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The 2014 Global American South Conference, “Cities, Rivers and Cultures of Change: Rethinking and Restoring the Environments of the Global American South,” will take place at the FedEx Global Education Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from Feb. 21-22. The conference is free and open to the public.

It will address the shifts in the way water is thought about, used and protected; rapid immigration and demographic change (the “browning” and “graying” of the United States); and the effects that urbanization has had on the environment of the American South and the world at large.

Margaret Palmer, professor at the University of Maryland and director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, will deliver the keynote Chandler Lecture in Southern Business History at 10:45 a.m. on Feb. 22.

Palmer’s research is focused on watershed restoration ecology, and she has worked on streams, river and estuaries for 30 years. She has led scientific projects at national and international levels and is recognized for her work at the interface of science and policy, particularly watershed restoration. Palmer earned her doctorate in coastal oceanography from the University of South Carolina, is an Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and an elected fellow of the Ecological Society of America.

Published Feb. 7, 2014