Friday, August 31, 2007

Conference of Interest

Food Security and Environmental Change
2-4 April, 2008
University of Oxford, UK

International Conference on sustainable production and consumption
From Corporate Governance to Citizen-Consumers
18-20 Sept, 2008
Laval University, Quebec City, Canada

8th Asia Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable consumption and production
17-19 September 2008
Cebu, Philippines

The International Symposium on Cities and Conservation
6-7 November 2007
Putrajaya, Malaysia

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2008
Geographies That Matter
Conference Chair: Professor Noel Castree, Manchester University
27-29 August 2008
RGS-IBG, London

2008 AAG Annual Meeting

April 15-19
Boston, MA
Graduate Student Affinity Group
Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group

22nd Annual Meeting of SCB
"From the Mountain to the Sea"
13-18 July 2008
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA--along the Tennessee River.

Ecocity World Summit 2008
22 - 26 April 2008
San Francisco, Ca, USA

Population Environment Research Network - Calendar Page
Conference Listing
Conference Listing

Conference Alerts
Conference Listing

Keywords and Themes

sustainable geography
sustainable food consumption
sustainable consumption
'Techno-Ethics' of Sustainable Living
agricultural/e geography
sustainable agriculture geography
sustainable development geography
sustainable production-consumption systems (SPACES)
food systems
Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) (UNESA Div for Sust Devt)
Consumers and globalization
Sustainable agriculture in face of free trade
sustainable agriculture/production/consumption in north-south context
sustainable supply
Environmental management systems (EMS),
private codes of conduct,
holistic approaches to sustainable production
Sustainable consumption research exchange (SCORE)
cities and conservation
Human Ecology (SHE)
Social Ecology
Cultural Ecology
Political Ecology

"Cultural and Political Ecology" Group in AAG
- Agriculture and Agricultural Development
- Capitalization of Life and Nature
- Ecosystem Change
- Ecosystem Services
- Ecoterrorism
- Ecotourism
- Environmental Activism
- Environmental Degradation
- Environmental Discourse
- Environmental Management
- Environmental Racism
- Functional Materialism
- Hazards Research
- Historical Ecology
- Indigenous land mapping
- Land Use, Land Cover, Land Change
- Land Tenure and Common Property
- Migration
- Nature Conservation and Social Justice
- Nature and Ethnic Politics
- Nature Privatization and the State
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
- Neoliberalism
- Political Economics
- Protected Area Policy and Management
- Pastoral Communities
- Subjectivity in Best Use Practice
- Sustainability and Vulnerability
- Sustainability Metrics
- Third-world Development
- Urban Ecology
- Urban Pollution and Remediation
- Water Management
- Wildlife Conservation

Multiple stresses as affecting vulnerability of food systems
Political and social value of food
climate forecasting for food security research
Responses of alternative food movements to climate change
Adaptation options and building adaptive capacity for food systems
Water and food security in the future
Trade and market reform for food system adaptation
Cross-scale interactions of food systems and Global Env Change
Governance of food systems
Scenarios for regional GEC/food security research
Biofuels and food security
Resilience of food systems
Tradeoffs between ecosystem services, food security and economic growth
food systems in a changing world
Food industry strategies for GEC adaptation and mitigation
Institutional and policy challenges for natural resource management for food security
Analysis of the international environmental assessments and food security
conflicts relating to food security and environmental change

kersty hobson

Research Fellow, Department of Human Geography
Australian National University

Research Interests

Non-governmental organisations; climate change justice; animal welfare geographies; practices and politics of sustainable consumption and sustainable communities; environmental governance; qualitative research methods.

Key Publications

* Competing discourses of sustainable consumption: Does the rationalisation of lifestyles make sense?’ Environmental Politics 11(2), 95-120, 2002.

* Consumption, sustainability and geography in Australia: A missing research agenda?’ Australian Geographical Studies, 41(2), 148-55, 2003.

* Thinking habits into action: The role of knowledge and process in questioning household consumption practices,’ Local Environment, 8(1), 95-112, 2003.

