Postel's career reflects her commitment and passion for nature. In 2010, the native of Franklin Square, N.Y., was appointed Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society. From 2000-2008, she served as a visiting senior lecturer in environmental studies at Mount Holyoke College and directed the college's Center for the Environment. From 1988 until 1994, she was vice president for research at the Worldwatch Institute. A Pew Scholar in conservation and the environment, Postel was also named one of the Scientific American 50 for her contributions to science and technology.
A leading authority and prolific writer on international water issues, Postel has authored more than 100 articles for popular and scholarly publications, as well as 20 op-ed features, which have appeared in more than 30 newspapers in the United States and abroad, including The New York Times, The L.A. Times and the Washington Post.
Her book, Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity, was chosen by Choice Magazine as a 1993 Outstanding Academic Book. Last Oasis appears in eight languages and was the basis for a 1997 PBS documentary. Her article, "Troubled Waters," was selected for inclusion in the 2001 edition of Best American Science and Nature Writing.
A frequent conference speaker and lecturer, she has also served as a commentator on CNN's Futurewatch, addressed the European Parliament on environmental issues, and appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, ABC's Nightline, and NPR's Science Friday. In addition, she appears on the BBC's Planet Earth, Leonardo DiCaprio's The 11th Hour and the National Geographic Channel's Breakthrough series.
A Water Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, Postel received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in geology and political science at Wittenberg University and an M.E.M. with emphasis on resource economics and policy at Duke University. She has been awarded several honorary doctorates of science, as well as the Duke University School of Environment's Distinguished Alumni Award. After college, one of her first assignments was to help write a handbook for communities across the country to use in designing water conservation programs.
Postel will be awarded an honorary doctorate of science during the Commencement ceremony, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. in Commencement Hollow. In the event of inclement weather, the program will be held in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center. Tickets are required for an indoor ceremony.
For additional information on Wittenberg's 2017 Commencement Exercises, click here.