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Cities, Rivers, and Cultures of Change: Rethinking and Restoring the Environments of the Global American South

The 2014 Global American South Conference is presented by The Center for Global Initiatives, The Center for the Study of the American South, and The Institute for the Environment.

Profound shifts in the way we think, use and protect water, rapid immigration and demographic change (the ‘graying’ and ‘browning’ of the United States), and immense urbanization have made the American South a bellwether of environmental change for both America and the world at large.

Cities, Rivers, and Cultures of Change: Rethinking and Restoring the Environments of the Global American South aims to bring together graduate students, faculty, independent scholars, and a broader public audience to share current research that explore these themes from the point of view of 1) southern culture, history, and ethics, 2) efforts to restore natural and built environments, and 3) the implications and connections between changes to the American South and the inter-connected global environment in which we live. 

This two-day conference is part of the ongoing exploration of the globalization of the southern United States that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been pursuing for over a decade. Each year this interdisciplinary conference focuses on a different theme to reveal the interplay of the global and the local, both the impacts of globalization on our region and the often surprising ways that local culture and experience influence distant communities and regions. 

Special Programming: Margaret Palmer (University of Maryland) will deliver the Chandler Lecture in Southern Business History as the conference keynote Saturday February 22 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium of the FedEx Global Education Center.

"Socio-cultural Context as a Driver of Ecological Restoration"

Given the rapid pace of degradation of freshwater resources and the failure of conservation efforts to adequately protect those resources, societies are now turning to ecological restoration for a solution. A booming business has emerged around the restoration of streams and rivers and yet it is not clear that the science to support that business is being used or is even available. How restoration projects are defined and carried out varies tremendously with the social, geopolitical and regulatory context, and even over time when these contexts are held constant. Understanding the dynamics of the science and practice of restoration requires an explicit focus on the role of socio-cultural drivers in explaining this variability.

Margaret Palmer is a Professor at the University of Maryland and Director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. Her research program is focused on watershed restoration ecology. Having worked on streams, rivers, and estuaries for 30 years and having led scientific projects at national and international levels, she is well known for her work at the interface of science and policy, particularly watershed restoration. She has a PhD in Coastal Oceanography from the University of South Carolina, is a AAAS Fellow, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, and an elected fellow of the Ecological Society of America.

The Chandler Lecture will be followed by a Southern fusion lunch from Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe with local pork BBQ and hearty vegetable options. 

Eventbrite - Cities, Rivers, and Cultures of Change: Rethinking and Restoring the Environments of the Global American South Conference
    • GAS 2014 logo 800 p
Friday February 21, 2014 2:00 - 6:15 PM
Saturday February 22, 2104 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Margaret Palmer
    • Margaret Palmer

Chandler Lecture in Southern Business History  
Saturday, February 22 
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM 
Nelson Mandela Auditorium FedEx Global Education Center

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