80% of the world’s population is under the imminent threat of water insecurity and biodiversity loss. These stresses on the environment threaten nearly every person on the planet and have the potential to lead to catastrophic disease, hunger, and warfare.
This problem is one of the most pressing challenges of this century, and it cannot be solved by creative technological or policy solutions alone. It requires a transdisciplinary approach and set of solutions premised on an understanding of the complex historical and cultural dynamics between human societies and their environments.
Rivers of the Anthropocene seeks to address these challenges head-on. A transdiscplinary research project, which involves scholars around the world, it will examine global river systems since 1750. Approaching rivers and their landscapes not simply as natural phenomena or as human artifacts but as human-nature entanglements, a group of international researchers, policy makers, teachers, and community organizations seek to provide an analysis of the interactions between humans and their river environments. By mapping the ecological, geographical, cultural, social, political, and scientific histories of river systems, this project will provide insight on issues of relevance to public policy, environmental conservation, and heritage management.
Phase 1 of the project uses the Ohio and Tyne Rivers as case studies and will launch in January 2014 with a conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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