Citizens from throughout the region gather for Draining the Great Oasis: A Colloquium on Environmental History

Approximately 150 people came to Southwest State University to attend Draining the Great Oasis: A Colloquium on Environmental History on October 25, 2001. Participants included representatives from Southwest State University, Murray County government offices, state agencies, environmental organizations, and local communities. Many of the fifteen authors of Draining the Great Oasis: An Environmental History of Murray County, including two Southwest State University students, had an opportunity to speak about their experiences in researching and writing for the book. They portrayed the county as a land shaped in ancient times by glacial activity and as a land modified in modern times for agricultural use. The authors spoke of the environment of Murray County as a place with unique stories, yet as a site representative of numerous midwestern counties. The speakers gave testimony to the value of educating citizens about local environmental history.

In addition, two nationally known lecturers offered insight into the lives of Alexander von Humboldt and Henry David Thoreau, famous writers who paid close attention to their local landscape and its deeper meanings. The conference concluded with panel and roundtable discussion on the future of environmental history studies in southwestern Minnesota. A reception honoring those involved in the production of the book completed the day.

Science and Technology 203
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State Street Marshall, MN 56258
Phone: (507) 537-6226
Fax: (507) 537-6147

Last updated: March 21, 2006