EnviroThursday - Fall 2000

Presentations take place at 12 noon, Olin-Rice Room 250

Title Date Type of Presentation Description
"The Political Economy of Mekong River Basin Development"

9/14/00 Speaker:
Dr. Blake B.
Ratner
The Mekong River - flowing through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam - is the central symbol of interdependence in a region marked by a history of conflict. Will the river be the source of new conflict in the 21st century, or will it spur cooperation? Who will benefit and who will lose from the many dams under construction or planned? How will the needs of indigenous minorities be accounted for? Who decides? This lecture sets current debates over Mekong basin development in historical context, and examines the actors and institutions shaping the development agenda today. In so doing, it also provides a basis for understanding some of the most important issues in environmental policy and regional development in the Third World, including changing notions of “security” and sovereignty; the influence of non-state actors and international media; and obstacles, incentives, and institutions for international cooperation.
"Appropriate Technology: Appropriate for Who? The Guatemala Case" 9/21/00 Speaker:
Alberto
Rivera
To deal with deforestation you identify the causes and provide solutions, right? Well, in Guatemala in 1969, 70 percent of the land had forest; today less than 27 percent is forested. Given that 66 percent of the energy used in the country comes from firewood, it makes sense that individuals and institutions concerned devised an efficient wood burning stove made locally by widows of the internal conflict. The ceramic stove cut consumption in half, made cooking more comfortable and the kitchen a healthier place. I t was a winner and for many, its diffusion became a creed. So why did it fail? What went wrong?
"Cubagua’s Pearl-Oyster Beds: The First Depletion of a Natural Resource Caused by Europeans in the American Continent" 9/28/00 Speaker:
Aldemaro
Romero
When was the first time that Europeans depleted a natural resource in the American continent? How it happen? What were the consequences to both nature and indigenous people of those actions? Those and many more questions will be addressed by Aldemaro Romero. This presentation is based on a upcoming paper to be published in the Journal of Political Ecology which he co-authored with Susanna Chilbert ('02) and M. G. Eisenhart ('02).
"Katharine Ordway Natural Study Area" 10/5/00 Speakers:
Aldemaro
Romero and
Janet Ebaugh
This EnviroThursday will be devoted to a campus-wide consultation on the future of the Katharine Ordway Natural Study Area, owned by Macalester and located about 25 minutes south from St. Paul. This area was created in the late 1960's for the purpose of conservation, research, and teaching. A Strategic Plan for the area with a vision for its future will be offered to the Macalester community in this open forum. For this strategic plan we have included information and analyses developed by Environmental Studies students as well as by members of the Ordway Family.
"Green St. Paul: People, Land and Sustainability" 10/12/00 Speakers:
Anna
Wasescha &
Dina
Kountoupes
Green St. Paul is a coalition of community gardeners and greeners who are working to promote garden permanence and serves as a forum for discussion about food security, environmental health and justice and urban livability. Community gardens are a rare example of neighborhood vitality. They bring people of all ages and backgrounds together in the public square to grow their own food, improve their natural environment, express their creativity and transform the urban landscape. St. Paul is steadily losing its community gardens because of a "higher use" policy which directs that all vacant lot be developed into revenue-producing housing or commercial enterprise. Unlike many other cities, St. Paul has no Office of Environmental Affairs and operates without a "sustainability" plan. This presentation will summarize the issues and focus on ways in which Macalester students can become involved.
"Pollution of the North and Baltic Seas" 10/17/00
Tues.
Speaker:
Prof. Bo
Løøkkegaard
This presentation is by Prof. Bo Løøkkegaard, Director of the Marine Biology and Ecology Program of Denmark’s International Studies Program (DIS). This presentation will deal with the problems associated with decade of pollution in the North and Baltic Seas and what the coastal nations of those waters are doing to solve them.
"2000 Macalester State of the Environment Report" 11/2/00 Speaker:
Aldemaro
Romero
This EnviroThursday will be devoted to present the 2000 Macalester State of the Environment Report. This will summarize the findings of last Spring's efforts on compiling and analyzing all environmentally related information about Macalester. The topics range from paper and energy use to Landscape management practices, food consumption, and community attitudes toward environmental issues.
"Surviving the Dust Bowl" 11/9/00 Video In the summer of 1931, across the Southern Plains, the rains suddenly stopped. Farmers watched their parched soil soar into the air and form walls of churning dust that blotted out the sun. For nearly a decade, these "black blizzards" brought hardship and misery to thousands of families in what became known as the "Dust Bowl." Featuring poignant interviews with witnesses and remarkable archival film footage and photographs, this documentary tells the story of America's worst ecological disaster.
"The Living Eden of Patagonia" 11/16/00 Video This excellent video describes one of the last remaining untouched areas in South America. Witness how golden-fleeced guanacos forage through meager scrub and condors hover motionlessly in the sky as Perito Moreno glacier splits and ruptures with ear-splitting cracks and thunderous booms. See the whales off the coasts of one of the last unspoiled places on Earth.
"Superior Studies at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center" 12/7/00 Speaker:
Gary Deason
Dr. Gary Deason will discuss this summer field program for undergraduates interested in environmental study. The program offers college courses, field trips, internships and outdoor experiences in a spectacular setting. Superior Studies combines the faculty resources of eight participating colleges with the outstanding location and facilities of Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center on the north shore of Lake Superior. The program is designed to expand and enrich on-campus environmental study for faculty and students by providing new opportunities for teaching, learning, research, and wilderness experiences. Macalester College is discussing the possibility of joining the program.