PUBLISHED:November 12, 2010

John Adams '62 and Patricia Adams discuss co-founding the NRDC, Nov. 16

John Adams L'62 H'05 and Patricia Adams will discuss their new memoir about co-founding the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, in room 3041 at Duke University School of Law.

The event, hosted by Duke Law School and the Nicholas School of the Environment, will focus on the memoir A Force for Nature, which outlines the evolution of the NRDC from a home-grown environmental advocacy group to a 1.3 million member organization with international reach. John Adams founded NRDC in 1970 and served as executive director and, later, president until 2006. He is a member of Board of Visitors at the Nicholas School and at the Law School. Patricia Adams is a teacher, author, and a steering committee member of NRDC's Partnership for the Earth campaign.

John Adams was an assistant district attorney in Manhattan when he decided to act on his growing feeling that the environment needed protection it wasn’t getting. “When I finished Duke Law School in 1962, environmental law in the United States hadn’t been invented yet. But it was fast becoming clear that industrial pollution was destroying America’s air and water, and unrestrained development was gobbling up the landscape. And there was no way to stop it.”

After shepherding the NRDC through massive growth and the creation of pioneering environmental laws like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, John Adams believes the organization is poised to weigh in on the new array of environmental challenges posed by global warming and the need for sustainable energy.

Professor James Salzman, who holds joint appointments at Duke University as the Samuel Fox Mordecai Professor of Law at the Law School and as the Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment, will facilitate the discussion.

The event will be webcast at

For more information, contact Forrest Norman at (919) 613-8565.