DURHAM, N.C. – Norman L. Christensen, founding dean and professor emeritus at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, will address graduates at the school’s 25th anniversary Recognition Ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14.

Christensen will speak to Master of Environmental Management, Master of Forestry and doctoral degree candidates and their families in a private ceremony at the Chemistry Lot on Circuit Drive on Duke’s West Campus.

In his talk, “What Were We Thinking?,” he will reflect on the struggles and successes of the school’s first 25 years, and the opportunities that the next quarter century may hold.  

Widely cited for his work on sustainable forest management, wildfire management, and the impact of disturbance and succession in forest ecosystems, Christensen was elected a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in 2013 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1993.

He served as president-elect, president and past president of ESA from 2006-09. Among numerous other professional honors, he is a recipient of the prestigious A. Starker Leopold Award from the National Park Service and a Distinguished Teaching Award from Duke. He served two five-year terms as the Nicholas School's dean, from 1991 to 2001.

Christensen received his B.A. and M.A. from California State University at Fresno in 1968 and 1970, respectively, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1973.

For more information about the annual Recognition Ceremony, go here.