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Michael Whiteford, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (515) 294-7740
Dave Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (515) 294-7742
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University will host an international symposium, "Rivers of Life: Water, People and Global Development," Monday, April 21. The event, which underscores the role of water in human development, is free and open to the public.

Michael Whiteford, associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said the symposium will examine the role of water in climate change, war and even politics.

"We want the symposium to encourage inter-disciplinary investigation among graduate students in their approaches to research on the role of water in development and on project and policy formulation," Whiteford said. "The symposium will also engage faculty members in discussions of the issues in this area."

The event opens with Robert Mazur, associate professor of sociology, presenting and moderating a panel discussion at noon, April 21, Pioneer Room, Memorial Union. The speakers and their topics are: Mazur, "Water and the Human Right to Development;" Gene Takle, professor of agronomy and geological and atmospheric sciences, "Water, Global Population and Climate Change;" and Steffen Schmidt, University professor of political science, "Water, Politics and War."

Heidi Asbjornsen, assistant professor of natural resources ecology and management, will present a research seminar from 4-5 p.m., 302 Catt Hall. She will discuss "Water, Fire and Community-Based Natural Resource Management in the Chimalapas (Oaxaca, Mexico)."

The symposium will conclude with a 7 p.m. presentation by Stephen Gasteyer, director of community development programs in the Rural Community Assistance Program in Washington, D.C. Gasteyer will speak on "Commons or Commodity: Differing Approaches to a Global Water Crisis," Pioneer Room, Memorial Union.

The symposium is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture.


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