LOGAN, Utah – Are states across the nation prepared to deal with continued outbreaks of West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases? Political ecology geographer Paul Robbins examines this question in his presentation “The Mosquito State: How Insects Manage Bureaucracies in the Age of Vector Disease Control” as guest speaker for the USU College of Natural Resources Distinguished Geographer Lecture Monday, March 29. Robbins’ talk, free and open to all, begins at 6 p.m. in Room 105 of the Natural Resources building. “The recent outbreak of West Nile Virus in the American Southwest and the associated risks of other mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue fever and malaria, have raised questions about the capacity of state, county and municipal government to deal with impending disease crises,” says Robbins, professor and head of the University of Arizona’s School of Geography and Development. In his presentation, Robbins will review the results of recent research examining the variability of state responses aimed at managing mosquito-related hazards. His findings reveal managers’ diverse approaches to allocating precious resources and dealing with public fears. Robbins’ visit is made possible by support from the Association of American Geographers Visiting Geographical Scientist Program, along with USU’s Department of Environment and Society and Department of Watershed Sciences. “This is our first Distinguished Geographer Lecture, which we offer to the USU and Cache Valley community to highlight our newly combined geography degree program,” says lecture coordinator Claudia Radel, assistant professor of human geography in USU’s ENVS Department. The College of Natural Resources introduced a revised, interdepartmental undergraduate geography degree program at the start of the 2009-2010 academic year that allows students to choose between emphases in human-environment geography, physical geography or geographical analysis and bioregional planning. For more information, contact Radel at 797-0516.
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