The West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design will welcome a pioneer in the field of ecological design and engineering to campus for this year’s E. Lynn Miller Lecture in Landscape Architecture.

John Todd, founder and president of John Todd Ecological Design and Ocean Arks International, will present “Healing the Waters Through Ecological Design” at 7 p.m. Thurs., April 28, in 1021 South Agricultural Sciences.

The lecture series brings regionally, nationally and internationally prominent speakers in the field of landscape architecture to the University to discuss current trends in outdoor public areas, landmarks and other structures. E. Lynn Miller, who received a degree in horticulture with an emphasis in landscape architecture from WVU in 1953, endowed the lecture series in 2002.

Todd’s lecture will be a “tour de force” of ecological design experiments and ideas over the past 30 years. He’ll discuss everything from learning how to clean up toxic compounds threatening water tables, recycling purified sewage and healing polluted streams woven into a search for living technologies to solve the problems of humanity.

“Dr. Todd’s innovative strategies in enhancing water quality through biological processes and ecological environmental design address many significant needs in West Virginia,” said Peter Butler, associate professor of landscape architecture. “We are honored and excited to welcome him to WVU through the generosity of E. Lynn Miller’s support of the landscape architecture program.”

Todd holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master’s degree in parasitology and tropical medicine from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a doctorate in fisheries and ethology from the University of Michigan.

He is professor emeritus and distinguished lecturer at University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School and a fellow of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics.

In addition to being founder and president of Ocean Arks International, a non-profit research and education organization, Todd is co-founder of New Alchemy Institute, a research center that has done pioneering investigation into organic agriculture, aquaculture and bioshelters. He has been an assistant scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and assistant professor at San Diego State University.

His numerous honors include the 2008 Buckminster Fuller Award for his conceptual planet-saving work – “Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge for Appalachia” – as well as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chico Mendes Award and Environment Merit Award, a Global Visionary Award from the City of Chicago, and being named “Hero of the Planet” in 1999 by Time Magazine.

He is also co-editor of “Solutions Journal”; a fellow of the Lindisfarne Association; a member of the Society of Ecological Restoration and the Ecological Society of America; and serves on the advisory board of Ecological Engineering, the Journal of Ecotechnology. His patented Eco-Machine™ was exhibited by Smithsonian Institution’s Design Triennial at the Cooper–Hewitt Museum of Design in New York City.

Todd is currently writing a book entitled “A Designer’s Guide to Thinking Ecologically,” and is working on the design and development of living technologies for the cleaning up of fresh waters and inshore marine environments.
The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

The E. Lynn Miller Lecture in Landscape Architecture was endowed through the WVU Foundation, the private nonprofit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University. The Foundation is currently conducting A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The largest fundraising effort in the history of the University hopes to raise $1 billion by December 2017.



CONTACT: Lindsay Willey, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

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