of Georgia, was published after Odum’s death (at the age of 88). Fundamentals of Ecology was ranked first in a survey of the membership of the American Institute of Biological Sciences as the book that had the greatest impact on career training in the biological sciences (Barrett and Mabry, 2002).

In an award-winning video Eugene Odum: An Ecologist’s Life, Odum is depicted as providing a commensurate education, whether through invited speaking engagements with citizens, discussions with community organizations, or dialogue with individual students walking across a university campus. In later years of his life Odum authored several books and publications that focused attention on Earth as a life-support system. For example, in 1989 he published Ecology and Our Endangered Life-Support Systems (second and third editions were published, respectively, in 1993 and 1997) and in 1998 a book entitled Ecological Vignettes: Ecological Approaches to Dealing with Human Predicaments. These books were intended to provide a clear understanding of current and future challenges for public consideration in order to move toward sustainable societies. “Great Ideas in Ecology for the 1990s,” published in BioScience (1992), placed his understanding of and goals for ecology during the last decade of the twentieth century in a public forum.

Odum was the recipient of numerous awards in ecological education, including the Educator-of-the-Year in 1983 awarded by the National Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Educator Award in 1992 from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and the Distinguished Service Award in 1998 from the United States International Association of Landscape Ecology.


Odum received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1939 under the mentorship of S. Charles Kendeigh. Odum

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