'Earth Day' 35th Anniversary with Special Presentation
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In recognition of the 35th anniversary of “Earth Day,” the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley has scheduled one of the most renowned and respected contemporary conservationists, Dr. Michael Dombeck, for a presentation at the Menasha campus on Wednesday, April 20 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Student Union. The presentation is entitled, “Earth Day at 35: Losing Ground or Making Progress?,” and is free and open to the public.
Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, proposed the first nationwide environmental protest to bring the issues onto the national agenda. “It was a gamble that worked,” he would recall. On the first proclaimed Earth Day, April 22, 1970 approximately 20 million Americans in local communities chose to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
For his efforts to develop and organize Earth Day, Nelson was eventually awarded the “Presidential Medal of Freedom,” the highest honor given to a civilian, by President Bill Clinton in 1995
Dombeck is currently Professor of Global Environmental Management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point & and is a University of Wisconsin System Fellow for Global Conservation. He has served as the Chief of the Forest Service at the Department of Agriculture (Washington, D.C.) and at one time was the Acting Director for the Bureau of Land Management in Department of the Interior (Washington, D.C.)
Dombeck has dedicated a quarter of a century to managing federal lands and natural resources in the long-term public interest. His leadership in the Bureau of Land Management and in the Forest Service impacted nearly 500 million acres. His legacy is one of steadfast stewardship for the land, and he is most noted for significant efforts toward watershed health and restoration, sustainable forest ecosystem management, sound forest roads and road-less area protection. As the capstone to his life-long career in public service, he was granted the highest award in federal service: the Presidential Rank – Distinguished Executive Award.
Dombeck has received the prestigious “Audubon Medal” and the “Lady Bird Johnson Conservation Award.” He has authored, co-authored, and edited over 200 popular and scholarly publications, including the book, “Watershed Restoration: Principles and Practices,” and most recently the book, “From Conquest to Conservation: Our Public Lands Legacy.”
Dombeck, now serving as GEM Pioneer Professor and UW System Fellow of Global Conservation is helping to lead the planning and development of the Global Environmental Management Education Center in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Its aims are to develop and share world-class educational programs in natural resources and environmental management for building a sustainable future locally and abroad. He lectures and makes frequent national and international presentations on current environmental, natural resource management, and social issues.
Dombeck resides in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, M.S. from the University of Minnesota, and earned his Ph.D. from Iowa State University.