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Rivers of Power: How an Ancient Force Rules Us Still

Norman D. Smith Lecture for Public Understanding of Science

7:00 pm
Nebraska Union Room: Swanson Auditorium
1400 R St
Lincoln NE 68508
Additional Info: NU
Target Audiences:
Tina Schinstock, (402) 472-2663,
There is a vast, arterial power humming all around us, hiding in plain sight. It has shaped human civilizations more than any road, technology, or war. It has opened frontiers, founded cities, settled borders, and fed billions. It promotes life, forges peace, grants power, and capriciously destroys everything in its path. Increasingly domesticated, even manacled, it is an ancient power that rules us still.

That power is rivers, and this talk will explore some of the many ways that humans have used rivers over time and how we continue to rely on them today.

Laurence C. Smith is the John Atwater and Diana Nelson University Professor of Environmental Studies in the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society and the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. His book “Rivers of Power” was a Geographical Best Book of 2020. His research interests include the Arctic, water resources and satellite remote sensing technologies.

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This event originated in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.