MacArthur Fellows Program

Donella H. Meadows

Environmental Writer | Class of 1994

Environmental Writer
Hanover, New Hampshire
53 at time of award
February 20, 2001
Published July 1, 1994

About Donella's Work

Donella (Dana) Meadows was an environmental writer and consultant, an independent scientist, and an organic farmer.

She made substantial contributions to understanding the dynamics of complex ecological-economic systems.  Meadows was able to explain the most complicated and arcane details of science and policy intelligently, accessibly, and even entertainingly for her readers and students.  She worked as a freelance writer, and is the author of many books and articles on environmental issues, including The Limits to Growth (1972), The Global Citizen (1991), and Beyond the Limits (1992).  She also wrote a bi-weekly, syndicated column entitled “The Global Citizen.”  In 1981, Meadows co-founded and became coordinator for eighteen years of the International Network of Resource Information Centers (INRIC) or the Balaton Group, an international network of ecologists and social scientists who are working toward environmental and social sustainability.


In 1996, Meadows founded and became director of the Sustainability Institute, which is dedicated to research in global systems.  She was as a lecturer at Dartmouth College, where she was affiliated with the Department of Environmental Studies.

Meadows received a B.A. (1963) from Carleton College and a Ph.D. (1968) from Harvard University. 

Last updated January 1, 2005

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