* Sustainable consumption in the United Kingdom: the responsible consumer and government at arm’s length’. Journal of Environment and Development, 10(3), 121-39, 2004.

* Researching sustainable consumption in Asia-Pacific cities.’ Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 45(2), 2004.

* Considering green practices: NGOs and Singapore’s emergent environmental-political space’. Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 20(2), Special Issue on ‘Democracy and Civil Society: NGO Politics in Singapore’, 155-76, 2005. (with S. Niemeyer and J. Petts) ‘Rapid climate change and society; assessing responses and thresholds’. Risk Analysis, 25(6), 1443-1456, 2005.

* Enacting environmental justice in Singapore: performative justice and the Green Volunteer Network’. GeoForum, 37(5), 671-681, 2006.

* Bins, bulbs and shower timers: on the techno-ethics of sustainable living’. Ethics, Place and Environment, 9(3), 335-354, 2006.

* Environmental psychology and the geographies of ethical and sustainable consumption: aligning, triangulating, challenging?’ Area, 38(3), 292-300, 2006.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Reading List

Ryan Bishop, John Phillips and Yeo Wei-Wei (2004) Beyond Description : Singapore Space Historicity London, New York Taylor & Francis
Chapter 2: Of Trees and the Heartland: Singapore’s Narratives1
Chapter 5: At Home in the Worlds: Community and Consumption in Urban Singapore
Chapter 12: Intelligent Island, Baroque Ecology

Richard Wilk eds. (2006) Fast food/slow food : the cultural economy of the global food system. Lanham, MD : Altamira Press.

Mustafa Koc et al eds. (1999) For hunger-proof cities : sustainable urban food systems. Ottawa : International Development Research Centre.

Peter Dauvergne (1997) Shadows in the forest : Japan and the politics of timber in Southeast Asia. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press.

Peter Knoepfel ed. (2007) Environmental policy analyses : learning from the past for the future - 25 years of research. New York : Springer.

Mark Q. Sutton and E.N. Anderson (2004) Introduction to cultural ecology. Walnut Creek, CA : AltaMira Press.

Paul C Stern et al. eds. (1997) Environmentally significant consumption : research directions. Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council. Washington, D.C. : National Academy Press

Sean X. Liu. 2007. Food and agricultural wastewater utilization and treatment. Blackwell

Graaff, J. de. 1996. The price of soil erosion : an economic evaluation of soil conservation and watershed development. Leiden, Neitherlands : Wageningen Agricultural University

Terrence J. Toy, George R. Foster, Kenneth G. Renard. 2002. Soil erosion : processes, predicition, measurement, and control. New York : John Wiley & Sons

Michael Stocking and Niamh Murnaghan. 2001. Handbook for the field assessment of land degradation. London, UK : Earthscan Publications Ltd.

R.P.C. Morgan. 2005. Soil erosion and conservation 3rd Edition. Oxford : Blackwell Pub

Frederick R. Troeh, J. Arthur Hobbs, Roy L. Donahue. 2004. Soil and water conservation for productivity and environmental protection 4th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall

Steven C. Hackett. 1998. Environmental and Natural Resources Economics. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Environmental Legislation in SG

An excellent list from NEA website on Environmental Legislations in Singapore

Singapore Statutes Online also helpful. Very detailed law-language.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Research Update on 14Aug07

1) Called Lily at AVA and found out that vegetable imports stats are available from Ministry of Trade and Industry, International Enterprise Singapore.

2) Went to IE Singapore website and found out statistics publication cost money. so called their hotline. At hotline, asked for the operator which transfered me to Tricia. Tricia informed me that to get the stats free I can go to their Library at Bugis Junction Office Tower Level 7. Opened 9-6pm on Mon to Fri. There, the librarian can help me find specific cities possibly.

3) Called Lily at AVA again to find out if they know the cities and was informed that they don't. Asked if they are the secretariat of the Singapore Fruits and Vegetable Importers and was told they are unrelated. Was given the phone number for SFV (page 13 Aug). Must ask SFV where they import from. Must ask her who in charge of Riau Vegetable Project. She also told me there is no accreditation for vegetables, unlike meat products. Meat products they have site inspection but mostly accreditation is done on government-government level. They welcome all fresh fruits and vegetables and only do inspection at point of entry. They quarantine briefly to run labtest on residues, etc. Check if can interview her - questions on page 14Aug.

