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What I Learned as a Scientist Helping Communities Fight Mining, Logging and Urban Development

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Monday, October 18, 2021 3 pm to 4 pm

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This is a past event.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

Steven H. Emerman, Ph.D., Owner, Malach Consulting

Abstract:  After retiring from teaching geophysics and hydrology, I became a full-time consultant on behalf of communities that are affected by the existing and potential impacts of mining, logging and urban development. Occasionally, I consult for banks and investment firms who have their own concerns about mining, logging, and urban development. Typical assignments for me are evaluating the environmental impact statements, watershed assessments, stormwater management plans, and similar documents that are written by the proponents of a project, as well as assessing the safety of existing infrastructure, such as mining dams and stormwater pipes. The first thing that I have learned is that the scientific standards that I used to impose on my undergraduate students are far higher than the standards that are imposed by most governmental regulatory agencies. The second thing that I have learned is that sound scientific analysis accomplishes nothing without legal, political, and public relations strategies for promoting that science. I am often asked how I find hope. After explaining that there is no hope, I will tell you how to change the world, the pitfalls of pro bono work, and how to succeed with your own consulting company. 

Bio:  Dr. Steven H. Emerman has a BS in Mathematics from The Ohio State University, M.A. in Geophysics from Princeton University, and PhD in Geophysics from Cornell University. Dr. Emerman has 31 years of experience teaching hydrology and geophysics, including teaching as a Fulbright Professor in Ecuador and Nepal, and has 70 peer-reviewed publications in these areas. Dr. Emerman is the owner of Malach Consulting, which specializes in evaluating the environmental impacts of mining, logging and urban development on behalf of affected communities. Dr. Emerman has evaluated proposed and existing development projects in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, and has testified on mining and water issues before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Dr. Emerman is the Chair of the Body of Knowledge Subcommittee of the U.S. Society on Dams and one of the authors of Safety First: Guidelines for Responsible Mine Tailings Management.


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Topic: Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar
Start Time: Oct 18, 2021 02:54 PM

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  • Ženia Sidorov
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