University of Vermont

Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

John Todd

John Todd Fellow

PhD, Fisheries/Animal Behavior, University of Michigan

MS, Parasitology, McGill University

BS, Agriculture, McGill University


OceanArcs| ToddEcological | CV

John Todd is one of the pioneers in the emerging field of ecological design and engineering. He is the Founder and President of Ocean Arks International, a non-profit research and education organization established in 1981, and the Founder and a Principal in John Todd Ecological Design Inc., an international ecological design and engineering firm based in Woods Hole on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He holds four patents and was named one of the 20th Century’s top thirty-five inventors by the Lemelson-MIT Program for Invention and Innovation, in their 2002 book entitled Inventing Modern America: from the Microwave to the Mouse, (MIT Press). He is also featured in “The Genius Issue” of Esquire Magazine, (December, 2004). In 2007 he, along with his wife Nancy Jack Todd, was named visionary of the 20th Century (among a list including Gandhi, Rachel Carson, the Dalai Lama, Aldo Leopold, Jane Goodall, Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Dylan, Frank Lloyd Wright and Carl Gustav Jung) in a book entitled Visionaries of the 20th Century by the UK-based Resurgence Group. Dr. Todd is the author of over two hundred scientific, technical and popular articles, and is the author of seven books, the latest with his wife Nancy Jack Todd, From Eco-cities to Living Machines: Ecology as the Basis for Design. In 2008 Dr. Todd won the first International Buckminster Fuller Challenge, a one hundred thousand dollar prize for the best idea to help save humanity and the planet. The entry was entitled Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia. He has also received two honorary doctorates in science and engineering respectively. A few of John Todd's many other awards include Global Visionary Award from the City of Chicago (2006) Bioneers Lifetime Achievement Award (1998) the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award for technological innovation on behalf of the environment (1998), Environmental Merit Award from the US EPA (1996), Daimler/Chrysler award for design (1994), the Discovery Award for technological innovation (1991), The Teddy Roosevelt Award for Conservation (1990), the United Nations (FUNEP) Award for contributions to the global environment (1990). The U.S. EPA Chico Mendes Memorial Award for Environmental Restoration (1989), and the Swiss Threshold Award for his Contributions to Human Knowledge (1980). He was named a “Hero of the Earth” by Time magazine in 1999.

FOR FUN: Dr. Todd interests include his students, graduate students and associates, ecological designing in all its forms, sailing, tinkering in greenhouses, reforestation in Costa Rica, raising tropical marine shrimp in New England, fine wine, decoding information from natural systems and writing.

AT UVM: John Todd is a Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.


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John Todd is the inventor of Eco-Machines for the treatment of wastes, production of foods, generation of fuels and the restoration of damaged aquatic environments

Last modified July 29 2015 10:57 AM