University of Maryland Ecologist to Speak at Pesek Colloquium

Erle Ellis photo
Erle Ellis

AMES, Iowa — Agriculture’s place in Earth’s ecology will be the focus of the 2012 Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture Oct. 29 at Iowa State University.

Erle Ellis, an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will present, “Agriculture in the Anthropocene:  Growing a Sustainable Human Ecology.” The presentation will be free and open to the public at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall at Iowa State’s Memorial Union.

“This presentation will characterize the emergence and history of agriculture as a global force transforming the Earth’s system, while demonstrating the vast potential for agricultural systems to continue evolving ever greater benefits for both humanity and our planet's ecological heritage,” Ellis said.

Ellis studies how human use and transformation of the Earth, including agriculture, are primary drivers of global changes in climate, biodiversity and biogeochemistry. He has developed a scientific approach to mapping the human footprint, including tools that link human and ecological change processes on a small scale with their global causes and consequences.

The annual Pesek Colloquium, named for John Pesek, emeritus professor of agronomy, encourages discussion and community response on topics vital to sustainability in agriculture.

The event is sponsored by the: Bioeconomy Institute; College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; Department of Agronomy; Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology; Plant Sciences Institute; Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture; Leopold Center on Sustainable Agriculture; Committee on Lectures (funded by the Government of the Student Body); and Practical Farmers of Iowa.

John Pesek photo
John Pesek