HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Duke ecologist finds devastation, hope in Iraqi marshes

DURHAM, N.C. -- An expedition by Duke University wetlands expert Curtis Richardson to evaluate damage to Iraq's storied Mesopotamian Marshlands revealed an environmental disaster of vast proportions. However, he also found the potential for restoring a significant portion of the marshes and with them the Marsh Arab culture.

On his June 16-26 trip, he encountered dust-bowl-level desiccation within the former wetlands, a destroyed date palm industry, a drinking water crisis, wrecked laboratories, and a pressing need to train a new generation of environmental researchers. Richardson is director of the Duke Wetland Center and a professor of resources ecology in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. Richardson, the only university researcher on the trip, was joined by

  • Peter Reiss, an anthropologist from Development Alternatives Inc. of Bethesda, Md., who served as team leader
  • Azaam Alwash, a hydrologist and engineer with the Eden Again Project and Iraq Foundations, and

  • Doug Pool, an agronomist with the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Iraq Office.

Together, they are developing with Iraqi experts a plan to restore a portion of the marshlands, which some legends identify as the site of the Garden of Eden. The formerly pristine wetland ecosystem of more than 20,000 square kilometers has been reduced by 90 percent, he estimated, through a combination of upstream damming, protracted warfare, and deliberate draining. The draining was done by Saddam Hussein's government, both for land development and to suppress an indigenous 5,000-year old Marsh Arab culture that opposed his regime.

For Richardson and his colleagues who made the USAID-sponsored visit, there was potential danger starting with an early morning armed convey racing across the Iraqi border from Kuwait and continuing with his first night on the third floor of his hotel in Basra. "I was lying there hearing machine gun fire
'"/>

Contact: Scottee Cantrell
scottee@duke.edu
919-613-8074
Duke University
18-Aug-2003


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Brown ecologist garners major National Science Foundation grant
2. Rutgers ecologists and Brooklyn Botanic Garden botanists to plan Beijing Olympics Forest Park
3. New book urges ecologists to think outside the helmet
4. WSU ecologist says defense by plants to disease may leave them vulnerable to insect attack
5. Scientists re-evaluating the meaning of desertification, Duke ecologist says
6. UNC ecologists find floodplains particularly vulnerable to invasion by exotic plant species
7. Duke ecologists book offers hopeful view of Earths plight
8. Inaugural award for population ecologist
9. Cigarette smoke causes breaks in DNA and defects to a cells chromosomes, Pitt study finds
10. DNA barcode finds four new bird species
11. Rice finds on-off switch for buckyball toxicity

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, ... with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that ... With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University ... Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... SINGAPORE , May 5, 2017 ... has just announced a new breakthrough in biometric ... that exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform ... new smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group ... across finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... MONICA, Calif. , April 13, 2017 ... New York will feature emerging and evolving ... Summits. Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo ... of speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending ... coast,s largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced today ... the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... home security market and how smart safety and security products impact the ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: ... "The residential security market has experienced ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding ... a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ARCS® ... Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni ... the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is now ... Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis services for advanced applications. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: