Pulitzer Prize-winning Science Writer Elizabeth Kolbert in Conversation with Dean David Ackerly
The Horace M. Albright Lecture in Conservation was established at the University of California in 1959. A permanent endowment of the lectureship was provided by contributions from hundreds of generous friends and admirers of Albright. This lectureship enables the University to honor him as one of its distinguished graduates, and also to stimulate for this and future generations wide general interest in the preservation of the natural beauty of America.
About Horace M. Albright
Born in Bishop, California, in 1890, Horace Albright was a member of the class of 1912 at the University of California, devoted alumnus, and an honorary LL.D. (1961). He joined the Department of the Interior in 1913 as an assistant to the then Secretary Franklin K. Lane. In 1916 he helped create the National Park Service with Stephen Mather. He was the first civilian Superintendent of the Yellowstone National Park from 1919 until 1929 when he was appointed the second Director of the National Park Service. He served as Director until 1933 when he left to join the U.S. Potash Company from which he retired as president in 1956.
During the time he served as a corporate executive Mr. Albright maintained an active role in the conservation of America’s resources, serving as a member of the National Park System’s Advisory Board, the Council of the Save-the- Redwoods League, and the advisory council of the National Outdoors Resources Review Committee. Thus, Mr. Albright’s career encompassed both the preservation and utilization of natural resources. His years of service as Chair of the Board of Directors of Resources for the Future, Inc., typify his concern with the conservation of resources. The Albright lectures are dedicated to that end.
The nation’s highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom, was awarded to Mr. Albright by President Carter on the 64th Anniversary of the National Park Service. President Carter announced the award in August of 1980, and the medal was presented on December 8 by Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Robert L. Herbst, in a ceremony at Van Nuys, California. Horace Albright died on March 2, 1987. His lifelong dedication to conservation was exemplified by the effort in the last year of his life to assist the University of California in acquiring land for the Natural Reserve System.