SAC # 65

Paddling the Canoe towards Sustainability



TIME | 28 May 2009, 4pm onwards

LOCATION | Seminar Room, Centre for Innovation, 87 St. David St

SPEAKER | Dr. Reed M. Perkins


Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are often cited as the “canaries in the coal mine” of global change. Despite the increasingly global analysis of climatic, economic, and cultural processes, SIDS serve as local examples of unintended (and unsustainable) consequences. Indeed, with the obvious finiteness of land, fresh water, and economic flexibility, nowhere are the repercussions of unsustainable living more acute than on SIDS. In this seminar, I will present the case of one such small island state (Yap, a member of the Federated States of Micronesia) as it pursues a sustainable future that incorporates both Yap’s deep traditions and current technology, concepts, and limits. This synthetic approach has often been called euphemistically the “Pacific Way.” I will especially emphasize my Yapese colleagues’ efforts in helping developing a local GIS capacity for resource monitoring and management.

About the Speaker

Reed Perkins is on sabbatical leave to the University of Otago from the Department of Environmental Science at Queens University of Charlotte (NC, USA). He received his BA in Philosophy (1986) and MS in Resource Policy (1990) from The University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Forest Hydrology (1997) from Oregon State University. At Queens, he developed the Micronesian Islands Environmental Study Program, in which Queens students and faculty work with scientists and government personnel of Yap and Kosrae (member states of the Federated States of Micronesia) to develop a local GIS capacity and monitor the islands’ ecosystems. He also enjoys ice cream, scuba diving, and bad jokes, just not at the same time.


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