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A worldwide invasion is underway: "The End of nature As We Knew It."

The Desert Research Institute's 13th Nevada Medal Lecture in Reno March 28 & March 30

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mar. 17, 2000

A worldwide invasion is underway that threatens political, economic and environmental catastrophe, says Harold Mooney, winner of the 2000 Nevada Medal from the Desert Research Institute. Professor Mooney, an environmental biologist at Stanford University, will discuss the threat from the global spread of exotic species to new locales in the 13th Nevada Medal Lecture, "The End of Nature As We Knew It."

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be presented at DRI in Reno, at 4 p.m., Tuesday, March 28, and at DRI in Las Vegas at 4 p.m., Thursday, March 30.

Exotic plant and animal species, Mooney says, are being transported from their natural ecosystems to new locations that are unprepared for the onslaught. The recent arrival of African honey bees in the Las Vegas Valley are a prominent example of an invasive species.

Other examples include fast-spreading plants taking over wetlands in the Southeastern United States, invading marine species in the Great Lakes, coastal waterways and inland river systems in the United States, and inedible, quick-burning cheatgrass replacing the sagebrush ecosystem across the Great Basin.

Mooney, who is heading up a global effort to deal with the problem of invasive species, will receive the 2000 Nevada Medal from Gov. Kenny Guinn at award dinners in Reno and Las Vegas following the Nevada Medal Lectures. The pure silver medallion and $10,000 prize, sponsored by Nevada Bell, are presented annually by DRI to a national leader in science or engineering.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, and former president of the Ecological Society of America, Mooney is a world renowned ecologist who pioneered important modern approaches in research on how plants response to their environment. He is credited with developing research frameworks that have brought together scientists from many disciplines to work on global problems.