February 23, 2006

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Stephen Packard, director of the Audubon Society Chicago Wilderness Project, will give the talk, "Free the Oaks!" What the Susquehanna Watershed might learn from Chicago Wilderness: Lessons in restoring a bioregion," Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gardner Lecture Hall of the Dana Engineering Building at Bucknell.

The talk, which is free to the public, is part of the Bucknell University Environmental Center/Social Sciences Sustainability lecture series, sponsored by the Bucknell Environmental Center with the support of the Provost's Office.

Starting out with a B.A. in English from Harvard, experience in community organizing, and a fascination with old oak trees in Chicago's forest preserves, Packard helped rediscover one of North America's most endangered ecosystems, the prairie oak savannah, according to Craig Kochel, Bucknell professor of geology.

"Along the way he organized an army of volunteer citizen-scientists who helped in restoring remnants of prairie and savannah through fire management and cultivation of rare native plants, often from seeds gathered in pioneer cemeteries and railroad beds," he said.

Packard's work was profiled by New York Times science-writer William Stevens in the book Miracle Under the Oaks.

Packard is co-editor of the Tallgrass Restoration Handbook: For Prairies, Savannas, and Woodlands, published by Island Press.

For more information on the Bucknell University Environmental Center see http://www.bucknell.edu/EnvironmentalCenter/

Story posted Feb. 23, 2006


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