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2017 Nature in the City with Kevin Anderson

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 12:00pm to Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 1:00pm


Brown Bag Lunch and Learn at One Texas Center

with Kevin Anderson

The 2017 Lunchtime Lectures will explore the complex relationship between the city and nature in America. Our American narrative of nature celebrates wilderness or “pristine nature” and rural or “pastoral nature” in contrast to the degradation of urban landscapes. However, we are now predominately a country of urbanites who have only recreational contact with wilderness or pastoral nature. To compensate for our urban “nature deficit”, we have incorporated “green space” into our cities - preserves, parks, farms, and gardens - to allow for contact with officially sanctioned approximations of wild and pastoral nature in the urban landscape. Ecologists are called on to mediate and to assess whether it is a real ecosystem, and thereby add another chapter to the narrative entitled “urban ecology” in which science measures ecological cycles and ecosystem function in the city. The 2017 Lunchtime Lectures are an attempt to disentangle this complex story of ecology, culture, and the American City and, perhaps, to give us all a better understanding of urban nature and the role it plays in our lives. 


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Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming Dates  |  Time: Noon to 1pm

One Texas Center (OTC) is at 505 Barton Springs Road. Surface parking available. 


Perspectives on Urban Nature [January – April] 

Jan 19 OTC | Varieties of Possibility: Perspectives on Nature and the City 

Feb 16 OTC | Urban Wild: Wilderness, Wildness, and the American City

Mar 9 TLC | Urban Pastoral: Farms, Gardens, and Parkland in the City  

 *This month's location is at Town Lake Center at 721 Barton Springs Road, Assembly Room 130 (1st Floor). Free parking is available at 505 Barton Springs Road, and Palmer Events Center by request. Please email for more information about parking at Palmer Event Center.

Apr 20 OTC | The Elemental City: Cycles, Services, and Urban Ecology


The Nature of Cities – Urban Natural History and Ecology [May - September]

May 18 OTC | Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth  

June 15 OTC | The Aquatic City: The Ecology of Urban Waterways 

July 20 OTC | The Terrestrial City: Greenspace and the Urban Forest   

Aug 17 OTC | The Subterranean City: Soil and the Urban Microcosmos 

Sept 21 OTC | The Aerial City: Urban Birds, Bats, and Denizens of the Sky   


The Proper Place of Urban Nature [October – December]

Oct 19 OTC | Nature Out of Place: Invasive Species, Novel Ecosystems, and Urban Ecology         

Nov 16 OTC | Design with Nature: Urban Planning, Management, and the Sustainability Myth  

Dec 21 OTC | Encounters with Urban Nature: Ecology, the City, and the Arts

Free and Open to the Public – bring a lunch and learn

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Kevin Anderson Ph.D.

Kevin is a geographer and philosopher researching the nature of, and the nature in, urban wastelands. He studied at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania [BA], Durham University, England, Ohio University [MA] where he taught philosophy and symbolic logic. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin with a dissertation entitled: Marginal Nature: Urban Wastelands and the Geography of Nature. His research interests include sewage treatment, soil ecology, and sustainable agriculture, urban ecology and sustainability, riparian ecology, environmental history, philosophy, and literature. He is a co-founder of the Texas Riparian Association and the Upper Tisza Foundation in northeastern Hungary. He runs the Austin Water-Center for Environmental Research which focuses on soil, sewage recycling, and environmental trace contaminants; rivers, riparian ecology, and alluvial aquifers; cities, biodiversity, and avian ecology.

Brought to you by Austin Water Utility, Center for Environmental Research (CER), The University of Texas, Texas A&M University. Nature in the City - Austin is sponsored by the Community Trees Division, and helps to implement the Imagine Austin and Urban Forest Plans. 

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Location Information
One Texas Center
505 Barton Springs Roads 3rd Floor, Room 325
Austin, TX 78704
Contact Information
Leah Haynie