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"Sustainable Lifestyles" Topic of Lecture

9/19/2007 —

Jim Merkel, author of Radical Simplicity and Sustainability Coordinator at Dartmouth College, will present Sustainable Lifestyles as part of the 2007-2008 Faculty Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, October 4, in the Atrium at Penn State Lehigh Valley in Fogelsville.  The lecture is open to the public and free of charge.

Merkel will present a slideshow containing inspiring images of sustainable lifestyles in Kerala, India, the Himalayas, Spain, and North America. The program includes lessons learned by the Global Living Project, which he founded in 1995. Merkel earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Stony Brook University in 1984 and has 12 years of experience in industry. His projects at TRW, ITT, and Photocircuits included energy demand management systems, design of industrial equipment, military cryptographic communication systems, and foreign military sales.

Merkel was hired in June of 2005 as Dartmouth College's first Sustainability Coordinator. His role is to lead Dartmouth's efforts to integrate environmentally and socially sustainable practices into the College's operations, culture, and strategic plan. In his work to develop and promote sustainable practices, Merkel founded the Alternative Transportation Task Force in San Luis Obispo, Calif., that helped create an interconnected bike lane system throughout the city and county. He was elected to the board of the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County and to three terms on the Sierra Club's Executive Committee. As a lobbyist in Washington D.C., he has worked to promote wilderness legislation, peace, and Native American rights. In 1994 Merkel received an Earthwatch Gaia Fellowship to research efficient resource use in Kerala, India, and visited communities in the Himalayas.

He taught courses on wild edible and medicinal herbs, alternative construction, renewable energy, timber framing, ethical money management, ecological footprinting, bioregionalism, and gardening for self-reliance. He is also the author of The Global Living Handbook.

Merkel has logged over 17,000 miles delivering lectures and workshops at over 30 colleges and universities.

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