Pressing Environmental Issues Examined by Scholars and Activists

April 14, 2009

Event: From controlling toxins and waste disposal to managing the rain forest and water rights, international policy analysts will examine some of the world's most pressing environmental issues at the "The Nation-State and the Transnational Environment" conference at The University of Texas at Austin.

When: April 16-18

Where: AT&T Executive and Conference Center. A campus map is available online.

Background: The Institute for Historical Studies is bringing together leading scholars and policy analysts to explore cross-border environmental issues. Speakers include:

  • Mary Carmel Finley from the University of California at San Diego, who will discuss the U.S.-Mexico in "Global Borders and the Fish that Ignore Them";
  • Kurk Dorsey from the University of New Hampshire, who will examine U.S-Canadian issues and whaling in "National Sovereignty, an International Agency, and a Transnational Movement";
  • Benedict Columbi from the University of Arizona, who will explore "The Economics of Dam Building: The Nez Perce Tribe and Transnational Environments"; and
  • Jimmy McWilliams from Texas State University, who will review pesticides in "From Internationalism to Isolationism: Entomology and the Transition from Biological to Chemical Insect Control in the United States, 1850-1920."

The conference will explore cooperation among countries to solve environmental problems that exceed the ability of individual states or even clusters of states to resolve on their own. Panelists will explore how nations have managed water resources, fisheries, environmental toxins and migratory wildlife, as well as other features of the natural environment, especially during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The conference will include a keynote address by John McNeill, one of the world's leading environmental historians, and a concluding roundtable on prospects for international cooperation with Tzeporah Berman, an activist who has worked with Home Depot and other major corporations to improve environmental consciousness, and Robbie Cox, a former president of the Sierra Club.

A list of activities is on the Institute for Historical Studies Web site.

For more information, contact: Christian Clarke Casarez, director of international public affairs; Mark Lawrence, associate professor of history, 512-475-9304.