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


September 21, 2017

"Black Rice:  The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas"
Speaker:   Judith Carney, Dept. of Geography, UCLA - Introduction by Prof. Bill Moseley

Few Americans identify slavery with the cultivation of rice. Yet rice was a major plantation crop during the first centuries of settlement in the Americas. By the middle of the eighteenth century, rice plantations in South Carolina, and the enslaved Africans who worked them, had created one of the world’s most profitable economies. A longstanding question in American historiography is how rice, a crop introduced to the Americas, came to be cultivated in plantation societies. This lecture discusses the provenance of rice and its cultural antecedents in the Americas. It establishes, through agricultural and historical evidence, the independent domestication of rice in West Africa and the crop’s vital significance there for a millennium before Europeans arrived and the transatlantic slave trade began. This rice accompanied enslaved Africans throughout the New World, including Southern colonies, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Slaves from the West African rice region established rice as a food crop and provided the critical knowledge that enabled its cultivation. A comparative analysis of land use, methods of cultivation, processing and cooking traditions on both sides of the Atlantic during the plantation era help fill in the historical record. Recent genetics research and findings of African rice in botanical collections and among contemporary maroon societies of Suriname lend support for the African lineaments of rice culture in the Americas.

Judith Carney, professor of geography at UCLA and recipient of three distinguished teaching awards, is the author of two award-winning books: Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas and In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World. Her research centers on African ecology and development, food security, gender and agrarian change, and African contributions to New World environmental history. The Association of American Geographers has honored her with the Netting Award in recognition of distinguished research that bridges geography and anthropology, the Carl Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award for significant contributions to Latin American geography, and the Distinguished Scholarship Honors. Recent publications study the human usage of mangrove ecosystems in West Africa and the diaspora, the historical significance of recent genetic sequencing of African rice, and African foodways in the Americas.

Co-Sponsored by the Environmental Studies and Geography Departments.

September 28, 2017

Dr. Will Cavert"Avoiding Air Pollution in Early Modern London"
Speaker:   Dr. Will Cavert, Assistant Professor, History Dept., University of St. Thomas

Two centuries before the industrial revolution's "dark Satanic mills" polluted the air and water of British cities, London was the first and only city in the world to suffer from continual serious air pollution. Caused by coal burning, the smoke of London produced a surprising set of responses. From the 16th to the 18th centuries Londoners objected to their smoky urban environment in ways that foreshadowed, and yet profoundly differ from, modern environmental movements. Among their strategies for dealing with coal smoke were temporary escapes from urban space, a response that helped make the polluted city endurable, but in ways that were both profoundly socially unequal and also did nothing to reduce London's ever-worsening air pollution.

Dr. Will Cavert is a historian of Britain during the early modern period, c. 1500-1800, with research interests in urban and environmental history. He is the author of The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City, published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press.   

October 5, 2017

"Developing Utility Scale Renewables"
Speaker:  Pete Sullivan, Longroad Energy

Pete Sullivan will describe case studies for developing the first large scale wind and solar projects in Utah.

Pete has more than 12 years of experience in the renewable energy field.  He currently leads Longroad Energy’s project development activities in the Western US.  Before joining Longroad, Pete worked for SunEdison, where he led a team that closed construction financing on more than 1 GW of wind and solar projects in 2015 and 2016.  Prior to Sunedison’s acquisition of First Wind, Pete worked at First Wind for 8 years.  There, Pete led the development of the company’s first greenfield solar projects, which were the first of their kind in Utah and among the largest projects built in the US in 2016.  Pete worked for General Electric for four years before he joined First Wind.  At GE, Pete held roles in strategic planning as well as its ecomagination initiative.  Before GE, Mr. Sullivan worked as part of the habitat assessment team at The Nature Conservancy.  Pete lives in the Macalester neighborhood with his wife and four sons.

October 12, 2017

No EnviroThursday - ES Majors/Minors Party

October 19, 2017

Dr. Bernard AmadeiSpeaker:  Dr. Bernard Amadei, Professor of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Colorado-Boulder

Bernard Amadei's main research and teaching interests have initially been in geomechanics and geological engineering. He obtained his MaSc degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Prof. Amadei's current interests reside in the application of systems science and complexity science in small-scale community development projects and geological engineering projects. 

October 26, 2017

No EnviroThursday - Fall Break

November 2, 2017

Job candidate presentation. 

November 9, 2017

Job candidate presentation. 

November 16, 2017

Job candidate presentation.