David W. Orr

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David W. Orr "is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics. He is also a James Marsh Professor at large at the University of Vermont. Born in Des Moines, Iowa and raised in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, he holds a B.A. from Westminster College (1965), a M.A. from Michigan State University (1966), and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania (1973). He and his wife have two sons and three grandchildren.

"He is the author of five books: Design on the Edge: The Making of a High Performance Building (MIT Press, 2006); The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment (Island Press, 2004); The Nature of Design (Oxford, 2002); Earth in Mind (Island, 1994/2004); Ecological Literacy (SUNY, 1992) and co-editor of The Global Predicament (North Carolina, 1979) and The Campus and Environmental Responsibility (Jossey-Bass, 1992). He has published 150 articles in scientific journals, social science publications, and popular magazines.

"He is best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He raised funds for and spearheaded the effort to design and build a $7.2 million Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, a building described by the New York Times as “the most remarkable” of a new generation of college buildings and by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of thirty “milestone buildings” of the 20th century.

"He is the recipient of a Bioneers Award (2003), a National Conservation Achievement Award by the National Wildlife Federation, a Lyndhurst Prize awarded by the Lyndhurst Foundation "to recognize the educational, cultural, and charitable activities of particular individuals of exceptional talent, character, and moral vision." He was named “an Environmental Hero for 2004” by Interiors & Sources Magazine. He holds three Honorary Doctorates and has been a distinguished scholar in residence at University of Washington, Ball State University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. In a special citation, the Connecticut General Assembly noted Orr’s “vision, dedication, and personal passion” in promoting the principles of sustainability. The Cleveland Plain Dealer described him as “one of those who will shape our lives.”

"Dr. Orr is a contributing editor of Conservation Biology. He has served as a Trustee of the Educational Foundation of America, the Compton Foundation, and the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. He serves on the Boards of the Rocky Mountain Institute (CO), the Center for Ecoliteracy (CA), and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment. He is also an advisor and consultant to the Trust for Public Land, the National Parks Advisory Committee, and other organizations. He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. and elsewhere." [1]


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. David W. Orr, Oberlin College, accessed July 24, 2008.
  2. Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy Executive Board, organizational web page, accessed April 19, 2012.
  3. Solutions Journal Editorial Board, organizational web page, accessed June 18, 2013.
  4. Directors, Bioneers, accessed August 24, 2009.
  5. Staff, Natural Capitalism Solutions, accessed December 8, 2011.
  6. Board, New Economics Institute, accessed December 12, 2011.
  7. Advisory Board, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, accessed February 9, 2009.
  8. Orion Magazine Advisors, organizational web page, accessed April 25, 2012.
  9. People, Encyclopedia of Earth, accessed February 9, 2009.
  10. Roster of the Fellows for 2008, williamirwinthompson.org, accessed October 4, 2008.
  11. Jurors, Buckminster Fuller Challenge, accessed December 8, 2011.