Nature in the City proudly presents
American Environmental Science: Carson and the Politics of Nature
This lecture will trace the development of environmental science from George Perkins Marsh through Rachel Carson and to the present, and examine the relationship between environmental science and the ideas of American nature.
August 16th @ OTC | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public – bring a lunch and learn
In 1864, George Perkins Marsh published the great book, Man and Nature, or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action. Marsh put forward the idea that human activity could, and did, significantly alter the appearance and productivity of the landscape, and even the climate of our planet, mostly through the unintended consequences of our actions. Marsh declared, "Man is everywhere a disturbing agent. Wherever he plants his foot, the harmonies of nature are turned to discord." In doing so, he set the stage for the emergence of new science of nature, environmental science. Environmental science is a multidisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, biological and information sciences to the study of the environment and the solution of environmental problems. Its central questions are “How does the environment work?” and “How do we mitigate human impacts?” rather than ecology’s question, “How does nature work?”
This new integrated science emerged in the 1950s and 1960s spurred in part by the publication of Rachel Carson’s great book, Silent Spring. Carson was a respected oceanographer and author of award winning books about nature and sea, but she is most remembered for her “environmental” book. For with it, a scientist explained the unintended consequences of pesticide use and put science in the position of understanding and helping to reverse these consequences.
Additional Dates and Locations in August:
Kevin is a geographer and philosopher researching the nature of, and the nature in, urban wastelands. 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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Austin Nature in the City is sponsored by the Community Trees Division and part of the Development Services family. This is an interdepartmental collaboration to implement the Imagine Austin and Austin's Urban Forest Plans.