Conversations in Science
for K-12 Educators

A program conceived and organized by the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with the collaboration of the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Edgewood Sonderegger Science Center.

Thursday, February 10, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.

From Geophysics to Environmental Justice

Dr. Herb Wang
Department of Geology and Geophysics, UW-Madison

About the conversation:

Environmental Justice deals with issues that lie at the intersection of major societal concerns regarding social justice, environmental protection, and health. The environmental justice movement arose from the civil rights and anti-toxics movements. Case histories will be described which give evidence for inequitable location of hazardous waste sites within minority communities in the United States as well as globally. The conversation will examine how a geophysics professor came to develop education and outreach initiatives in environmental justice.

About the professor:

Herb Wang has been on the faculty of the Department of Geology and Geophysics since 1972. Herb received his BA in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an AM in physics from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from MIT. He is the author of books on poroelasticity and groundwater modeling. In the last several years, he has developed courses in Environmental Justice. Professor Wang serves as associate dean (natural sciences) of the College of Letters & Science.

References and Suggested Readings:

Allen, Barbara L., Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor Disputes MIT Press, 2003. (Dr. Allen will give a public lecture on her book on Thursday, March 10, 2005, 4:00 p.m. in Rm. AB20 Weeks Hall.)

Bullard, Robert D., Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994.

Cole, Luke W., and Sheila R. Foster. From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement. New York: New York University Press, 2001.

Pellow, David, Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.