Donella Meadows LO26184

From: Richard Karash (
Date: 02/21/01

Dear Readers --

I am very sorry to pass on this news of the death of Dana Meadows.

  -=- Rick

----- Forwarded Messages -----

Date: 21 Feb 2001 07:32:33 EST
From: Diana.S.Wright@Dartmouth.EDU (Diana S. Wright)
Subject: Donella Meadows

Dear Global Citizen subscribers,

It is with great sadness that I pass on the news that Donella "Dana"
Meadows has died. The loss is felt deeply by all who worked with her
and read her writings.

Following is a text-only version of her obituary. More information
and many of her writings will be posted at the website of her
Sustainability Institute ( in the next few weeks.

Questions can be directed to me at 603-646-3375 or

-Diana Wright
research assistant

Obituary , 2/20/01 - Donella Meadows

Hartland - Donella Meadows, 59, of Hartland Four Corners, Vermont,
died Tuesday at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New
Hampshire, after a brief illness. She was an Adjunct Professor at
Dartmouth College and Director of the Sustainability Institute with
headquarters in Hartland.

Donella Meadows was born March 13, 1941 in Elgin, Illinois, and
trained as a scientist, earning a B.A. in chemistry from Carleton
College in 1963 and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University in

Donella Meadows taught at Dartmouth College from 1972 until her
death. She was on the faculty of the interdisciplinary Environmental
Studies Program and the graduate program of the Resource Policy
Center. In 1983 she resigned her tenured professorship to devote more
time to international activities and writing. She retained an Adjunct
Professorship at Dartmouth, teaching environmental journalism and,
more recently, environmental ethics.

In 1972 Meadows was on the team at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology that produced the global computer model "World3" for the
Club of Rome. She was the principal author of the book The Limits to
Growth, which described that model, and sold millions of copies in 28
languages. In 1991 she collaborated with her co-authors, Dennis
Meadows and Jorgen Randers, on a twenty-year update to The Limits to
Growth, called Beyond the Limits. She was also co-author of two
technical books, published in 1973 and 1974 by the MIT Press, Toward
Global Equilibrium and The Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World .

Since then she has been involved in numerous studies of social,
environmental, energy, and agriculture systems. She chronicled the
emerging field of global modeling in her 1981 book Groping in the
Dark: the First Decade of Global Modeling. In 1983 she criticized the
state of the art of social system modeling using nine case studies in
The Electronic Oracle: Computer Models and Social Decisions.

Since 1985, Donella Meadows has written a weekly newspaper column,
"The Global Citizen," self-syndicated in more than 20 papers
nationwide. The column was awarded second place in the 1985
Champion-Tuck national competition for outstanding journalism in the
fields of business and economics. "The Global Citizen" also received
the Walter C. Paine Science Education Award in 1990 and was nominated
for a Pulitzer Prize in 1991. Selected columns were published in 1991
as a book, also called The Global Citizen .

With Dennis Meadows she founded and coordinated INRIC, the
International Network of Resource Information Centers, also called
the Balaton Group. INRIC is a coalition of systems-oriented analysts
and activists in 50 nations, all of whom work to promote sustainable,
high-productivity resource management. Through INRIC, Meadows
developed training games and workshops on resource management, which
she presented in Hungary, Kenya, Costa Rica, Portugal, Singapore,
Germany, and the United States. She helped to organize an annual
conference in Hungary at which Balaton Group members exchange
information and plan joint projects.

During 1988-90 Meadows worked with television producers at WGBH-TV in
Boston to develop the ten-part PBS series "Race to Save the Planet."
She was writing a college textbook, tentatively titled A Sustainable
World: an Introduction to Environmental Systems, to accompany the
programs as part of an Annenberg/CPB telecourse.

Donella Meadows served on the Board of Directors of the Hunger
Project, the Winrock International Livestock Research Center, and the
Trust for New Hampshire Lands. She was a co-founder and served on
the Boards of the Upper Valley Land Trust and the Center for a New
American Dream, and had been a consultant to the Office of Technology
Assessment of the U.S. Congress. She was a member of the Committee
for Population, Resources, and the Environment of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the
Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic

Meadows had been a visiting scholar at the East-West Center in
Honolulu, the Resource Policy Group in Oslo, Norway, the
International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in
Vienna, and the Environmental Systems Analysis Group of the
University of Kassel in Germany.

In 1991 Donella Meadows was selected as one of ten Pew Scholars in
Conservation and the Environment. Her three-year award supported her
international work in resource management with a systems point of
view. In 1994 she was awarded a five-year MacArthur Fellowship by the
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Meadows lived for 27 years on a small, communal, organic farm in
Plainfield, New Hampshire, where she worked at sustainable resource
management directly. In 1999 she moved to Cobb Hill in Hartland Four
Corners, Vermont. There she worked with others to found an
eco-village, maintain an organic farm, and establish headquarters for
the Sustainability Institute. Development of both the co-housing
village and the Institute will continue.

Donella Meadows' mother, Phoebe Quist, has referred to her daughter
as an "earth missionary." Meadows described herself in light-hearted
Website profiles as "an opinionated columnist, perpetual fund-raiser,
fanatic gardener, opera-lover, baker, farmer, teacher and global

Donella Meadows is survived by her mother of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, her
father, Don Hager of Palatine, Illinois, a brother, Jason Hager, of
Waterford, Wisconsin, and cousins and nephews.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Memorial
donations may be made to The Sustainability Institute or to Cobb Hill
Cohousing, both at P.O. Box 174, Hartland Four Corners, VT 05049.


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