Published: Feb. 21, 2020

Sustainable Cities: Urbanization and the Environment

Thursday, March 12 *
Student Commons Room 1401 *
11:00am to 12:30pm * Lunch Served *

Featuring: Dr. Dale Stahl, Dr. Alan Vajda and Dr. Christy Briles **

Dale Stahl, Assistant Professor of History
Can infrastructure make a nation? The history of environmental engineering in many parts of the world is closely related to histories of empire and colonization. Empires remade natural landscapes, both within urban areas and outside them, to provide political and economic benefits to the colonizer. With decolonization, new nation-states sought to justify infrastructure projects—dams, highways, urban renewal—as building the nation. This research analyzes the history of Iraq to understand the complex and entwined histories of engineering, empire, and the nation-state. Iraq’s history holds important lessons for those seeking new models of development and sustainability.

Dr. Alan Vajda photo Alan Vajda, Associate Professor of Integrative Biology
Hormones, pharmaceuticals and other contaminants from urban and agricultural effluents increasingly impact surface water, ground water, and drinking water. These chemicals can alter development, cognition, behavior, and other traits in humans and wildlife. We will examine eco-human health impacts of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and explore opportunities for environmental problem solving through individual and collective applications of policy, technology, and infrastructure.

Christy Briles, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Sciences

Bees are a keystone species and incredibly important in our food system.  As the need for local food production increases, so does pollination services by bees and other insects. Yet, our research shows bee populations and the nutritious resources necessary to sustain them are limited in urban and agricultural landscapes. We will discuss the establishment, role, and research of the CU Denver Bee Project in understanding and enhancing bee populations and resources for them in urban, suburban, and agricultural environments across Colorado, including on Auraria Campus.

Interdisciplinary Exchange offers presentations, discussions, and working groups highlighting the research and creative work of CLAS faculty, staff, and students. All are welcome!
For disability accommodations, or to bring a class to a session, please contact Tracy Kohm, at