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Feb 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm
America’s Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie
With Daryl Smith, Deborah E. Popper
America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie
60 min., 2005
America’s Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie tells the rich and complex story of one of the most astonishing alterations of nature in human history. Prior to Euro-American settlement in the 1820s, one of the major landscape features of North America was 240 million acres of tallgrass prairie. But between 1830 and 1900 — in the span of a single lifetime — the prairie was steadily transformed to farmland. This drastic change in the landscape brought about an enormous social change for Native Americans. In an equally short time their cultural imprint was reduced in essence to a handful of place-names appearing on maps. The extraordinary cinematography of prairie remnants, original score and archival images are all delicately interwoven to create a powerful and moving viewing experience about the natural and cultural history of America.
2005 Winner, Docufest Official Selection
2006 Winner, CINE Gold Eagle Award, Washington DC
Daryl Smith has served as head of UNI Department of Biology, president of the Iowa Academy of Science, board member of the Iowa Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and National Association of Biology Teachers, director of the Twelfth North American Prairie Conference and director of Iowa Prairie Conferences 1991-01. His awards include Distinguished Service-Iowa Academy of Science, Environmental Educator-Iowa Sierra Club, Conservation Educator-Iowa Wildlife Federation, Noteworthy Service-Iowa Nature Conservancy, Notable Achievement-Iowa Association of Roadside Managers, Ross Nielsen Service Award and 2007 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence -University of Northern Iowa, and Excellence in Roadside Management-National Roadside Vegetation Management Association. A native Iowan, Smith has been involved in prairie preservation, management, and restoration for 35 years. His former students are active in prairie restoration and management, natural area assessment, resource management, secondary and collegiate teaching and natural history interpretation.
Deborah E. Popper is a professor of geography at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island and on the faculty of CUNY’s graduate program in earth and Environmental Science. She also teaches as a visiting professor at Princeton University’s Environmental Institute, and she is Director of CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College at the College of Staten Island. With her husband Frank Popper of Rutgers University, she has analyzed the American Great Plains and invented the concept of the Buffalo Commons. Part metaphor, part plan, the Buffalo Commons suggests a future for the Great Plains that puts sustainability and ecological restoration at its core. The Poppers writings on the Buffalo Commons stimulated a national debate.