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January 23, 2006

Lecture series assessing environmental, social impact of Hurricane Katrina starts tonight

Stanford University will present a four-part lecture series on the environmental and social consequences of the August 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster in the Gulf Coast. The series, "Assessing Katrina: Ecosystems, Urbanization and the Real Costs of Reclamation," is free and open to the public.

The first panel—on managing coastal ecosystems and disasters—will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Room 105 of Building 320 (Geology Corner), 450 Serra Mall, Stanford. Abby Sallenger, an oceanographer with the U.S. Geological Survey, will describe the hurricane's impact on the Mississippi Delta. Stephen Schneider, the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford, will discuss the vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to climate change. The panel will be chaired by Jeffrey Koseff, co-director of the Stanford Institute for the Environment and a professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Three other panels also are scheduled:

  • "Urbanization and the Coastal Environment," Monday, Feb. 6, chaired by Coit "Chip" Blacker, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford.
  • "Rebuild or Abandon?" Monday, Feb. 27, chaired by Barton "Buzz" Thompson, co-director of the Stanford Institute for the Environment.
  • "Dealing with Disasters," Monday, March 6, chaired by Pamela Matson, dean of the School of Earth Sciences.
  • All three panels will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Building 320.

    The lecture series is sponsored by the School of Earth Sciences, the Stanford Institute for the Environment, the Freeman Spogli Institute and Stanford Continuing Studies. For online maps and directions, visit



    Mark Shwartz, News Service: (650) 723-9296,


    Cindy Gori, School of Earth Sciences: (650) 725-4395,

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