4) Did a newspaper check on factiva and found no news on Brastagi but instead found the Riau vegetable project at Pekanbaru (capital of Riau) which was established in 2002 by AVA and Riau government with a total of $2million SGD and "benefit 550 farmers working on 10 farms spanning 11ha". Also found out that 70% of Singapore's vegetable import comes from Malaysia (year unsure) while 50% of Cameron Highland's produce is exported to Singapore (1999). Files are saved as "vegetable articles x.pdf" in the newspaper articles folder.

5) Checked with Ina on pekanbaru and she got me a contact from her friend Stepi who works for EU Commission in Indonesia. Stepi's collegemate from Bogor, Mustajab will connect me with businesses, govt and NGO in Pekanbaru. He already knows that I'm doing agriculture in Pekanbaru.

6) Savage suggest doing Pekanbaru and Brastagi then later decided just Pekanbaru will do but I am keeping Brastagi as an option. Must write full proposal ASAP.

7) Decided to go down to the IE Singapore library on Thursday.

8) A chat with Kenneth Pinto reminds me if our import really significantly affect that area and is vegetables significant to Singapore? Singaporeans consume 83kg of vegetable per year per capita. But 4 million of 83kg is a lot more but what percentage is this of total production in source country. Stats from food stats.pdf in the AVA Annual Report folder.

9) Got reminded about corporate airfare - must check with Pauline if airfare is required to be through school if I wish to claim.

10) Got a form to fill up for access to GIS lab. Must ask Higgitt if I need to use geolab for soil tests. Read up on methods.

My desk under the stairs

Welcome to my humble abode in NUS. I call this the cupboard under the stairs, like Harry Potter, I live under the stairs. What more, the unit number is damn auspicious. 444.

Maybe I will take another photo 3 months down and see if I've accumulated more things. For now, I think the room definitely lack some strong potpurri!

What can you spot on my desk? Join in the fun identifying things on flickr!

Environmental Issues in Singapore

For my DE5122 assignment presentation on environmental issues in Singapore:

Here are some numbers:

Exxon Mobile plant's total crude oil processing capacity is 309,000 barrels a day, according to the company's Web site.

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest listed oil and gas company by market capitalization, also operates another Singapore refinery with a 296,000-barrel-a-day capacity.

Source: International Business Times

Large point source of CO2 emission are listed as "large point sources, such as power plants, oil refineries and industrial processes".

"The refining process releases numerous different chemicals into the atmosphere; consequently, there are substantial air pollution emissions[7] and a notable odor normally accompanies the presence of a refinery. Aside from air pollution impacts there are also wastewater concerns,[2] upset risks of fire and explosion, and both occupational noise and environmental noise health effects." - Wikipedia

Lights from Bukom Shell Oil Refinery at night

Tuas Powerplant

"Gas pipelines linking the air separation plant (lower case) directly to the customer through the pipeline network ensure continuous and consistent supply of large quantities of gases. SOXAL has a network of more than 80 kilometres of oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen piping covering major parts of Jurong, Tuas and Jurong Island." - Soxal - a major gas supplier for all refineries in Singapore. SOXAL (Singapore Oxygen Air Liquide Pte Ltd) is owned by Air Liquide, France, the world's leaders in the manufacture and application of gases.

