Natural Resources in Afghanistan: Geographic and Geologic Perspectives on Centuries of Conflict details Afghanistan's physical geography ― namely climate, soils, vegetation, water, hazards, and basic geologic background and terrain landforms ― together with details of its rich natural resources, ethnic problems, and relevant past histories. The book couples these details with the challenges of environmental degradation and new environmental management and protection, all of which are considered finally in both pessimistic and optimistic modes. The reader comes away with a nuanced understanding of the issues that are likely to have great affect for this pivotal region of the world for decades to come.
With an estimated $1-3 trillion dollars of ore in the ground, and multiple cross-reinforcing cancellations of big Asian power machinations (China, India, Iran, Pakistan), Afghanistan has an opportunity to gain more economic independence. At the same time, however, historic forces of negativity also pull it back toward the chaos and uncertainty that has defined the country and constrained its economic progress for decades.
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John (Jack) F. Shroder graduated from Union College’s Geology Program in 1961, received a Masters degree at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst in 1963, and a doctorate at the University of Utah in 1967. His first academic job was two years at the University of Malawi in Africa, before he joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in 1969, where he remained for most of the next four decades. In the late 1970s he also spent several years on an NSF grant and a Fulbright at Kabul University in Afghanistan and then in 1983-84 he had another Fulbright to Peshawar University in Pakistan. These experiences led to many years of research in the Hindu Kush and western Himalaya which continued through a host of grants and the thick and thin of the interminable war years and terrorist threats over there. Finally in the post 9/11 world, the difficulties of dealing with the increasing terrorism and avoidance of problems in the field forced a cessation of further work in those difficult countries. Also the declining US economy led to so many other problems at UNO that in summer of 2011, Dr. Shroder stopped teaching his required geology major courses and attempted to retire to his and his wife Susie’s new house in Crested Butte, Colorado. This lasted barely a month before UNO pressured him to return at a vastly reduced part-time salary to once again cover his geomorphology class for the fall semester, 2011. But in the interim, Jack had begun a new editing career for the Elsevier publishing company so that he was spending more of his time producing new volumes of work in geomorphology and hazards analysis. With 30 volumes written or edited by 2012, and 9 more deep into the planning stages, the future of such work for him in his retirement years seems certain. These books go together with the more than 150 other scientific papers he is continuing to publish. Dr. Shroder is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Board of Trustees of the Foundation of the Geological Society of America also asked Jack to join them for the next six years as well, so his deep interests in geology will be maintained. The Association of American Geographers has given Dr. Shroder distinguished career awards twice, once for their Mountain Specialty Group in 2001, and again for their Geomorphology Specialty Group in 2010.
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