Char Miller is a renowned and award-winning environmental historian who specializes in U.S. environmental history, urban history, politics and policy, water issues, federal public-lands management, and cultural history. He is the director of the Environmental Analysis Program and W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College.
“Watershed Commonwealths: A Future for the American West?”
Given the depth and duration of the drought confronting the region, and drawing off recent data about climate change and the impact it is having and will have on water supplies in the arid west, this talk explores an alternative perspective for mitigating and/or adapting to these increasing pressures: reengage with local watersheds and aquifers. This claim is an homage to John Wesley Powell, who in the 1870s made a similar argument; his insight was disregarded, as Los Angeles and San Francisco, Phoenix, Tucson, and Denver (and a lot of other places) decided to exploit distant water sources and ignored those beneath their feet. There is considerable evidence building that we are, without knowing it, returning to Powell’s conception of how best to live in the west. The road not taken may be the path forward.
Dr. Miller is a prolific writer who published twenty books and edited volumes including:
— On the Edge: Water, Immigration, and politics in the Southwest (Trinity University Press, 2013) http://tupress.org/books/on-the-edge which addresses the shrinking water resources, water struggles and water debates in the Southwest of the United States.
— Water in the Twenty-First Century West (Oregon State University Press, 2009)
— Fluid Arguments: Five Centuries of Western Water Conflict (University of Arizona Press, 2001)
— Public Lands, Public Debates: A Century of Controversy (Oregon State University Press, 2012)
Char Miller won prestigious prizes for his work: He was named Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians; titled Fellow by the Forest History Society and received the American Society for Environmental History’s first Public Outreach Award for his blog Golden Green http://www.kcet.org/user/profile/cmiller .
Char Miller's Keynote presentation is supported by