ASU professor to discuss human influence on the environment

A research professor will discuss the influence human activity is having on the climate and environment during a free Desert Rivers Audubon program Tuesday, Jan. 8.

David Pearson

David Pearson of Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences will speak during the session 7-9 p.m. at the Southeast Regional Library at the southeast corner of Greenfield and Guadalupe roads in Gilbert.

“Scientists have dubbed the current geological age as the Anthropocene because human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment,” according to a release announcing the event.

“Scientists, politicians and decision-makers are gradually coming to the realization that we can no longer live in the past to conserve biodiversity.”

With 12 billion inhabitants of the planet a distinct possibility within 75 years, humans will severely impact every habitat in the world, the professor stated, adding the definition of “natural” must change to include human beings as a species within the community of species.

Mr. Pearson has traveled the world to find and study birds and tiger beetles. His research focuses on using the interaction of ecology, conservation, ecotourism and education to develop methods that promote sustainable use of biodiversity.

He has worked on a breadth of organisms from crabs to insects, and paramecium to birds. He also has studied a range of habitat types including coral atolls and desert grasslands.

The Desert Rivers Audubon Society provides environmental education and conservation opportunities to Valley residents, and advocates for the environment, the release stated.

Desert Rivers’ mobile bookstore, offering the latest birding guides and other nature books, opens at 6:30 p.m. the day of the program.

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