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Interview with Marjorie Holland, August 10, 2015

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:53 - Early interests in ecology

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Partial Transcript: Well before we get to that, would you please tell us a little bit about how your interests in ecology began?

Segment Synopsis: Holland talks about the people who inspired her to become an ecologist: her father, who had been a high school biology teacher, and Bill Niering, her ecology professor at the University of Connecticut. She talks about being a high school biology teacher for a few years before she went to graduate school at Smith College to become a plant ecologist.

Keywords: 5 college Ph.d program; Connecticut College Arboretum; New London, Connecticut; Richard Goodwin; The Nature Conservancy; University of Massachusetts; botany; fauna; flora; zoology

00:07:58 - Citizens Advisory Committee / UNESCO sabbatical

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Partial Transcript: Well then from there I understand you had some overseas experience?

Segment Synopsis: Holland says that she taught at Amherst College after graduate school before she left to work for the Citizens Advisory Committee in Boston. She was involved in improving Boston's drinking water system, and she says that this is how she got interested in public policy. After leaving the Citizens group, Holland taught at the College of New Rochelle where she was awarded tenure and was able to go on a sabbatical in Paris with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) where she set up a program on ecotones.

Keywords: AAAS; AIBS; Connecticut College; Connecticut River floodplain; Hal Mooney; International Geo-sphere Biosphere Program; Mel Dyer; Paul Risser; Sierra Club; Smith College; West Chester, New York; Yaffa Groossman; congressional fellowship

00:18:39 - Public affairs office / University of Mississippi

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Partial Transcript: About in April of 1987, I heard rumors about the ecological society looking for someone to take over the public affairs office.

Segment Synopsis: Holland discusses her decision to leave her position at UNESCO to work in the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) Public Affairs Office. She recalls working there for six years and then moving to Oxford, Mississippi to work in the University of Mississippi's biology department, where she has been for the past twenty years.

Keywords: Bill Niering; Costa Rica; Department of Homeland Security; E-Map; EPA; Hurricane Katrina; Louisiana Gulf Coast; NSF; Ohio State University; Profiles of Ecologists; Richard Goodwin; U.S Forest Service; University of Mississippi Field Station; freshwater marsh; plant ecology; salt marsh; vegetation erosion; wave dynamics

00:28:06 - Highlights from tenure at Public Affairs Office

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Partial Transcript: Alright, now let's see what is the best next direction for us to go here.

Segment Synopsis: Holland goes into more detail about her time as the Director of the ESA's Public Affairs Office. She talks about hosting a congressional briefing with Yaffa Grossman about the ESA's report on the ecological effects of genetically engineered organisms. She also discusses the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative, and says that they made profiles of ecologists to help people understand more about what ecologists do. She also hosted a workshop that lead to the Women and Minorities in Ecology (WAMIE) program and the SEEDS program.

Keywords: Alan Berkowitz; Barbara Bently; Diana Wall; Hal Mooney; Jane Lubchenco; Jim Tiedje; Margaret Davis; National Academy of Sciences; Paul Risser; Snowbird; Sonja Ortega

00:42:06 - Development of the ESA

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Partial Transcript: So, you had asked in the email how has ESA changed as an organization.

Segment Synopsis: Holland talks about how the ESA has changed over the years, saying that hiring an executive director and a large Washington staff has been a major improvement. She also discusses how the ESA has become more diversified and has added more new journals.

Keywords: AIBS; Al Gore; Barbara McCloskey; Duncan Patten; Dupont Circle; EPA; FASEB; Forest Services; Frank Harris; Mary Clutter; NASA; NSF; Nadine Lynn; Public Affairs Committee; Yaffa Grossman; biodiversity