Earth Day Special!!!

Co-Sponsors: Jepson Herbarium, Friends of Albany Hill, East Bay and Yerba Buena Chapters of the California Native Plant Society,
Golden Gate National Recreation Area

"Biodiversity and Stewardship:
Our Common Responsibility"

by Dr. Peter Raven

Tuesday, April 21, 1998, 7:30 PM
Room 2050, Valley Life Science Building, UC-Berkeley

San Francisco Bay Area Site Stewardship Fair
Valley Life Science Building Lobby,
Tuesday, April 21, 1998, 7:00pm-9:30pm

Evening Talk and Fair Open to the Public;
No Admission Charge

Public Parking Information

Peter H. Raven, a native Californian with a lifelong interest in natural history, has built on his science to achieve international prominence in the fields of botany and conservation. His career was launched when, as a 14-year-old boy wandering the wilds of San Francisco, he discovered an overlooked shrub growing in the Presidio, subsequently named the Raven's Manzanita (Arctostaphylos hookeri subsp. ravenii), which exists in the wild as a single remaining plant. As Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Home Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, and member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, Dr. Raven has retained his seminal appreciation for the Bay Area's richly unique natural heritage while simultaneously developing a deep understanding of the global significance of local efforts to protect this heritage.

Dr. Raven will share his insights at a special "Earth Day Eve" talk, which will form the centerpiece of a Stewardship Fair on the evening of Tuesday, April 21. Here you will also find available a treasure trove of information on existing site stewardship projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, ranging from community grass-roots efforts (e.g. Albany Hill) to the ambitious site stewardship program of the Golden Gate National Park/ Golden Gate National Recreation Area, with numerous opportunities for hands-on participation on the following Earth Day weekend. You will also find information, ideas, and resources to assist in the development of new community site stewardship projects.

Community site stewardship projects have developed over the last several years as an ideal way to "think globally, act locally", to foster the sense of place that is an essential component of any sustainable relationship with the planet we call home. While not diminishing the heart-wrenching need to halt the further destruction of biodiversity in tropical and temperate rainforests, we are called also to appreciate and foster that component of our global natural heritage that comprises our community back yards. The San Francisco Bay Area is in fact a global "hot spot" of natural diversity, resulting from the complex interplay of geology and microclimates, which has been reduced in many places to a series of "islands in an urban sea". A multitude of threats continues even when the "islands" are set aside as parks, primarily in the form of invasive pest plants which, if left unchecked, overwhelm and displace the indigenous diversity.

Not only do community site stewardship projects give us an opportunity to make a difference, but to express our personal responsibility in a way that bridges the human and natural communities. *And this opportunity is accessible to everyone, independent of ethnic, economic, or educational background. * To quote Gary Snyder (The Discovery of Turtle Island), "We are all indigenous to this planet, this mosaic of wild gardens we are being called by nature and history to reinhabit in good spirit. Part of that responsibility is to choose a place. To restore the land one must live and work in a place. To work in a place is to work with others. People who work together in a place become a community, and a community, in time, grows a culture. To work on behalf of the wild is to restore culture."

Biographical Sketch of Peter Raven
(Missouri Botanical Garden, October 1997)

Peter H. Raven, a native Californian with a lifelong interest in natural history, has built on his science to achieve international prominence in the fields of botany and conservation. His career was launched through an undergraduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley (A.B., 1957) and graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.D. 1960).

Following nine years as a member of the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University, Dr. Raven came to St. Louis in 1971 as Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden and Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University. During more than a quarter of a century in these posts, Dr. Raven has led the revitalization of the research, educational, and display programs of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The research programs of the Garden now range throughout the world, with particular concentration on Latin America and Africa, as well as important programs in North America, China, and other parts of the world.

In addition to his activities in St. Louis, Dr. Raven has served for the past decade as Home Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious body of scientists in the United States, and is very actively involved with the activities of the Academy and its operating arm, the National Research Council. He also is a member of President Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, and is a long time member of the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. Dr. Raven served as the first Chair of the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation, a government-established organization that funds joint research with the independent countries of the former Soviet Union. He is active internationally in science, science policy, and particularly conservation, where he has emphasized the need for a transition to global sustainability in forums held throughout the world. As a result of his work, Dr. Raven is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious Environment Prize of the Institut de la Vie; Volvo Prize; Tyler Prize and Sasakawa Environment Prize. He has also held Guggenheim and John D. and Catharine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.

Dr. Raven's personal scientific activities now focus mainly on his co editorship of the Flora of China, a joint Chinese-American international project that is leading to a contemporary account of all the plants of China ‹ which, with about 30,000 species, constitute about an eighth of the total found in the world.

Dr. Raven is the author of numerous books and publications, both popular and scientific, including his co-authorship of the internationally best selling textbook in botany, The Biology of Plants, (Worth Publishers, Inc., New York), now in its fifth edition, and a leading textbook in the environment, Environment (Saunders College Publishing, Pennsylvania).

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