Animal behaviorist examines truth and reality

May 16, 2006

CORVALLIS, Ore. - How good is science at predicting the future? Is anything sustainable? What is native?

These are some of the questions that animal behaviorist Fred Provenza will explore as perspectives on truth and reality and a philosophy for science and management on May 25 on the Oregon State University campus.

"Dr. Provenza is always surprising and thought-provoking," said William Krueger, head of OSU's Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management, who is sponsoring Provenza's seminar along with the University Honors College.

Provenza, a professor in the Department of Forest, Range and Wildlife Sciences at Utah State University, is internationally known for his research in understanding animal behavioral processes and using that understanding to inform rangeland management. For over two decades, his research emphasis has been the role of learning in food and habitat selection by herbivores.

He is the founder of a program called BEHAVE – Behavioral Education for Humans, Animals, Vegetation and Ecosystems. Using examples from a variety of landscapes, Provenza's work shows how behavior can be used as a tool for changing the patterns of grazing animals around riparian areas, for controlling weeds, managing fire breaks, minimizing damage to crops, enhancing biodiversity and for reducing animal losses due to toxic plants.

Provenza's lecture, "A Philosophy for Science and Management: Perspectives on Truth and Reality," will be held Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m. at Withycombe Hall Room 109. It is free and open to the public.

Author: Peg Herring
Source: William Krueger