The "Dust Bowl" and Environmental Issues on the Great Plains

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2013
  • 6:00 PM EST
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During the 20th century, the Great Plains emerged as the American breadbasket, with sufficient agricultural surpluses to support substantial exports and foreign aid programs. Unfortunately, this incredible bounty is threatened by a shifting climate, resource depletion and population declines that threaten to undermine American food security and contribute to global shortages as American exports are unable to make up for deficiencies on areas that are not self-supporting. American ideas about economic systems, resource allocation and social organization have all had a strong influence on the way Americans both viewed and used the Great Plains in the last 100 years.

Topics Covered:

  • The current drought affecting the Great Plains is part of a long historical cycle that has historically forced humans to adapt their activities to the environment
  • Global events have long shaped American history, even before the American emergence as a superpower after World War II
  • Despite a century of rapid growth and prosperity, parts of the United States are in a decades-long decline and suffer from declining populations and productivity
  • Only substantial withdrawals from the Ogallala aquifer have prevented a second Dust Bowl, but these withdrawals are at an unsustainable rate and aquifer depletion threatens continued human habitation on some areas of the Great Plains

We will also cover:

  • The Master of Arts in History program
  • Norwich University and its legacy
  • Financial Aid Information and Military Benefits
  • How to apply and waive your application fee (applies to new applicants)
Chris Rein, PhD
Instructor, Master of Arts in History
Categories: History