Friends of the Earth’s Brent Blackwelder to Speak at 2005 Nicholas School Recognition Ceremony

April 5, 2005

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth, will speak to graduates of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at the school’s annual Recognition Ceremony, at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 14.

Blackwelder’s address to this year’s Master of Environmental Management, Master of Forestry and doctoral graduates and their families will begin at about 9:15 a.m. and will last about 20 minutes.

The ceremony, which is not open to the public, will be held in the courtyard of the Levine Science Research Center on Research Drive.

One of the nation’s most effective and influential environmental advocates, Blackwelder has testified before Congress more than 100 times. Among other accomplishments, he is widely credited for leading the campaigns to expand the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System from eight rivers in 1973 to more than 160 waterways today, and to block more than 200 dams or stream channelization projects that threatened wetlands and other areas of ecological importance.

Blackwelder has been Friends of the Earth’s president since 1994. He serves on the board of visitors of the Nicholas School, and on the board of directors of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and 20/20 Vision. He was founder and first chairman of the board of the national nonprofit organization, American Rivers. He also founded the Environmental Policy Institute, which merged with Friends of the Earth in 1989. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke, a master’s degree at Yale University, and a PhD from the University of Maryland.

Friends of the Earth is an international network of grassroots environmental advocacy groups with more than one million members in 70 countries.

The Nicholas School is one of the world’s top graduate research and professional schools for the interdisciplinary study of the environment, biological, physical and social sciences.