HPU Events

Changing Environments for Human Survival in China

April 02, 2013 12:15 PM - April 02, 2013 01:50 PM

Location: MP 328 (1188 Fort Street Mall)

Event Type: Visiting Lecturer from China

Dr. Patrick Lucas, Director of Beijing's Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), presents a lecture on the environmental degredation in China and efforts by government officials and the public to address a range of challenges.

Environmental degradation is a problem around the world, and no less so in China. Increasing pressures on the natural environment are leading to sometimes devastating ecological consequences.

Desertification in China still leads to the loss of vast areas of grassland and farmland yearly, and the shrinking or pollution of water supplies and degradation of forests and mountain ecologies has at times reached extreme levels. Not only do these changes affect local people who may see their livelihoods shrink but this also impacts far regions, for instance, through the dust storms that menace the capital Beijing each spring, and through cross border pollution to the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Food and water shortages, decreased economic production, damaged human health, and social instability are just a few of the other consequences.

These are serious on-going problems, and Chinese governmental institutions and leaders have become increasingly concerned. People of all ranks in China are becoming more aware of the issues, and the public has been emboldened to new levels of activism under the experience of steadily worsening environmental conditions, and super-events like the recent extreme air pollution which impacted Beijing and large areas of northern China in January—such that there is now new room for ideas on environmental protection.

Also part of the series:

Study Abroad Information Session
UB 200 (1164 Bishop Street)
Tuesday, April 2, 3 p.m.

"The Rise of a Great Nation: Nationalism in Contemporary China"
MP 319 (1188 Fort Street Mall)
Thursday, April 4, 9:10 a.m.

"Six Hundred Years of Environmental and Social Change: A Case Study from China"
MP 326 (1188 Fort Street Mall)
Thursday, April 4, 2 p.m.

Dr. Patrick Lucas graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oregon, with B.A. degrees in Computer and Information Science, Chinese, and Linguistics. He holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics, also from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Minzu University of China. Lucas is the first western graduate student to seek an advanced degree in China at this university. His academic research interests include identity, historical memory and narrative, boundaries and symbolic systems, as well as cultural survival and language endangerment. Outside of academia, Lucas is one of the leaders of a project that collects and preserves oral histories of Chinese and Americans who served as allies in China during the Second World War. The two related documentaries he wrote gained three awards in China. He is also currently working on a book of Guizhou province’s Tunpu people.  Lucas has been living in Beijing, teaching courses on ethnic identity, nationalism and service learning, and leading study programs in China since the mid-1990s. He has led students and educators on numerous fieldtrips throughout China, including three International Faculty Development Seminars for CIEE (2007-2009). His serious study of China started when he studied abroad as a university student in Beijing in 1985.

Click here for flyer (pdf)