Events & Media
New two-week elective course options offered in January to students and the public
Short Courses will run January 17, 2012 - January 27, 2012. Courses are designed for CEP graduate students, but are open to the public.*
Terra Preta to Commercial Product: Can we scale up Biochar?
Biochar is solid material obtained from the carbonisation of biomass. Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and historic soil management practices. Recently, it has been touted as an environmental “miracle cure”. Biochar can be used to increase crop productivity, sequester carbon, reduce the toxicity of soil contaminants, increase food security and cropland diversity and retain nutrients. So if it is this amazing wonder-carbon, why isn’t biochar being used everywhere? In this class we examine the problem of scaling up environmental solutions by focusing on the use of biochar as a soil amendment (i.e. for crop production and food security). In order to answer this question we will directly explore the properties of biochar, engage with experts studying the science, economic, and political realities of biochar soil amendments as well as talk with people “on the ground” to find out why people are or are not using it and why. From this wealth of information we will determine the pros and cons of biochar implementation and determine if it is a scalable environmental solution.
Professor: Becca Barnes.
Private Land Conservation: A Primer and Climate Change Consequences
Several Bard CEP graduates direct or work at Land Trusts in the Hudson Valley and beyond. How do land trust’s work, how effective are these organizations in preserving ecosystem services, and how will their initiatives be affected by climate change? This short course will be broken into sections; the first five days will provide an intensive look at Land Trust’s: history, structure, legal mandates, funding, strategies, purchase and easement agreements, monitoring and enforcement, community engagement. Students will emerge with a thorough understanding of the role of land trusts in land conservation. The balance of the course will consider how climate change is, or should be, impacting the mission of land trusts. As organizations managing land contracts for conservation purposes in perpetuity, what will 5 or 10 degrees of warming mean for their properties? Is it possible to build climate adaptation mechanisms into contracts that are signed today?
Professor: Judy Anderson. Judy is a consultant and trainer who works with land trust across the Northeast, on climate change issues, internal system and board/governance development, leadership development, fundraising strategies, communication and outreach, cooperative visioning and program implementation, and land protection and stewardship details and transactions. She helps organizations develop programs to connect people and communities with the land, including “conservation closer to home”.
Slow Water for Sustainable Development: Oaxaca
Bard CEP has a longstanding partnership with the Institute for Nature and Society (INSO) in Oaxaca. Rather than understand the regional water crisis as arising from scarcity, INSO characterizes the region’s challenge as one of too much “fast water”—now both arriving and disappearing rapidly during the rainy season-- and not enough “slow water”, water that in the past was trapped by healthy ecosystems, and retained for use throughout the year. As a result of the degradation of mountain forests, cropland and pasture, and of urban sprawl, rainy season precipitation has become fast water, washing away topsoil, flooding roads, failing to replenish groundwater, and flowing quickly out of the region. This course will explore the general challenge of water management in a developing country context: course content will include an overview of Mexican history and environmental politics; a look at the hydrology and water quantity/quality issues, and a focus on solutions advocated by INSO and others.
Professor: Victor Tafur
*Payment to Bard (due by December 10th) will be $800.
This event was last updated on 11-21-2011