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September 2005

Release Date: September 21, 2005

ASU's Holland Lecture to Examine Environmental Issues

The environment, which has recently come to the forefront of public consciousness thanks to public policy decisions and an energy crisis, will be explored by two scholars during the 2005 E. James Holland Symposium on American Values Monday through Tuesday, Oct. 24-25, at Angelo State University.

Dr. Peter A. Walker, who teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon, and Dr. Howard Margolis, a professor of public policy at the University of Chicago, will discuss the change from a wild America rife with life-sustaining natural resources to a society of consumption that pits economic necessity against environmental protection.

The two speakers will focus on the theme "Environmental Values in a Consumer Society: Valuing the Land in the Land of the Free" during public and classroom presentations. Walker, whose research focuses on how environmental use is shaped by political and social forces, will give his lecture "Is Environmentalism Dead? Environmental Visions in a Consumer Society" at 1:45 p.m. Oct. 24. Margolis, author of Dealing with Risk: Why the Public and the Experts Disagree on Environmental Issues, will speak on "Can Policy Analysis Resolve Tough Environmental Choices?" at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 25.

Both scholars will participate in a panel discussion on environmental issues and consumerism at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25. The lectures and the panel discussion are open free to the public in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center at ASU.

Since its inception, the symposium has brought more than 50 nationally prominent scholars, academicians and policy-makers to the ASU campus to discuss issues relevant to changes in American society. In 2003, the Texas State University System Board of Regents named the symposium in honor of Dr. E. James Holland, who served 34 years as dean of ASU's College of Liberal and Fine Arts until his 2003 retirement. Holland established the annual symposium in 1984.

The two-day symposium, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, is the central event in a broader program of related activities, including class visits by the featured presenters, a video production of the symposium itself and a creative contest with cash awards for students.

Walker is a former consultant for the United States Agency for International Development and, through his research in Africa, has explored the relationship between democracy and attitudes toward the environment. He is the author of A Sierra Landscape in Transition: Land Use and Social Change in Western Nevada County, California, and has authored or co-authored pieces in peer-reviewed journals such as Progress in Human Geography, Society & Natural Resources, Human Ecology, and Capitalism, Nature, Socialism.

Walker's research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He has won two teaching awards at the University of Oregon, including the Rippey Innovative Teaching Award two years in a row.

This academic year Margolis is serving as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Washington, D.C. He is working on a book on behavioral economics and, in addition to Dealing with Risk, Margolis' works include Selfishness, Altruism & Rationality, Patterns, Thinking & Cognition, Paradigms and Barriers, and The Discovery of Discovery: What Was Revolutionary about the Scientific Revolution?

He has worked as a journalist, government official and consultant in Washington. He founded the "News & Comment" section of Science and has been a correspondent for the Washington Post and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. He has also been a speech writer for the Defense Department and a consultant to the National Academy of Sciences.

For more information, contact Dr. Bill Montgomery at 942-2068, Ext. 245, or visit the Holland Symposium website at