O’Toole to discuss transportation and the environment

March 19, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer
865.981.8209; chloe.kennedy@maryvillecollege.edu

Randal O’Toole, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute specializing in urban growth, public land and transportation issues, will conclude Maryville College’s Spring 2012 Community Conversations lecture series with a presentation on Wed., April 4 at 7 p.m.

During his presentation, which will be held in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, O’Toole will discuss transportation, the environment and public policy. The event is free and open to the public.

The theme of this year’s Community Conversations series is “People on the Move” and explores human movement in geographic, spiritual, biological and cultural terms.

"We are a mobile society and we are at a time where transportation modes are evolving rapidly,” said Maryville College President Dr. Tom Bogart, whose research interests and publications overlap with O’Toole’s research area. “Randal O'Toole has developed iconoclastic views on public transportation policy from careful study of data. By clearly explaining both his conclusions and his reasons for those conclusions, he challenges everyone to communicate thoughtfully on these important issues."

As a free-market environmentalist, O’Toole worked from 1974 through 1995 helping environmental groups influence the United States Forest Service and national forest management. After 1995, he focused on urban issues, including transportation and regional planning. His research on national forest management has had a major influence on Forest Service policy and on-the-ground management, and his analysis of urban land-use and transportation issues has influenced decisions in cities across the country.

O’Toole has written four books, as well as numerous papers and articles about the best ways to protect the environment. His latest book, Gridlock: Why We're Stuck in Traffic and What to Do About It, explores a wide range of innovative ideas and policy recommendations for creating an effective transportation system.

O’Toole was educated in forestry at Oregon State University and in economics at the University of Oregon. He has taught environmental economics at Yale University, the University of California, Berkeley and Utah State University.

The Community Conversation series is an annual lecture series conducted to facilitate conversations and discussions between members of the entire Maryville College community, citizens of Blount County and surrounding areas, College alumni and prospective students.

For more information about the spring Community Conversations series, please contact Kelly Battles, committee chairperson and assistant professor of English, at kelly.battles@maryvillecollege.edu or 865.273.8877.