John Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture

Each year, this two-day event encourages discussion and community response on topics vital to agricultural sustainability. The colloquium is named for Dr. John Pesek, Iowa State University Emeritus Professor of Agronomy, who has enjoyed a long and distinguished career. His contributions in the areas of soil fertility, crop production, and the economics of fertilizer use led to a better understanding of the effects of management practices on the environment and crop production. Dr. Pesek was named a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, the Iowa Academy of Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as president of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America and helped establish the nation's first National Soil Tilth Laboratory, a USDA-ARS facility in Ames, IA (now called the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment). Dr. Pesek was named a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture at Iowa State University in 1981 and received the Agronomic Service Award from the American Society of Agronomy in 1989.

Recent Speakers

2014.Dr. Kate Scow, Professor of Soil Science and Soil Microbial Ecologist at the University of California–Davis, and Ms. Deborah Koons Garcia, filmmaker, presented a lecture titled Communicating Science Through Stories in Film:A Dialogue about Agricultural Sustainability and Soil. The event was co-sponsored by Pierre Lecture Series in Soil Science.

2013.Dr. David Montgomery, Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, presented a lecture titled Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations.

2012.Dr. Erle Ellis, Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland–Baltimore County, spoke about Agriculture in the Anthropocene: Growing a Sustainable Human Ecology.

2011.Mr. Andrew Revkin, New York Times journalist and lecturer at Pace University’s Academy for Applied Environmental Sciences, presented a lecture titled 9 Billion People + 1 Planet = ?

2010.Mr. Bill McKibben, a writer and environmentalist from Vermont, spoke on Sustaining Life on a Tough New Planet.

2009.Dr. Shahid Naeem, Professor and former Chair of Columbia University's Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology spoke about The Environmental Significance of Biodiversity in Managed and Unmanaged Ecosystems:  From China, to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Great Plains, and Iowa.

2008.Dr. Robert Costanza, former Gund Professor of Ecological Economics and Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, spoke about Ecological Economics: Creating a Sustainable and Desirable Future.

Earlier Colloquiua

2007.Cynthia Rosenzweig (PDF 823 KB)

2006.Calestous Juma (PDF 465 KB)

2005.Hunter Lovins (PDF 811 KB)

2004.Daryll E. Ray (PDF 1155 KB)

2003.Frances Moore Lappé (PDF 618 KB)

2002.Per Pinstrup-Anderson (PDF 25 KB)

2001.John Pesek (PDF 65 KB)