Wallace Stegner Center Green Bag
Confronting the Challenge of Environmental Change on the Colorado Plateau
S.J. Quinney College of Law, Room 106
1 hour CLE, email email@example.com
The Colorado Plateau is arguably America’s most spectacular landscape and a coveted remnant of American wilderness. Home to some of the country’s most popular national parks and sustaining the West’s largest river, resources on the Colorado Plateau contribute to the health, economy and quality of life of millions of Americans. However, the Plateau is becoming a hotbed of growing human pressures and an at-risk home for unique species of wildlife and plants. Decades of change and use are taking their toll on the Plateau and mounting ecological problems are now compromising this region’s lands and waters. In addition rising temperatures and the threat of continued and more severe droughts are forcing communities, public land managers and policy-makers to seek new solutions that will protect and sustain the resources and wonders of the Colorado Plateau for future generations. Barry will discuss how the Canyonlands Research Center is bringing together scientists, public land managers and local land users to confront these pressing environmental concerns and working to develop science-based strategies that will help protect the extraordinary resources of the Plateau.
Dr. Barry Baker is the Director of the Canyonlands Research Center and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. He received a Ph.D. from Colorado State in 1991 where his research focused on the effects of climate change on grassland/livestock ecosystems. Since then, he has worked in Argentina, China, Mongolia, and the US for the United Nations’ Development and Environmental Programmes, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Country Studies Program, and more recently The Nature Conservancy. His research interests include bioclimatology, biogeography, and the influence of climatic variability on the distribution and conservation of plants and animals in grassland and alpine ecosystems.