Hartland, VT -- 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. In addition, Meadows was a frequent freelance contributor to The Memphis Flyer
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 1968.
She 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
Her column was awarded second place in the 1985 Champion-Tuck national competition for outstanding journalism in the fields of business and economics. Meadows 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
In 1991 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 gadfly."
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 CorCorners, VT 05049.