CORVALLIS - Four of the world's most distinguished scholars in environmental sustainability will lead an Oregon State University discussion on "Environmental Stewardship" on Friday, June 11.

The discussion, which begins at 4:30 p.m. in Gilfillan Auditorium, is free and open to the public. It features Anne and Paul Ehrlich, Paul Hawken and retired Navy Adm. James Watkins. The four will also receive honorary doctorate degrees from OSU at the campus commencement ceremony June 13.

The panelists will open the discussion with brief remarks on the topic, followed by a panel discussion with questions from the audience.

The Ehrlichs, both of Stanford University, have been called the nation's first couple of environmental research. Anne Ehrlich is associate director of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology and is co-author (with her husband, Paul) of "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment." Paul Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies and a professor of biological sciences at Stanford. His 1968 book, "The Population Bomb," is widely regarded as a wake-up call for an entire generation on the subject of overpopulation.

Hawken, an original founder of the Smith & Hawken gardening accessories firm, also created Erewhon Trading Co., the nation's first natural foods company. He is an advocate of business tempered with environmental awareness and is the author of the 1993 book "Ecology of Commerce." In 1983, Hawken authored the best-selling book, "Growing a Business," about his experiences at Smith & Hawken. The book grew into a 17-part Public Broadcasting Service show of the same title that illustrates how a number of companies sustain successful businesses while being good citizens.

Watkins, president of both Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc. and the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, is former U.S. secretary of energy and chief of naval operations.

During his tenure as secretary of energy, Watkins led development of the first comprehensive national energy strategy and led a move to fund a five-fold increase in appropriations for environmental cleanup. One of his major achievements while at the Department of Energy was passage of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the most comprehensive energy legislation ever enacted.

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Brent Dalrymple, 541-737-3504