Peggy F. Barlett

Peggy F. Barlett is Professor of Anthropology at Emory University. She received a BA in anthropology from Grinnell College (1969) and the PhD in anthropology at Columbia University (1975). A cultural anthropologist specializing in agricultural systems and sustainable development, she carried out fieldwork in economic anthropology in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and rural Georgia (USA). Earlier work focused on farmer decision making, rural social change, and industrial agriculture. She has published Agricultural Choice and Change: Decision Making in a Costa Rican Community (1982, Rutgers University Press), American Dreams, Rural Realities: Family Farms in Crisis (1993, University of North Carolina Press) and is editor of Agricultural Decision Making: Anthropological Contributions to Rural Development (1980, Academic Press). Recently, interests in the challenge of sustainability in urban Atlanta have given her an opportunity to return to early training in applied anthropology and to combine it with interests in political economy, group dynamics, and personal development. Part of a growing movement toward sustainability at Emory, she has focused on expanding awareness of environmental issues through curriculum development (the Piedmont Project), campus policies, and connections to place. She also has interests in local food systems and a local Watershed Alliance. She is the coeditor (with Geoffrey Chase) of Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change (MIT Press, 2004).

Contributor

  • America's Environmental Report Card, Second Edition

    America's Environmental Report Card, Second Edition

    Are We Making the Grade?

    Harvey Blatt

    An accessible overview of the most important environmental issues facing the United States, with new and updated material.

    Americans are concerned about the state of the environment, and yet polls show that many have lost faith in both scientists' and politicians' ability to solve environmental problems. In America's Environmental Report Card, Harvey Blatt sorts through the deluge of conflicting information about the environment and offers an accessible overview of the environmental issues that are most important to Americans today.

    Blatt has thoroughly updated this second edition, revising and adding new material. He looks at water supplies and new concerns about water purity; the dangers of floods (increased by widespread logging and abetted by glacial melting); infrastructure problems (in a new chapter devoted entirely to this subject); the leaching of garbage buried in landfills; soil, contaminated crops, and organic food; fossil fuels; alternative energy sources (in another new chapter); controversies over nuclear energy; the increasing pace of climate change; and air pollution. Along the way, he outlines ways to deal with these problems—workable and reasonable solutions that map the course to a sustainable future. America can lead the way to a better environment, Blatt argues. We are the richest nation in the world, and we can afford it—in fact, we can't afford not to.

    • Paperback $21.95
  • America's Food

    America's Food

    What You Don't Know About What You Eat

    Harvey Blatt

    The complete story of what we don't know, and what we should know, about American food production and its effect on health and the environment.

    We don't think much about how food gets to our tables, or what had to happen to fill our supermarket's produce section with perfectly round red tomatoes and its meat counter with slabs of beautifully marbled steak. We don't realize that the meat in one fast-food hamburger may come from a thousand different cattle raised in five different countries. In fact, most of us have a fairly abstract understanding of what happens on a farm. In America's Food, Harvey Blatt gives us the specifics. He tells us, for example, that a third of the fruits and vegetables grown are discarded for purely aesthetic reasons; that the artificial fertilizers used to enrich our depleted soil contain poisonous heavy metals; that chickens who stand all day on wire in cages choose feed with pain-killing drugs over feed without them; and that the average American eats his or her body weight in food additives each year. Blatt also asks us to think about the consequences of eating food so far removed from agriculture; why unhealthy food is cheap; why there is an International Federation of Competitive Eating; what we don't want to know about how animals raised for meat live, die, and are butchered; whether people are even designed to be carnivorous; and why there is hunger when food production has increased so dramatically. America's Food describes the production of all types of food in the United States and the environmental and health problems associated with each. After taking us on a tour of the American food system—not only the basic food groups but soil, grain farming, organic food, genetically modified food, food processing, and diet—Blatt reminds us that we aren't powerless. Once we know the facts about food in America, we can change things by the choices we make as consumers, as voters, and as ethical human beings

    • Hardcover $7.75
    • Paperback $20.00
  • Data Mining

    Data Mining

    Next Generation Challenges and Future Directions

    Hillol Kargupta, Anupama Joshi, Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar, and Yelena Yesha

    A state-of-the-art survey of recent advances in data mining or knowledge discovery.

