Mississippi Water Security Institute Hosts Lecture on Changing Delta Waterscape

9780195316919Christopher Morris, professor of history at the University of Texas, Arlington, will speak on the environmental history of the lower Mississippi Delta, with a focus on the area’s waterscape as part of a public seminar hosted by the Mississippi Water Security Institute.

Morris’ lecture, “Water, Water, Everywhere: A Wet History of the Delta,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 15 in Bryant Hall 209. The event is free and open to the public.

Morris is the author of The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina, and Becoming Southern: The Evolution of a Way of Life, Warren County and Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1770-1860.

“[Dr. Morris’] fine book, Big Muddy, discusses the connections between environmental and cultural changes in the Delta, from European colonization in the late 1600s to present,” said Dr. Clifford Ochs, director of the Mississippi Water Security Institute and UM professor of biology. “It’s largely a story of water management. The Delta was once very wet, a swampy, forested floodplain of the Mississippi River.  But to allow for large-scale agriculture, the forests were cut down, the swamps drained and wells drilled. And from having too much water to allow for farming, there is now sometimes a water shortage.  Dr. Morris’s talk will explain this highly interesting, and complex history of our land and waterscape.”

The seminar coincides with the Mississippi Water Security Institute’s first two-week intensive learning experience, which will bring honors students from across Mississippi to the institute to in May.

A reception will follow the seminar. For more information, contact Ochs at byochs@olemiss.edu.


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