The importation of tropical products from the Caribbean and the Pacific accompanied the growth of American industrial development in the early twentieth century. While the new demand for tropical fruits, woods, and products dramatically altered tropical ecosystems and contributed to food shortages in what is today called the “global south,” it also encouraged the development of an ethic of natural resource management and conservation. By focusing on the work of American agricultural scientists, foresters, and chemists during the U.S. occupation of the Philippines (1898-1936), Theresa Ventura shows how science was integral to the emergence of the United States as a world power; the influence of Philippine knowledge on environmental and nutritional knowledge; and the often devastating impact of conservation and land management programs on indigenous communities.
Speaker Biography: Theresa Ventura is an assistant professor of history at Concordia University in Montreal.
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