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March 14, 2005

Speaker to Discuss Founder Of
Environmental Movement March 24

“Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism,” is the topic of a lecture by Char Miller, director of urban studies at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, on Thursday, March 24, at 4 p.m., in Konover Auditorium at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. The event is part of the Edwin Way Teale Series on Nature and the Environment.

Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) rose to national prominence as a forester, conservationist and political progressive, serving as the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service from 1898 to 1910.

Miller will provide a fresh interpretation of Pinchot’s life through the perspectives of cultural and social history and recently discovered primary sources. Because Pinchot helped define environmental politics in the early 20th century, Miller will also offer a reappraisal within the broader history of conservation and forestry in the United States. This revised viewpoint helps explain why Pinchot argued that natural resources should be used to provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people, an argument that remains relevant.

Miller specializes in American environmental, social, and cultural history. He is the author of six award-winning books, including Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism; The Greatest Good: 100 Years of Forestry in America; and Fathers and Sons: The Bingham Family and the American Mission. He has edited 11 books and published many articles, and is the 2004-05 Centennial Lecturer for the U.S. Forest Service. He earned his Ph.D. in 1981 from Johns Hopkins University.