Shell’s Pulau Bukom Refinery – currently Shell’s largest refinery in the world

List of Oil Refineries in Singapore:
* ExxonMobil Jurong Island Refinery (ExxonMobil), 605,000 barrels per day
* SRC Jurong Island Refinery (Singapore Refining Corporation), 285,000 bpd
* Shell Pulau Bukom Refinery (Royal Dutch Shell), 458,000 bpd

Video Jug explains Oil Refinery
30 miles radius of Oil Refinery has high chance of cancer
Fugitive Emission - air pollution from refinery that's not under control - smoke stack are regulated but miles of pipes that move gas and partially processed products have vents that allow the gas to escape and emission which pollute air and soil
S02 - sulphur dioxide one of the key pollutants responsible for acid rain
Also responsible for fugitive Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) synonymous with NMVOC (Non­ methane VOC)

carbon emission of oil refinery in 1997/98
crude oil emissions coefficient per unit of energy 5.8 million Btu per barrel
emissions coefficient for crude oil is 20.24 million metric tons carbon per quadrillion Btu

Assuming 5.8 million btu per barrel,
Singapore's oil refinery process 1348000 barrels per day
producing 78,184,000,000,000 btu per day (0.078184 quadrillion btu)
or 28.53716 quadrillion btu a year
total carbon emission is 577.6 million metric tons carbon per year just from oil refineries alone
Converted to carbon dioxide emission, this is equivalent to 2086.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide

Teaching Responsibilities

Met up with H who is the lecturer im assisting this sem.

My responsibilities include:
1) Attending first lecture, week 6 lecture (i.e. the test), week 8 lecture (when nature in the city will be discussed), and week 10 lecture.
2) Helm the lecture on Sept 18 (administering midterm test or perhaps even speak on something)
3) In charge of tutorials/discussions sessions for week 10 sessions on conservation.

It all sounds very exciting and I shall pull on my role model TAs who have left a memorable impression on me in my undergrad years - namely Cheng Puay and May.

Think I should start on the readings *gah* it's quite a lot and I must start thinking of what I will be speaking of in the class even though it's 2 months away!

Meanwhile I must prepare for the talk I am giving to the industrial design students.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Academic Highlight: David Orr

David W Orr
Head of Environmental Studies Program
Oberlin College
Oberlin, Ohio

Contributing editor of Conservation Biology

Selected Books:
  1. Design on the Edge: The Making of a High Performance Building (MIT Press, 2006)
  2. The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment (Island Press, 2004)
  3. The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture and Human Intention (Oxford, 2002)
  4. Earth in Mind (Island, 1994/2004)
  5. Ecological Literacy (SUNY, 1992)
  6. The Global Predicament (North Carolina, 1979)
  7. The Campus and Environmental Responsibility (Jossey-Bass, 1992)

    Selected Publications:
  8. Four challenges of sustainability [pdf], Conservation Biology, 2002
  9. Conservation in Context Framing Sustainability, Conservation Biology, 2006, 20(2), pp.265-268
  10. Hope in hard times, Conservation Biology, 2004, 18(2), pp. 295-298
  11. Death and resurrection: The future of environmentalism, 2005, 19(4)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

PHD Programs to consider

UC Berkeley - Dept of Env Sci, Policy and Management

Oxford University - Center for the Environment

Yale - School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Stanford - Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Environment and Resources

UCLA - Department of Geography (Jared Diamond!)

Cambridge - Department of Geography

UCSB - Bren School or Dept of Geog

University College London (UCL) - Department of Geography

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Dept of Geography with minor in Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (Karl Zimmerer, Yi Fu Tuan teaches here!)

UBC - department of geography

Arizona State University - School of Sustainability

Columbia University - PhD in Sustainable Development (Jeffrey Sachs is codirector!) But must do another masters thesis again in this program. Very weird.

Leeds University - PHD in Sustainability Research

Possible Journals

1. Human Ecology An Interdisciplinary Journal
Ranking: 10 out of 53 in Environmental Studies
Published by: Hunter College, City University of New York, Anthropology Dept

2. Environmental Conservation
Ranking: 6 out of 100 in Environmental Sciences
Published by: Foundation for Environmental Conservation, UK

3. Journal for Nature Conservation
Ranking: ??
Published by: European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC), NL

4. Conservation Biology
Ranking: 3 out of 100 in Environmental Sciences
Published by: Society for Conservation Biology

5. The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy
Ranking: ??
Published by: International Network for Inclusive Democracy

6. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
Ranking: 1 of 53 in Environmental Studies
Published by: Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE)

7. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Ranking: 50 of 100 in Environmental Science
Published by: Elsevier

8. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Ranking: 19 of 38 in Agriculture Multidisciplinary
Published by: Food Products Press

7. Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Ranking: 5 of 38 in Geography
Published by: Association of American Geographers

8. Agriculture and Human Values
Ranking: 16 of 38 in Agriculture Multidisciplinary
Published by: Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society

9. Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy
Ranking: ??
Published by: e-journal

10. Asia Pacific Viewpoint
Ranking: ??
Published by: Blackwell Publishing

11. Landscape Research
Ranking: ??
Published by: Routledge

12. Environment
Ranking: 68 of 100 in environmental sciences
Published by: ??

13. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Ranking: ??
Published by: Sapiens Publishing

14. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography
Ranking: ??
Published by: Swedish Council for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences

15. Sustainability Science
Published by: Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science & University of Tokyo

16. Asian Journal of Social Science
Published by: BRILL

Responsibilities of a Grad Student

Being a paid student has lots of responsibilities.

1) Research - primary research and lit review
2) Publish - to get grants and job next time
3) Grants - no money no talk
4) Teach - part of scholarship and experience for job next time
5) Conference - present papers and network for jobs
6) Coursework - still must attend classes
7) Write - at the end of the day still must write the damn thesis
8) Future Career - Must apply for PHD before finish masters

The worst part of all this is that there's an expiry on all the good things in life. Some grants and scholarships have age limit. Even money expire. Damn ageists!

Often, 25 years old is the limit for certain grants and the PHD overseas scholarship from NUS is for those under 30. If I take 2 years to do Masters, I will be 28 when I graduate. That only gives me 2 years leeway for the PHD scholarship from NUS. I think I must apply ASAP.

No wonder people "behind" like me feel the need to expedite matters. Maybe I should do the same too! Perhaps I can finish in one year!

Friday, August 3, 2007

NUS funds

Graduate Student Project Fund allows up to $400 which can be used for travel expenses in my field work.

FASS Graduate Research Support Scheme allows up to $3000 in the course of my candidature.

Conference funds is a whole different thing altogether and I think I only get to spend about $2000 in the course of my candidature.

Now I just have to find super cheap everything to cover my costs and pray that the Toyota Foundation funding comes through.

Other possible funds

Here's a list of funding agencies compiled by the European Tropical Forest Research Network but the list has been rather limiting for me since I'm not really doing forestry perse.

For future reference, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) also offers a very diverse range of fellowships but for doctoral or post-doc only.

The Association for Asian Studies in the North Americas also has a comprehensive list of grants but I think it's not international.

For future reference, the American Association of University Women do provide quite a list, especially the international fellowship.

At the end of the day, here's the scholarship that funded Danwei in the US. NUS offers a NUS-Overseas Graduate Scholarship with a 5 years contract with NUS to teach after the completion of PhD. Honestly I wouldn't really mind that. Of course I would prefer funding directly from the university in US.

Disgusting as this may be, I am considering writing to HSBC or Bayer to ask for funding for my research. Argh.

Here's something interest: the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture! They have a list of grants. There is also an Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities which provides a link for schools in Indo and M'sia which I can find help for my research!

Toyota Foundation

Have been on the search for funding for my research and field work. While prowling for southeast asian funds, I came across the Toyota Foundation's Southeast Asian Studies Regional Exchange Program (SEASREP).

It seems like the most likely one at the moment as it allows "enrolled graduate students to carry out library or field research on a Southeast Asian country other than their own or on a comparative topic involving two or more Southeast Asian countries."

That sounds very much like my own research. Deadline for applications is on 1 October 2007. Despite the early date, the money will only come next year!

SEASREP also has its own website which includes a very comprehensive FAQ. I think I should get in touch with the people at SEASREP to ask them which grant I should apply for.

1 October 2007: Deadline of Applications
January 2008: Selection of grantees
March 2008: Approval of grant funds for 2008-2009
Late March 2008: Announcement of grantees for 2008-2009
Early April to May 2008: Release of grant funds

I better work on my proposal soon and get it out before September!