Fall 2010 Department of Environmental Studies From Our Department Chair Submitted by Dr. Dudley Burton take state-wide the environmental initiatives he championed as Mayor in San Francisco. After a long period in which environ- mental values have been dismissed, rebutted, California voters defeated Proposition or reviled, we are now in a period in which 23, the proposal to roll back the implementation “green jobs” are touted as salvation for the of AB32, Arnold Schwartzenegger’s landmark economy. We should all know that both these global warming legislation. perspectives have their limitations. It is going It is great that the political world is fi- to take fundamental changes to wean us off nally recognizing the social and economic poten- our petroleum addiction. But we must start tials of energy conservation, renewable energy, somewhere, even if we should have done it and planning to control greenhouse gases. Envi- 40 years ago. ronmental Studies students should be pleased that they understand the science and politics be- hind these choices, and even more pleased that they have opportunities to establish productive careers dealing with these matters. Best wishes as the semester proceeds! Professor Burton snowshoeing in the Tahoe area In the Sacramento area, Mayor Kevin Johnson has had a long series of meetings to make Sacramento the “Emerald Valley.” Governor-elect Jerry Brown claims that green jobs are at the heart of solving California’s budget and economic problems. Lieutenant Enjoying Farmers Market on a Sunday in down- Governor Elect Gavin Newsome wants to town Sacramento Faculty Corner Submitted by Dr. Mary good advice…do what you think and believe…to know duce and meat in open-air love! If you live simply and Brentwood: within your means you don’t the truth. Socrates said, markets. I have included pic- “An unexamined life is not tures of recycling bins in have to worry about the worth living.” Varenna and Corniglia along Be Happy, money. Be Curious, Find My former job was I hope your educa- La Cinque Terra. Truth implementing environmental tion brings you to the reali- After I retire, at the laws with the zation that you have the end of January, I am going to federal gov- tools to think critically and Bali. Hopefully that is just the ernment. It that you use those tools to beginning of my exploration was a great discover the truth. Many of of our Earth…because I am learning ex- you have heard me say curious! perience and over and over in class, I want to thank my I had a lot of Wikipedia! is not a source colleagues in the Environ- adventures for discovering the truth. mental Studies Department doing my The point is your generation and all my students for a won- part to save is particularly challenged to derful experience that I will salmon from discover the truth because extinction. of all the information, opin- never forget. What was ion and miss-information missing was that is on the internet and the freedom media. GO FORTH and auton- I encourage you to AND DO GOOD! omy I have find time to travel to differ- being a pro- ent parts of the world. It’s fessor. My important to get out of our choice to Western cultural bubble to leave my see that not everyone in the federal job world lives as excessively Professor Brentwood at Bellagio and teach as we do…and, guess meant a sub- what, they are happy. Two This is my stantial cut in pay but I years ago I went to Italy last opportunity to write for couldn’t be happier with my for 3 weeks. What we the newsletter. As some of choice. would call a supermarket is you know I am retiring af- very rare. In fact I never Life really is too ter this semester. Retire- saw one. People there short to not do what fulfills ment usually causes one to shop daily for fresh pro- you. I am reminded of this reflect on their time spent in when I sadly think of some Recycling in Varenna an organization. When I of my students, much think about my 12 year younger than I, who have career at Sac State the first passed away over the thing that comes to mind is, it’s the best job in the years. world. Every morning that I I encourage you to walk on campus to start my take your education seri- day I am always reminded ously. It’s not just a means of how happy I am to be to get a job. You are be- here and how thankful I am ing exposed to ideas, phi- to have the best job in the losophies and knowledge world. This is a great feel- that hopefully cause you to ing. My hope is that every be curious about the world one of you has the same and life. Your education feeling when you walk into provides you with a base your job every day. I know of information to examine it’s a cliché but it is also who you are and what you Recycling in Corniglia Faculty Corner Submitted by Dr. Michelle Stevens: Congress for Middle Eastern Studies organizers Mathew Hall and Tony Miller (Centre for Middle Eastern Plants (CMEP), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh) to arrange for two symposia featuring 10 Iraqi scientists presenting on conditions in southern Iraq. As conference planning pro- ceeded, the situation in Iraq worsened dramatically: Shat al Arab flows were so reduced that extremely pol- luted and hyper saline water occurred as far north as Basrah. Conference organization took a lot of time to Hima Mesopotamia: arrange, as Iraqi’s have no credit cards and limited internet. Spanish visas’ weren’t obtained until the week Water and Peace in the Middle East before the Conference, when Spain won Soccer’s World Cup and officials were in an ebullient and expansive My research trajectory has been a source of mood. When one of the Iraqi scientists congratulated a amazement, humility, excitement and enrichment in my life. I Spanish official on winning the World Cup, he was imme- am embarked on two very exciting research trajectories. diately granted an entrance visa. One is starting a nonprofit corporation Hima Mesopotamia: Two other major things occurred to me in this Water and Peace in the Middle East and collaborative inter- time period: 1) I needed to go to Turkey to find grass- national research on the Tigris and Euphrates River water- roots efforts in the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds to sheds; the other is historic ecology of the north Delta north- determine exactly what condition the construction, eco- western Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta using fish faunal system and people were in; and 2) I decided to start a archaeological records and traditional management assess- nonprofit organization to attain the international stature, ment techniques. While these two topics seem very dispa- funding and resources to be effective in my research. rate, the ultimate intention is to write a book comparing and contrasting cultural and ecological systems in the two Twin During the WOCMES Conference, I initiated a River watersheds. round table or talking circle to brainstorm actions to pro- vide equitable water resource allocation in the Tigris In April 2009, I