The Shapiro Wing is now open for silent study. We look forward to welcoming you back into the Library. For more information about study space and resources available, please see our On-Campus Services Page
The Delaware River is an interconnected 13,500-square-mile basin of water. Four states, 42 counties, and 838 municipalities argued over taking water out, dumping waste in, and who was in charge. In response, a Supreme Court lawsuit was filed and in 1961 the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) was formed. In February 2020, Peter A. Eschbach, then Director of External Affairs and Communications for the DRBC, presented on how the commission, the four states, and the federal government came together to clean up the river, manage droughts, and take on new challenges like microplastics and climate change. Elizabeth Brown, the current Director of External Affairs and Communications, presents an update on the challenges the DRBC faces in managing and improving our shared water resources and the many stakeholder groups and partners whose work supports its continued sustainability now and for future generations. See related resources below.
September 8, 2022
Nicoletta Batini, an Italian economist and notable scholar of innovative monetary and fiscal policy practices, presents her book The Economics of Sustainable Food: Smart Policies for Health and the Planet (2021). Batini illustrates the true cost of food for people and the planet, how to transform our broken food system, and alleviate its severe financial and human burden. The key is smart macroeconomic policy that moves us toward methods that protect the environment like regenerative land and sea farming, low-impact urban farming, and alternative protein farming, and toward healthy diets. Batini takes a multidisciplinary approach to laying out the fiscal and trade policies, as well as structural reforms, to achieve those goals. Batini is an expert in the field of macroeconomic strategies, particularly where public health, climate change, and food systems combine. She is a lead evaluator at the International Monetary Fund. See related resources below.
April 28, 2022: Co-Sponsored by Bucks County Audubon Society
Dr. Christopher Gambino, assistant professor of Animal Science at Delaware Valley University, presents his findings on the varying definitions of sustainable agriculture production. He recently collected data on a diverse population of undergraduate students, and uses that to show the variety of mental models people possess around this topic. Dr. Gambino talks about the Good Farmer inventory, defining sustainable agriculture, and how we can prepare the next generation to tackle the complex issues surrounding producing food/fiber & feeding people. See related resources below.
For the land sharing / land sparing debate referenced in the presentation, you can read the three works below in this order because they connect.
More articles of interest:
Erica Cirino, science writer, artist, and author of Thicker than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis, joins us to talk about her findings as she travels the world on a photojournalistic journey, uncovering the hard truths of the plastic industry and the damage they have caused. She documents plastic across ecosystems and elements, shares stories from the primarily Black, Brown, Indigenous and rural communities that are disproportionately harmed by industrial pollution globally, and uncovers strategies that work to prevent plastic from causing further devastation to our planet and its inhabitants. See related resources below.
FOR A LIMITED TIME, you can get a copy of her book from Island Press for 30% Off with promo code WEBINAR. Buy it here: https://islandpress.org/books/thicker-water
November 2, 2021
Professor Simon Blackmore of Harper Adams University (retired) presents how our current agricultural system is unsustainable. It uses too much energy and depletes soil quality and impacts its structure. It relies on agrochemicals, indiscriminately sprayed, and manual labor that is increasingly scarce. Overall, it's wasteful and inefficient. That's where robots come in! As the former Head of Engineering at Harper Adams, director of the National Centre for Precision Farming, and manager of the European FutureFarm Project, Professor Blackmore discusses precision farming that uses agricultural robotics, systems thinking, and non-agricultural technologies (like A.I., machine vision, smart phones, etc.). See related resources below.
September 9, 2021
Dr. Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP, provides a brief overview of the One Health matrix tool and applies it, as an example, to examine the global impact of human and animal fecal wastes. Applying the tool reveals linkages between food-borne illnesses, food insecurity, antimicrobial resistance, and climate change. Understanding these linkages is necessary for developing effective and equitable public policies that are needed to achieve many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Kahn's work over the years has been instrumental in forming the One Health Initiative! See related resources below.
February 24th, 2021 - Co-sponsored by the Heritage Conservancy
Ashley Gripper, founder of Land Based Jawns and a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard presents on the intersections of Black farming, mental health, and spirituality through a scholar-activist lens. She shares her hopes and vision for food sovereignty and ecology in the post pandemic society.
Gripper was born and raised in Philadelphia. Her food and land work focuses on Black folks' connection and re-connection to the Creator, to ancestors, to each other, and to the land. Land Based Jawns is a spiritually rooted organization that provides education and training to Black Philly women on natural agriculture, carpentry, land based living, and self-defense with a focus on self and community healing. Gripper is a farmer-in-training at Sankofa Community Farm in Southwest Philadelphia. She is also a member of Soil Generation and is working with the team to design Philly’s first Urban Agriculture Plan. In her academic work, she studies environmental health. Her research looks at the impact of urban agriculture on mental health, spirituality, and collective agency for Black people, and is supported by the Health Policy Research Scholars program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. See related resources below.
February 11, 2020
Pennsylvania State Senator Maria Collett, Hope Grosse and Joanne Stanton (BuxMont Coalition for Safe Water), Dr. Sharon Watkins (PA Epidemiologist and Director of the Department of Health's Bureau of Epidemiology), and Kyle Bagenstose (journalist, USA Today Network) discuss PFAs in Pennsylvania and how these "forever chemicals" threaten our health and environment, and what we can do about it. See related resources below.
September 25th, 2019, Co-Sponsored by Food Systems Institute
Journalist Katherine Rapin shared insights gathered from her reporting on how Pennsylvania farmers are adapting to extreme weather caused by climate change, and how the practices they implement can hasten mitigation.
March 6, 2019 - 6:00pm Life Sciences Auditorium, Co-Sponsored by the Heritage Conservancy. Author book-signing followed.
Food from the Radical Center: Healing our Land and Communities narrates the collaboration of diverse communities to revive healthy, local food production. In a divided nation, efforts to support local food systems are bringing people with different political views, cultures, and religions together and providing hope for future conservation initiatives. Land and rare species restoration have brought economic, ecological, and social success to U.S. communities.
With 50 years of community based project experience, Gary Paul Nabhan provides a unique perspective on the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. He offers an inclusive vision of environmentalism and stories of healing through community-based recovery of food producing landscapes. Nabhan is an award-winning author and agrarian activist whose 36 books have been translated into eight languages. He is an agricultural ecologist, ethnobiologist, and the Kellogg Endowed Chair in Southwestern Borderlands Food and Water Security at the University of Arizona. Nabhan is considered a pioneer of the local food movement, and has been honored with a MacArthur Genius award and awards from the Societies for Conservation Biology and Ethnobiology. He raises heritage fruits, heirloom chilis, and spices near the Mexican border.
October 18, 2018 - 6:00pm Life Sciences Auditorium, Co-Sponsored by the Master’s of Public Policy (MPP). Author book-signing followed.
McGraw published “A Thirsty Land: The Making of an American Water Crisis” in 2018. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed “The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone,” and “Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories from the Front Line of Climate Change.” He has been a contributor to many publications, such as the New York Times and the Huffington Post.
He has received the Freedom of Information Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors, the Golden Quill Award, as well as honors from the Casey Foundation and the Society of Professional Journalists. A father of four, he lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Kren, his children, and a neighborly bear with boundary issues.