Climatologist to speak on drought impacts


Cheyenne Fitzgerald, Entertainment Editor

Cameron Craig, a professor in the department of geology and geography, is scheduled to speak on the topic of droughts, and their impact on society in the Booth Library on January 21.

Though droughts may seem like an avoidable factor in Illinois, Craig said in 2012 specifically our area suffered from a drought that caused a decrease in crop production.

Craig has dove deep into the study of droughts and erred lands during the past 12 years.

He said he has found a particular interest in the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s holding that time and societies suffers near to his heart.

“I focus on the children because they’re the ones that leave us with the lessons of the Dust Bowl,” Craig said.

Though the Dust Bowl was years ago, Craig said college students could benefit from this program by taking from it many tips to help prevent droughts in their particular areas.

The keynote program will focus on the cause of the drought in meteorological terms and its impact on the individuals and families of its time.

Craig said he would also go over the two main reasons for why the drought happened during the program thought unwilling to give any clues or spoilers during his interview.

Craig has also made a documentary film, “Stinging Dust and Forgotten Lives: The Dust Bowl.” Craig and a former student took years of research and six months of scripting to make a film that has now been aired on PBS in Indiana and central Illinois with over 60,000 views.

His research on droughts was also done in May 2014 when he and four of his students traveled to the southwest areas of the United States for project “Expedition Endurance: Without Water We Are Nothing.”

Craig and the four students spoke with water managers, citizens of small towns, and political officials to find that East Porterville, California had no water.

With the town having no water the residents were taking five gallon buckets to a 5,000-gallon tank Monday through Friday to receive cleaning and cooking water.

Other California areas, such as Fresno, were suffering because farmers were packing up and leaving or charging high dollar amounts for products said Craig.

Craig will be using the keynote program to inform his audience about the Dust Bowl while also informing his audience of the possible impacts that could affect them if a drought were to occur.

Craig will be presenting “Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry” at 7:30 p.m. in Booth Library’s West Reading Room during its spring exhibit and program series.


Cheyenne Fitzgerald can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]