was the invited guest speaker for Euphrates watershed. Among the suggestions, partici- the 4th annual scientific conference on the rehabilitation of pants recommended telling people’s stories, and using the Mesopotamian Marshes in Basrah, Iraq. I was asked by art, poetry, video and music to inform the world of the Iraqi scientists to help focus international attention on the situation on the Tigris River particularly. I also was able serious threat of water withdrawals from upstream dam to interview Iraqi scientists on their lives and perspectives construction, primarily in Turkey, Iran and Syria. A petition on the marshes. At the WOCMES Conference in Spain, I had been signed by over 500 scientists to draw the atten- met Turkish scientists at a session on Climate Change, who tion of the world to the threat posed by inequitable riparian put me in touch with the Turkish environmental group water rights sharing in the Tigress and Euphrates water- Doga Dernegi (DD). With either amazing good luck or sheds. However, it appeared obvious to me that this was not destiny, I met with two staff scientists and the president going to be an effective approach to the challenge of pro- of DD, who were very interested in my work making link- longed drought and further upstream water diversions. ages with the Mesopotamian Marshes and Iraqi people. Dr. Yousef and Dr. Malik, Basrah Marine Science I spend 10 days in the Euphrates watershed and 10 Center, contacted me about helping them organize a con- days in the Tigris watershed visiting dams and dam, ference outside of Iraq to inform the international community evaluating conditions in the watershed, and almost get- on the emergency conditions of high salinities, human suffer- ting arrested by the Turkish army (see my blog at: ing and loss of biodiversity in the Shat al Arab, Mesopota- www.iraqmarshrestoration.blogspot.com ) mian Marshes, and northern Gulf. I contacted the World Faculty Corner This is Hasenkeyf on the Tigris River. Hasankeyf ıs a UNESCO world heritage site, and will be inundated by Ilusu Dam. The gov- ernment offered to resettle the 3,000 inhabitants of the town, but will only give them 15,000 L for their homes and wants 70,000 L for the new homes with no garden space, which no one can afford. For 50 years the government has wanted to build the dam, and re- stricted any new home construction and forbid any modifications to existing historic buildings. A rock fell of one of the cliffs and killed a tourist a couple years ago, so tour- ism was banned. This leaves people in a very great hardship situation. There are no jobs and no way to make a living; they are fighting for their lives! After these meetings, they arranged my travels and research for the next three weeks in first the Euphrates and then the Tigris watersheds. I visited dams and talked to engineers, evaluated ecological and social conditions on each watershed, and was almost getting arrested by the Turkish army (see www.iraqmarshrestoration.blogspot.com). Much of what I did was FORBIDDEN by the Turkish government, making me grateful for freedom of speech and assembly in the U.S. I will refer more to the research trajectories I am taking on dam construction and operation; analysis of riparian dependent bird, fish and aquatic species; human rights violations; conservation and restoration of key species in the twin river watersheds; and the social and ethnographic aspects of dam and reservoir construction. After my trip to Turkey, it became even more important to establish Doga Dernegi to help protect the nature and culture of the Tigris and Eu- phrates Rivers. The primary objectives and purposes of this corporation shall be to provide a holistic perspective on the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds, addressing current environmental and social issues. Drought, over allocation of water resources in the watershed, dam construction and hydro-electric development has caused the dramatic loss of ecosystem services, biodiversity and cultural integrity throughout the watershed. Proposed dam construction, such as Ilusu Dam, will exacerbate problems already in crises in the watershed and undo international efforts supporting cultural and ecologi- cal restoration. Transboundary water issues are likely to destabilize a region already fraught with war and suffering. Hima Mesopotamia will engage in efforts to increase effective communication on local, national, and international levels and in the areas of culture, society, and science. If you are interested in sponsoring a talk, help with a fund raising ac- tivity to promote the work of Hima Mesopotamia, or being on our mailing list, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org; check out our web site at www.himamesopotamia.org; and follow my blog at www.iraqmarshrestoration.blogspot.com. With the aid of a Masters Student, Emily Zaloza, and environmental studies intern Scott Tidball, I am complet- ing a chapter and journal article on the Historic Ecology of the North Delta. It is rather exciting, as to my knowledge no one has used the archeological fish faunal record to evaluate past water flows, and to then project the impact of Tradi- tional Resource Management on higher and more consistent flows on the Cosumnes and McColumne drainages. We are writing a chapter Historic Ecology of the northern Sacramento- San Joaquin Bay Delta: The past informs the future - Inte- grating Physical Processes with Cultural Practices to Inform Ecological Restoration in a book edited by Pei Lin Yu Rivers, Fish and the People Tradition, Science, and Historical Ecology of River Fisheries in the American West, Accepted for publication by University of Utah Press. Faculty Corner Submitted by Professor Virginia Matzek Field Methods (ENVS 121)has been doing research this semester in the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge. Students are measuring soil and biomass carbon storage in restored riparian forests in the SRNWR as part of Dr. Virginia Matzek's research. The class has also investigated water chemistry, stream dis- charge, and aquatic invertebrate diversity in the American River just upstream from campus, and will do groundwater monitoring later in the semester. Check out the "ENVS 121 Field Methods" Facebook group for more photos of the students in action this year: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php? gid=116468621745310 Field Methods is one of our most impacted classes because it is limited to 15 students. We have re- cently gotten approval and funding from the dean's office to add more sections of ENVS 121 in the future, so students can proceed more quickly to graduation! Above left: “Team Estro- gen” shows off the girl power that helped them measure 9 multistemmed willows; above right: Natalie and Alyssa pon- der their invertebrates in the microscope; right: Terry Singleton and Monica Dean measure flow rate with the bucket meter; left: Taking measurements at Pine Creek. All photos taken during ENVS 121 field- trips.