    Data mining, or knowledge discovery, has become an indispensable technology for businesses and researchers in many fields. Drawing on work in such areas as statistics, machine learning, pattern recognition, databases, and high performance computing, data mining extracts useful information from the large data sets now available to industry and science. This collection surveys the most recent advances in the field and charts directions for future research. The first part looks at pervasive, distributed, and stream data mining, discussing topics that include distributed data mining algorithms for new application areas, several aspects of next-generation data mining systems and applications, and detection of recurrent patterns in digital media. The second part considers data mining, counter-terrorism, and privacy concerns, examining such topics as biosurveillance, marshalling evidence through data mining, and link discovery. The third part looks at scientific data mining; topics include mining temporally-varying phenomena, data sets using graphs, and spatial data mining. The last part considers web, semantics, and data mining, examining advances in text mining algorithms and software, semantic webs, and other subjects.

    • Paperback $9.75
  • The Price of Smoking

    The Price of Smoking

    Frank A. Sloan, Jan Ostermann, Christopher Conover, Donald H Taylor, Jr., and Gabriel Picone

    What does a pack of cigarettes cost a smoker, the smoker's family, and society? This longitudinal study on the private and social costs of smoking calculates that the cost of smoking to a 24-year-old woman smoker is $86,000 over a lifetime; for a 24-year-old male smoker the cost is $183,000. The total social cost of smoking over a lifetime—including both private costs to the smoker and costs imposed on others (including second-hand smoke and costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security)—comes to $106,000 for a woman and $220,000 for a man. The cost per pack over a lifetime of smoking: almost $40.00. The first study to quantify the cost of smoking in this way, or in such depth, this accessible book not only adds a weapon to the arsenal of antismoking messages but also provides a framework for assessment that can be applied to other health behaviors. The findings on the effects of smoking on Medicare and Medicaid will be surprising and perhaps controversial, for the authors estimate the costs to be much lower than the damage awards being paid to 46 states as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.

    • Hardcover $42.00
    • Paperback $21.00
  • America's Environmental Report Card

    America's Environmental Report Card

    Are We Making the Grade?

    Harvey Blatt

    A timely survey of the state of America's environment: how we can take action to achieve a sustainable future.

    Americans today are increasingly concerned about the state of the environment. Polls show that a remarkable 63 percent would roll back recent tax cuts to finance environmental protection and that fully 95 percent want environmental education included in the public school curriculum. America's Environmental Report Card offers answers to some of our most pressing environmental questions, providing a timely reminder of what we need to accomplish to achieve a sustainable environment. It lays out the scientific facts about water and air pollution, energy, global warming, and the ozone layer in a lively, conversational style, enhanced by illustrations, and charts a course of action for protecting the environment. America's Environmental Report Card focuses on the environmental issues that polls show are most important to Americans today. It looks at water pollution and the safety of the water supply (20 percent of Americans refuse to drink tap water, at least partly because they doubt its safety), the dangers of floods (increased by the clearing of forests for farms and timber), the leaching of garbage buried in landfills, and pesticide runoff in irrigation waters from agriculture. It examines the ways we generate energy and the resulting global warming, air pollution (much of the 2,500 gallons of air we inhale each day contains exhaust fumes, lead, and asbestos), and ozone depletion and its relationship to skin cancer, and offers a detailed account of nuclear energy production and the radioactive waste it generates. Most important, it outlines ways to deal with these problems—workable and reasonable solutions that individuals, industry, and government can effect without unreasonable hardship, solutions that map the course to a sustainable future.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $14.95