CORVALLIS, Ore. – Willamette University emeritus professor Gilbert LaFreniere will deliver a lecture titled “Reflections on the Ecological Transformation of Western Europe” on Wednesday, May 6, at Oregon State University. The free public talk begins at 4 p.m. in Memorial Union Room 206.

The lecture will address what LaFreniere calls “the massive ecological destruction of western Europe.” He claims the entire Mediterranean basin has been transformed into a human artifact, and most of Western Europe has been similarly affected by deforestation, loss of species diversity, and near total humanization of pre-existing ecosystems.

LaFreniere is an emeritus professor of geology and environmental science at Willamette and author of the 2008 book “The Decline of Nature: Environmental History and the Western Worldview.” He taught geology, environmental ethics, and environmental history at Willamette for more than 25 years.

He earned his degrees in intellectual history from the University of California at Santa Barbara after working as a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey and Santa Barbara County. LaFreniere also authored the book “Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Idea of Progress” (1976).

This lecture is sponsored by OSU’s History Department with funding from the Horning Endowment in the Humanities. For more information contact the History Department at 541-737-8560.

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Elissa Curcio,