Presented by: Dr. Roberta Soltz Invited Speaker Shippensburg University International Education Week 2009

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Feb 22, 2014 (3 years and 4 months ago)

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International Education: Five years, four faculty, 60 undergrads
and almost three quarters of a million dollars …

Presented by: Dr. Roberta
Soltz

Invited Speaker


Shippensburg University

International Education Week 2009


Ph.D. Biology, 1982


20
-
year career in water resource
management, adjunct faculty biology


Currently, flood control project manager in
Bloomsburg, PA where Dave serves as
President, BU


Primary interests: sustainable practices,
WRM, biodiversity


Inter
national,
inter
disciplinary,
inter
esting



Objective: Train undergraduates how to
undertake social science research in China
while exploring the impact of China’s rapid
economic development on its environment
and water resources


Award 0139677
-
funded at $342,000, 2002
-
2006 (2003 cancelled, SARS). 47 students


Award 0851541
-
funded at $404,000, 2009
-
2012



Perspective: History, sociology, economics &
environment: US and Chinese counterparts.


Student/faculty ratio: 4 to 1


Domestic/international venues: 4 weeks each


Outcome: 4 papers, presentations,
publications (+)


Evolution: Governmental/private activities
towards sustainability along southeast coast
to beleaguered northwest



There is agreement that we should live within
the earth’s means to support us
and

that
sustainable development is possible


Volumes of “best
-
practices” have been
published


Notwithstanding, there are world
-
wide crises
in water & air quality, desertification & soil
loss

We have failed individually and institutionally
to live in a sustainable manner



Per capita water/land availability 1/3 world
average


One of the world’s most fragile dry
-
land
ecosystems*: Loess Plateau


Focus of Great Northwest Development
Strategy (March 1999)



* China contains more than twice as much than any other single country and
about half of it is already seriously degraded


640,000 km
2


90 million people


Average annual income < ½ national average


Population politically and economically
marginalized


Loses 1.6 billion tons of soil/year


one of the
most erosive climates in the world


25% particulates in LA can be traced to China


Severe deforestation and erosion on the
Loess/Tibetan Plateau…w/ severe water
quality problems downstream
(sedimentation and flooding)


Loss of prime agricultural land


Degraded biodiversity



Use of headwaters as wastewater
conveyance


Poor understanding/appreciation watershed
function


2000 years of
intense

cultivation in lowlands
by
Salar

minority people


Pastoral activity by Tibetans on fragile soil at
higher elevations




Decreasing diversity of cultivated crops at
both high and low elevation


Decreasing diversity in biological
communities with related erosion natural
function of watersheds


Incremental loss of farmland downstream


Incremental loss of small farms in favor of
larger operations owned by individuals or
groups of individuals not in touch with the
land


Identify and preserve existing, high quality
stands of natural vegetation


Flood control for agricultural areas downstream


Impose reasonable fees for water, pesticides and
fertilizer


Identify significant watersheds and protect
topsoil


Rebuild damaged habitats, especially grasslands


Promote ecosystem management research and
education and train professionals to help solve
problems


Baba
Dioum

1968

In the end, we will
conserve only what
we love. We will
love only what we
understand. We will
understand only what
we are taught.