'Legacy Of Hit-And-Run Mining' Is Topic Of March 5 Lecture By CU-Boulder Professor

Published: Feb. 19, 2003

"Abandoned Mines and Acid Mine Drainage: Dealing with the Legacy of Hit-and-Run Mining in the West" will be addressed by CU-Boulder Associate Professor Joseph Ryan as part of the Chancellor's Community Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 5.

The talk will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Chautauqua Community House at 900 Baseline Road in Boulder and is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

Ryan teaches in the department of civil, environmental and architectural engineering and is director of the Environmental Engineering program. His lecture is the sixth of eight public lectures being presented by University of Colorado at Boulder faculty on the theme "Healing the West: Remedy, Repair, Restoration, Mitigation."

The series is sponsored by the CU-Boulder Office of the Chancellor, the CU-Boulder Center of the American West and the Colorado Chautauqua Association.

Ryan's research focuses on the transport of contaminants in rivers, lakes and other water sources. He will discuss the history of hard-rock mining in the West, how water gets contaminated by mines, why it's a problem and what people can do about it.

"We all depend on mining," Ryan said. "We all depend on copper in our wire and pipes, lead in our batteries and tungsten in our light bulbs. So we can't just see ourselves as victims. We have to see ourselves as responsible for taking care of the mining legacy."

Ryan has studied a variety of water contaminants, including plutonium at Rocky Flats, mercury in the Everglades, viruses in Cape Cod groundwater and metals released by abandoned mines in the Lefthand Creek watershed of Boulder County.

Through the sponsorship of CU-Boulder's Outreach Committee, he has served as a technical adviser for two community groups dealing with water quality problems in Boulder County: the James Creek Watershed Initiative and the Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group. His lecture will be accompanied by slides.

The lecture series will continue into May on the first Wednesday of each month. For information call the CU-Boulder Office of Community Affairs at (303) 492-7084. A complete schedule of lectures is posted at www.centerwest.org and http://www.chautauqua.com/.