Over the next half century, climate change will dramatically affect which food crop varieties reach optimum quality in nearly every foodscape in North America. Farmers' selection of crop varieties and how they grow them in each microclimate will be radically reworked by declining chill hours, extreme summer temperatures, the changed frequency of tropical storms, and extended droughts. Fresh water scarcity and increasing salinity will also rework what food plants can be grown in many localities as well, not just in already arid areas, but along all coasts. With 2300 counties declared drought disaster areas in the US within the last two years, it is time that horticulturists, gardeners, and farmers in every part of the country look more critically at the diversity of some heirloom vegetables, fruits and grains, a well as new farmer-selected varieties derived from participatory plant breeding in the U.S. By listening to traditional and innovative farmers on five continents and seeing how they are adapting their diversity of food crops to adaptations, Nabhan offers options to greater reliance on a few so-called climate ready GE crops, each of which costs to 5 million US dollars to develop, market and employ. The farm-based strategies for innovation developed through biomimicry, ecomimicry and etnomimicry will be highlighted.
Gary Paul Nabhan is the W. K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona, as well as the permaculture designer and orchard-keeper of Almuniya de los Zopilotes Experimental Farm in Patagonia, Arizona. Widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the local-food movement and grassroots seed conservation, Nabhan was honored by Utne Reader in 2011 as one of twelve people making the world a better place to live. A recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award, his twenty-four books have been translated into six languages.
Sponsored by the Anthropology and Biology Departments, the Environmental Studies Program, the Agriculture Food and Environment Program at the Friedman School of Nutrition, and Tufts Institute of the Environment
When & Where
Environmental Studies Program at Tufts University
Founded in 1984, The Environmental Studies Program (ENVS) was one of the first multidisciplinary environmental programs in the United States. Our students and alumni have become effective practitioners and advocates for the environment in medicine, law, finance, industry, government, and other academic fields.
Environmental Studies is offered as a dual major in conjunction with any departmental major in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering—normally excluding interdisciplinary programs. This dual-major program combines the depth of a major in a specific field with a wide breadth of environmentally oriented courses.
In addition to our academic program, we offer weekly "Lunch and Learn" lectures that are open to the public, a yearly major lectureship on an environmental topic, and periodicly other events.