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UC biology prof traces his roots to the first Earth Day
Date:4/22/2008

George Uetz is passionate about spiders and the environment.

George Uetz, professor of biological sciences in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, was a Master's student in the Department of Entomology and Applied Ecology at the University of Delaware in Newark. That wasnt his only passion.

I was a student activist in the anti-war movement as well as the environmental movement of the time, Uetz admits.

In the late 1960s, public protests were commonplace especially over the Vietnam War. Public protests were also being launched as the result of a coalition of environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation and the Environmental Defense Fund, on both coasts, Uetz explains.

I got involved with one of the leading East Coast groups Environmental Action, based in Washington, D.C., and was recruited to organize students because I was an officer of the grad student association at the University of Delaware, he says. We started planning "teach-ins" and large rallies in cities all over the East in the fall and winter of 19691970.

While Uetz was a only a minor functionary at the national level (as the chairman of the Earth Coalition at Delaware), he did get to go to organizing meetings in nearby Washington, D.C. There he met such people as Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisc.), Denis Hayes, David Brower (first executive director of the Sierra Club), Carl Pope (current executive director of the Sierra Club), Paul Ehrlich (population expert) and David Mixner (civil rights/gay rights activist), who were among the original organizers of the Earth Day "Teach-In" movement.

At a local level, I was involved with a group organizing to protect the relatively unspoiled White Clay Creek in Newark, Delaware, says Uetz with pride. One of our members was a lawyer, and was elected to the New Castle County Council, and we were successful in preventing a dam a
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Contact: Wendy Hart Beckman
wendy.beckman@uc.edu
513-556-1826
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert  

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