PULLMAN, Wash. — The discoverer of acid rain in North America, Gene Likens, will discuss its growing impact on forest, stream and lake ecosystems at the annual Lane Lecture at Washington State University. The lecture is set for 7:30 p.m., Sept. 26, in WSU’s Todd Hall Auditorium.
Acid rain was first observed in North America at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Likens has been studying precipitation and stream-water chemistry there since 1963, creating the longest, continuous record of this type in the world. His work has shown a marked decline in calcium and other essential plant nutrients in stream-water and soils. In his lecture, entitled “Acid Rain and the Biogeochemistry of Calcium at Hubbard Brook,” he will discuss the long-term implications for forest growth and other ecological changes.
Likens is director of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Mary Flagler Cary Arboretum at Millbrook, New York, one of the world’s leading ecological research centers. He also holds faculty positions at Yale, Cornell and Rutgers universities. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and science academies in Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Britain. He has received are the U.S. Forest Service Anniversary Award for conservation and the first G.E. Hutchinson Award for excellence in research from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and was selected a 2001 National Medal of Science Laureate. He currently serves as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the Societas Internationalis Limnologiae.
The Lane Family Lectureship in Environmental Science at WSU is endowed by a gift from former publisher of SUNSET Magazine, books and films, L.W. “Bill” Lane, Jr. and his wife, Jean. The Robert and Wendi Lane Fellowships and Scholarships, which will be announced for the 2002-2003 academic year prior to the lecture, were created in 1992 through a gift from Robert and Wendi Lane, Bill and Jean Lane’s son and daughter-in-law.
Previous Lane lectures have been delivered by lecture founder Bill Lane, ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin, zero population growth advocate Paul Ehrlich, tropical ecologist John Terborgh, lawyer Ann Strong, Earth Day founder Denis Hayes and former Environmental Protection Agency administrator William K. Reilly.