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Environmental Studies launches KU-Land Institute Initiative

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Environmental Studies Program recently founded the KU-Land Institute Initiative, a partnership with the Land Institute of Salina, Kansas. The initiative is designed to increase interdisciplinary research and training across the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities at KU regarding the development of agriculture involving perennial polycultures.

The Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies hosted the initiative’s first international visitors, Professors Valentin Picasso and Pablo Speranza, from Uruguay’s Universidade de la República, in March 2013 to discuss joint research and exchange opportunities. A lunch with Marsha Haufler, Associate Dean of International and Interdisciplinary Studies, Susan Groenbeck-Tedesco, Vice Provost of International Programs, Tim Crews, Director of Research at the Land Institute, Chris Brown, Jorge Soberón, and Jill Kuhnheim was followed by a meeting at The Commons with researchers from a wide range of fields to discuss specific areas of research related to perennial polycultures and sustainable agriculture. Participating researchers from KU included: 

Kelly Kindscher, Kansas Biological Survey and Environmental Studies

Sara Gregg, History

Joy Ward, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Dave Mechem, Geography and Atmospheric Sciences

Nate Brunsell, Geography and Atmospheric Sciences

Dan Hirmas, Geography

Benjamin Gray, Anthropology

John Head, School of Law

Dave Fowle, Geology and Associate Director of Environmental Studies

Johan Feddema, Chair of Geography

Paul Stock, Sociology and Environmental Studies

J. Christopher Brown, Geography, and Director, Environmental Studies

Tim Crews, Director of Research, The Land Institute

Jorge Soberón, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Biodiversity Institute

Town Peterson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Biodiversity Institute

Nate Brunsell and Chris Brown will be paying a return visit to our Uruguay partners in August to establish further connections, exchanges, and specific research projects.

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