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Lovell Lecture features renowned fire expert Stephen J. Pyne

Date of Release: 01/27/2006

SAN MARCOS—Stephen J. Pyne, Ph.D., author of such books as How the Canyon Became Grand and Year of the Fires: The Story of the Great Fires of 1910, will deliver the Eighth Annual Lovell Distinguished Lecture at Texas State University-San Marcos at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 1.

Pyne will speak on “American History with Fire in Its Eye: How We Got to a World with Too Much of the Wrong Fire and Too Little of the Right” in the Flowers Lecture Hall, room 341, on the Texas State Campus. The Lovell Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the James and Marilyn Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research in the Department of Geography.

One of the most respected experts on the history of fire in the U.S., Pyne spent 18 seasons fighting wildfires on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Yellowstone National Park from 1967-1985. He is a member of working group 4 of the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and his fire-related travels have taken him to Australia, Canada, Greece, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Britain, South Africa, Ghana, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, India, Spain, Portugal and Costa Rica.

In 2005 he received the Honorary Geographer Award from the Association of American Geographers. which recognizes excellence in research, teaching, or writing on geographic topics by non-geographers. Pyne was selected for his exhaustive and geographically informed scholarship in the cultural ecology of fire and fire management, as well as for historically-oriented works on various topics that deal with geography, hazards, and the environment.

Among Pyne’s numerous publications is the Cycle of Fire, a suite of books that surveys the history of fire on Earth and includes Fire: A Brief History; Vestal Fire; World Fire; Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire and Burning Bush: A Fire History of Australia.

Pyne earned his bachelor of arts degree in English in 1971 from Stanford University and followed that with his masters in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1976, both from the University of Texas in American Civilization. He currently serves on the faculty of Arizona State University in the Biology and Society Program of the School of Life Sciences.

About the Lovell Distinguished Lecture
The Lovell Distinguished Lecture is an annual event which strives to deliver resourceful and fascinating programs that are open to the student body, faculty, staff and general public. The goal is to incorporate different disciplinary perspectives as well as to enhance interest and knowledge of the geographical world.

The James and Marilyn Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research at Texas State provides a focus for geographers with interests in Environmental Geography and Natural and Technological Hazards. The Center provides a locus of scholarship and activity emphasizing the importance of understanding the Earth environment, the analysis and reduction of natural and technological hazards and achieving sound policy formulation on these issues.

For additional information on the Lovell Distinguished Lecture or the Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research contact the Center Director Denise Blanchard-Boehm at (512) 245-3090 or email