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John Todd, Featured ScientistFeatured Scientist:
John Todd

A research professor at the University of Vermont, Dr. John Todd's degrees are in agriculture, parasitology, fisheries, and animal behavior - a useful combination of knowledge for someone who views nature as a great warehouse for building living machines.

In 1969, Todd founded his first company that used natural processes to clean up unnatural substances. His "living machines" sent contaminated wastewater through a series of tanks or floating "providers" full of algae, plants, and small fish and animals. A few days later, these organisms had digested most pollution out of the water.

Since that time, John Todd has used his "living machines" to help clean up sewage in China canals and waste from chicken and chocolate factories in the U.S.

He's also the author of over 200 technical and popular articles on biology and planetary stewardship and co-author of several books, including From Eco-Cities to Living Machines (1994).

"The challenge of the 21st century is to right the wrongs of the 20th century," says Todd. "This will require, at a minimum, a design revolution. Where do we go to get instructions for this design revolution? I think we need to turn to the 3.5- billion-year experiment that produced life. We need to return to the forest, the meadow, the pond, the stream, the marsh, the desert with fresh eyes and decode the information within these systems; we need to learn how they work and apply this information to design."

National Science Foundation Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Maine Forest Products Council Irving Woodlands, LLC Desiree Carlson, M.D. More Connected. More Maine.

Major funding is provided by the National Science Foundation.
Additional funding is provided by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Forest Products Council, Irving Woodlands LLC., Desiree Carlson, M.D., and gifts to More Connected. More Maine, The Campaign for Maine Public Broadcasting Network's Programming.

A list of other funders includes:
The Davis Family Foundation, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, and Lincoln Ladd.

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