John Perlin, author of "A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization," will lecture on "The Role of Wood in World History," March 15 at 3 p.m., in the Fralin Biotechnology Center Auditorium at Virginia Tech's Blacksburg Campus.

Internationally known for speaking out about the worldwide forest loss, Perlin will discuss how deforestation accelerates erosion, the greenhouse effect, and the expansion of deserts. The scholar will reflect on the critical role of wood in the economic and social decline of civilizations, including Greece. He will talk about how the movement of Western civilization parallels the need for wood resources.

Perlin has also published books on the history of solar energy, architecture, and technology. His books are printed in five countries, and he has lectured in Brazil. "A Forest Journey" received awards from London Times Books Review and the Geographic Society of Chicago. Perlin has also published more than 30 articles in recent publications. His books received praise from such media giants as the British Broadcasting Company, the Christian Science Monitor, and Los Angeles Times.

A reception will follow the lecture in Fralin Atrium. For further information on this event sponsored by Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, contact Robert Bush at (540) 231-8834 or rbush@vt.edu.

The College of Natural Resources consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.