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Dr. Ruth Defries To Speak At World Wildlife Fund

Columbia University Expert Will Discuss Impacts of Deforestation Emissions on Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 11, 2008 – Dr. Ruth DeFries, a leading expert in sustainable development, will discuss “Changing Dynamics of Tropical Deforestation and Atmospheric Carbon Emissions: Science Meets Policy” at World Wildlife Fund on Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 4:30 p.m.  The lecture is part of the Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Seminar series, which brings distinguished scientists from a variety of fields to Washington, D.C. to present cutting edge research of central importance to international conservation. 

As policymakers evaluate carbon credit considerations for developing countries in exchange for avoided deforestation, the technical capabilities for estimating and monitoring carbon emissions become increasingly crucial to the policy agenda.  Changing dynamics of deforestation in some parts of the tropics towards mechanized, large-scale production require new approaches to estimate emissions.  Dr. DeFries will discuss the science behind estimating deforestation emissions and the implications of scientific uncertainties for policy.

Ruth DeFries' research investigates the relationships among human transformation of the land surface and the biogeochemical and ecological processes that regulate the Earth's habitability. The research uses satellite imagery as a lens to examine changes in the land surface over large areas. The overall thrust of the research is to develop underlying science for balancing the needs of human society to transform the landscape for food production, settlements and other requirements while maintaining long-term habitability of the planet.

Dr. DeFries holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University and a BA summa cum laude from Washington University. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation award, and a fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program.

When:             4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (lecture); 5:30 – 6:30 (reception), Thursday, September 11, 2008
Where:            World Wildlife Fund, Russell Train Conference Center, 1250 24th St. NW (between M and N streets). Admission is free: Click Here for a Map.
Registration at:
Who:               Dr. Ruth DeFries, Denning Professor of Sustainable Development, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University

This lecture is funded through the Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund, which honors Kathryn S. Fuller, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund from 1989 to 2005.