Can understanding of urban ecosystems improve our odds?

Larry Baker
Saturday, June 22, 2024 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
Shorview Library, 4560 Victoria St N Shoreview, Minnesota 55126

There will be a short business meeting prior to the presentation.

Following many centuries of mostly agrarian lives, more than half of the people on our planet now live in cities.  Early industrial cities were a mess, choked with smog, filthy water, large epidemics, to the point that lifespans around 1900 were shorter for folks living in cities than the countryside.

This talk examines the progress we’ve made, and some ideas for future progress, illustrated in part by Larry Baker's own research. We’ll continue this vein with a structured discussion to dive deeper on the topic of “improving our odds” for the livability of cities in the future

Most of Larry's career was in academia.  His research applied his hybrid education in environmental engineering and ecology to the study of applied biogeochemistry, with a focus on human ecosystems – cities and farms.  He generally focuses on water quality, seeking practical solutions from a biogeochemical perspective, often working in Pasteur's quadrant, combining practice and theory.  Recent projects have focused on nutrient flows in urban stormwater, agricultural P balances, urban road salt management, and water policy. He often collaborates with scholars, ranging from social sciences to animal and crop science to civil engineering. Now retired, he is an embryonic novelist, working on a historical fiction about the early Puebloans in the “Basketmaker era” and serves as a board member of the DFL Environmental Caucus