Donella Meadows

From Academic Kids

Donella "Dana" Meadows (March 13, 1941 Elgin, Illinois, USA - February 20, 2001, New Hampshire) was a pioneering environmental scientist, a teacher and writer. She was the lead author of Limits to Growth, and proposed the twelve leverage points to intervene in a system.

She was educated in science, earning a B.A. in chemistry from Carleton College in 1963 and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University in 1968. She then became a research fellow at MIT, a protégé of Jay Forrester, the inventor of system dynamics as well as the principle of magnetic data storage for computers. She taught at Dartmouth College for 29 years, beginning in 1972.

In 1972 she was on the MIT team that produced the global computer model "World3" for the Club of Rome and provided the basis for the book, Limits to Growth. The book reported a study of long-term global trends in population, economics and the environment. The book made headlines around the world, and began a debate about the limits of Earth's capacity to support human economic expansion, a debate that continues to this day.

In 1981, Donella Meadows founded the International Network of Resource Information Centers (INRIC), a global process of information sharing and collaboration among hundreds of leading academics, researchers, and activists in the broader sustainable development movement (an international effort to reverse damaging trends in the environment, economy, and social systems). Meadows was the founder of the Sustainability Institute, combining research in global systems with practical demonstrations of sustainable living, including the development of an ecovillage and organic farm.

Meadows was honored both as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and Environment and as a MacArthur Fellow. She received the Walter C. Paine Science Education Award in 1990. Meadows wrote a weekly column called "The Global Citizen," nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1991, commenting on world events from a systems point of view. Her work is widely recognized as a formative influence on hundreds of other academic studies, government policy initiatives, and international agreements.

Further reading

  • Dennis L. Meadows, Donella M. Meadows, Donella H. Meadows and Tzonis' Toward Global Equilibrium: Collected Papers, Pegasus Communications, 1973, hardcover ISBN 0262131439
  • Donella H. Meadows and J. M. Robinson, The Electronic Oracle: Computer Models and Social Decisions, John Wiley & Sons (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/), 1985, hardcover, 462 pages, ISBN 0471905585
  • Donella H. Meadows, Global Citizen, Island Press (http://www.islandpress.org/), 1991, paperback 197 pages, ISBN 1559630582
  • Donella H. Meadows, Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind, New American Library, 1977, paperback, ISBN 0451136950; Universe Books, hardcover, 1972, ISBN 0876632223 (scarce).
  • Donella H. Meadows, Beyond the limits : global collapse or a sustainable future, Earthscan Publications (http://www.earthscan.co.uk/), 1992, ISBN 1853831301
  • Dennis L. Meadows, Donella H. Meadows and Jorgen Randers, Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future, Chelsea Green Publishing (http://www.chelseagreen.com/index.asp?bhcp=1), 1993, paperback, 320 pages, ISBN 0930031628
  • Donella H. Meadows, John Richardson and Gerhart Bruckmann, Groping in the Dark: The First Decade of Global Modelling, John Wiley & Sons (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/), 1982, paperback, ISBN 0471100277
  • edited by Sandi Brockway, foreword by Marilyn Ferguson, introduction by Denis Hayes, preface by Donella H. Meadows, Macrocosm U. S. A.: Possibilities for a New Progressive Era..., Macrocosm (http://www.macronet.org/), 1993, paperback, 464 pages, ISBN 0963231553
  • Michael J. Caduto, foreword by Donella H. Meadows, illustrated by Joan Thomson, Pond and Brook: A Guide to Nature in Freshwater Environments, University Press of New England (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~upne/), 1990, paperback, 288 pages, ISBN 0874515092

External links


The Dana Meadows are in the High Sierra of Yosemite National Park.

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