|Regions at risk: Comparisons of Threatened Environments (UNU, 1995, 588 pages)|
This volume is the interim report of the Project on Critical Environmental Zones (ProCEZ), based at Clark University, Worcester, MA, but involving teams of researchers from six continents in a remarkable collaboration. As editors of this book and its companion series, Critical Environmental Regions, we know all too well our indebtedness to our various collaborators and supporters.
The United States National Science Foundation set ProCEZ in motion in 1989 and even gambled on a second phase a year later. In 1991, the United Nations University (UNU) provided funds to continue the project and support the publication of this volume as well as a monograph series and a final report. We are extremely grateful to former vice-rector Roland Fuchs, academic officer Juha I. Uitto, and UNU Press director Amadio A. Arboleda for enabling us to proceed with our work. And we salute the patience and professionalism of the people at the Press, who suffered overdue manuscripts, missing artwork, and numerous excuses with unflappable good will.
From the outset, the project has benefited from sage counsel. The advisory committee included William Clark (Harvard University), Robert W. Kates (Brown University), Vernon Ruttan (University of Minnesota), and Barbara Boyle Torrey (US Bureau of the Census). A fifth adviser, Nikita Glazovsky of the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, played a dual role and wrote the chapter on the Aral Sea. Two colleagues from the Institute of Geography, Galina Sdasyuk and Larissa Mamayeva, also provided guidance. We appreciate immensely the rigorous and constructive criticism that we received from our advisers. We also thank David Kummer, a geographer at Clark University, for his insightful commentary on the introductory and concluding chapters. Finally, we wish that we could acknowledge personally the anonymous reviewers, enlisted by the UNU, who took time to read and evaluate our penultimate pages.
Here at Clark University, many people have earned more than their salaries reflect. Mimi Berberian, project administrator, has once again turned her flawless hand to keeping the books and her sharp eyes to copy-editing numerous drafts of all eleven chapters. Lu Ann Pacenka, our indefatigable word-processor and by now an old hand at producing books, has seen us through yet another volume with characteristic perfection, humour, and grace. Rishab Punjabi, a relatively new hand, has taken to producing books as though he were accustomed to it. Joining in the typing of innumerable drafts that included unfamiliar words and names in Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish (as well as some unintelligible handwritten English!) were Susan Gemmel, Donna Martin, Dawn McCart, and Maureen Shaughnessy. We owe them dinner! We also owe dinner to Anne Gibson, director of Clark University's cartographic laboratory, and her assistant, Anne Garren, for their expert rendering of numerous maps and complex figures.
As the editors turned to the final editing, much of their usual routine landed on others. Heather Henderson deftly managed more than her share of duties at the George Perkins Marsh Institute, Mimi Berberian juggled numerous demands at the Center for Technology, Environment, and Development (CENTED), and B. J. Perkins and Kavita Iyengar kept the Marsh Research Library open and user-friendly. A sterling staff has made all the difference.
And so has the opportunity to work with an extraordinary group of colleagues, whose intellectual commitment held sway over more lucrative opportunities. That commitment brought many of them to Mexico City in the spring of 1993 to launch the monograph series, Critical Environmental Regions. For that gathering, we are indebted to the UNU for its continued sponsorship as well as to the Centro de Ecología, Universidad Autónoma de México, for the local arrangements and unmatched hospitality overseen by Alejandra Cedallos.
For our part, we look forward to more collaboration with this remarkable team. The ProCEZ experience has demonstrated that large interdisciplinary, and international, research projects can flourish.
Jeanne X. Kasperson
Roger E. Kasperson
B. L. Turner II