John C. Kricher to Lecture on "Birds and the Balance of Nature"

The Moravian College Environmental Studies & Sciences Program presents

"Birds and the Balance of Nature"
a lecture by
Dr. John C. Kricher, professor of biology,
Wheaton College

Wednesday, September 22, 7:00 p.m.
Dana Lecture Hall, Collier Hall of Science


The canary in a coal mine has always been considered a warning of unwelcome change. Birds are highly sensitive to environmental change, and they continue to serve as sentinels in a world increasingly affected by change.

But is the balance of nature threatened by our changing world? In this talk, Professor Kricher will argue that there is, in fact, no valid scientific definition of "balance of nature" and that nature is constantly changing to various degrees. Using birds as examples, Professor Kricher will explain how and why nature changes and why such change argues against any sort of meaningful balance. But if nature is not really balanced, why should we preserve biodiversity? Professor Kricher will close with a discussion of the ethical and scientific arguments regarding the conservation of biodiversity.

John Kricher is a professor of Biology at Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts. A graduate of Temple (B.A.) and Rutgers Universities (Ph.D.), Dr. Kricher teaches ecology, ornithology, and vertebrate evolution. He has conducted Earthwatch-sponsored research on migrant birds on their wintering grounds in Belize and is the author of over 100 papers and articles in scientific journals, magazines, and newspapers.  His most recent book, The Balance of Nature: Ecology’s Enduring Myth, was published by Princeton University Press in spring 2009. He has also authored Galapagos: A Natural History, A Neotropical Companion, and three ecology field guides in the Peterson series. His widely used book A Neotropical Companion has been translated into Spanish through the Birders' Exchange Program of the American Birding Association. Kricher is a Fellow in the American Ornithologists Union and serves on the Science Advisory Committee of the Council of the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Financial support for the Environmental Studies & Sciences film & lecture series is provided through a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

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