destruction of the environment, and the potentially catastrophic consequences of the "extinction spasm" that began during the early part of the twentieth century and that is rapidly gathering force.

He has also developed a "hotspot theory" that predicts that 18 of the Earth's most endangered eco-systems or "hotspots" will have only 10 percent of their original forest cover and 50 percent of their original species by the year 2000. This amounts to a loss of 17,000 plant species and at least 350,000 animal species. The MacArthur Foundation, Conservation International, the World Bank, and other groups have used Myers's "hotspot" concept in deciding where conservation dollars are spent, and the concept has generated $240 million for conservation planning.

Myers has been an honorary visiting fellow at Oxford University as well as a visiting professor at the Universities of Kent, Utrecht, Cape Town, Harvard, Cornell, Berkeley, and Texas. He has served as a scientific consultant and policy adviser to the White House, U.S. Depts. of State and Defense, NASA, prime ministers from Europe to Australia, the World Bank, and seven United Nations agencies. Myers has earned a B.A., an M.A., and a diploma in overseas administration from Oxford University as well as a Ph.D. in wildlife biology from the University of California, Berkeley.