Lee Talbot to Receive Festschrift Honor

Posted: April 24, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Lynn Burke

Professor Lee Talbot, Environmental Science and Policy (ESP), will be honored today with a festschrift for a lifetime of achievement. The event, sponsored by ESP and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), will take place at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.

According to Provost Peter Stearns, a festschrift–a collection of essays that often includes pieces from former students in tribute to a major scholar–is a fairly common way of celebrating a career of distinction. “Lee, obviously, has achieved this kind of major status in his field, along with the real affection from his colleagues that marks this genre.”

Talbot’s career has spanned more than 46 years and 128 countries and is marked by his original ecosystem research and pioneering work on endangered species, biodiversity conservation, and development of new principles for managing and conserving wild living resources. He has been a major influence in shaping U.S. national environmental policy, serving on the President’s Council on Environmental Quality under Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter, and designing such legislation as the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Internationally, Talbot has worked with the World Bank Group, the World Wildlife Fund, and the World Conservation Union, including service as its director-general. Through the years, Talbot has been able to combine his environmental work with his love for outdoor sports-whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, skiing, and canoeing, to name just a few.

“Lee Talbot brings to our Environmental Science and Policy Department a wealth of experience and maturity that is of great value to our expanded efforts in this area,” says CAS Dean Daniele Struppa, who will open the day’s activities. “Dr. Talbot’s stature has significantly increased the visibility of our programs and the viability of our courses at the science-policy interface.”

The festschrift will feature panels on science, environment and development, and policy. Sitting on those panels will be a number of internationally renowned environmentalists. Also scheduled to speak are former Delaware Governor Russell Peterson, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, and Gene Likens, director of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. Proceedings from the event will be published.

The honor accords to Talbot much appreciation for what he has brought to George Mason. “With his vast experience in international and domestic environmental science and policy work, Dr. Talbot provides a fascinating new dimension to students accustomed to textbook treatments of the topic,” says Chris Jones, ESP chair. “With Dr. Talbot, students are provided a first-hand account of the formulation and application of many of our important environmental laws. He truly has been an invaluable resource and inspiration to students and faculty alike.”

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