Marcia Bjornerud, professor of geology and Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies at Lawrence, delivered a convocation on the topic of geomimicry Tuesday, Oct. 20 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Bjornerud is the second speaker in the 2009-2010 convocation series, which has the theme of sustainability for a better living and preservation of the earth. At the convocation, President Jill Beck acknowledged Bjornerud as the first recipient of Lawrence’s Faculty Convocations Award. Speaking to an audience consisting mostly of Lawrence’s faculty members and freshmen students, Bjornerud used her professional experience in the field to present what she called five design principles that are signatures of the health of Earth. “Geomimicry, looking at the Earth as our mentor and model, could provide a politically neutral option that all nations could agree with,” said Bjornerud. She stated that humans are citizens of a planet that they need to know better, and that they holdan “adolescent attitude toward the Earth” which is now causing negative geological and economical consequences. According to Bjornerud, people need to rethink their priorities and look toward an old counselor – the Earth – for principles that have been ruling nature and preserving it through history. The first principle, heliophilia, states that life is a child of the sun. Bjornerud advocated for the use of solar power. The second principle describes how everything on the planet has been naturally recycled, such as the constant flow of water. Adopting recycling techniques, such as reusing building materials, could help lessen the burden of human consumption on Earth. The third principle, nestedness, shows that the planet represents a structured architecture of ecosystems focused not on the number of species, but on how interconnected they are. This third principle also suggests the broad gap between developed and developing nations represents a lack of collaboration and coexistence. The fourth principle, microcracy, “ruled by the tiny,” shows the importance of tiny organisms, such as cyanobacteria, to the maintenance of the Earth. Bjornerud mentioned the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Muhammad Yunus, whose formation of the Grameen Bank has created economic and social development from below. According to Bjornerud, the fifth and last principle, chronosophy, represents “the wisdom that comes by observing, embracing, and learning with time.” She stated that human beings forget the time-scale impact they have on Earth. Bjornerud concluded her lecture by advocating once more for a sense of collective memory that will enable us to better understand how our planet naturally manages itself. She stated that nature must not be faced as an obstacle to overcome and that nature is not apart from us. “We are citizens not only of a global economy – but of a global ecosystem,” Bjornerud said. Bjornerud, author of “Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth”, has spent the last 20 years travelling around the world studying geology and the human impact on Earth’s future. Recently, she spent four months on a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship analyzing rocks in New Zealand.