MISSION: Southwest Research and Information Center is a multi-cultural organization working to promote the health of people and communities, protect natural resources, ensure citizen participation, and secure environmental and social justice now and for future generations


Paul Robinson has worked with Southwest Research and Information Center for 25 years as its research director. His technical assistance work has focused principally on solid waste management, energy, and water quality issues and the impacts of mining and mineral extraction in the Southwest and, more recently, in Eastern Europe, Canada, the Russian far east, and Latin America. He's worked for expanded compensation for Navajo uranium miners and with Navajo communities resisting new uranium mining development; with the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund's Interamerican Environmental Assistance Program to aid people affected by mining in Peru. He's also a "soccer parent," player, and girls' team coach.

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Paul Robinson's recommended books:

"In his recent book, Which World? Scenarios for the 21st Century (Island Press Shearwater Books, 1999), Allen Hammond puts the consequences of environment and development issues in a global context, with a range and depth not often seen. I found it especially relevant to my recent work abroad: offering a well thought out and well-communicated perspective on where international development could lead during the next 50 years and the worldwide effects of the choices to be made. The book, also available on the Internet, is written in a style that will be appreciated by a broad audience of interested readers as well as educators. It does a better job than others with that dual role — it's a good read.

Barry Commoner's Science and Survival (Viking Press, 1966) was the first book I remember reading that provided the scientific and technical basis for looking at environmental concerns, and it was a motivating force for me. Commoner was teaching at Washington University when I was a student there. The book has a lasting relevance; it still persuasively articulates the scientific basis for environmental action. It's also interesting to view Commoner's analysis 30 years after the book was written. It's still timely — both in the range of issues of concern and in the substance of the technical problems. It's insightful — the predictions and linkages drawn are still pretty much on point.

Groundwater by Allan R. Freeze and John A. Cherry (Prentice-Hall, 1979) is the best introduction to what groundwater is and how it works, which is critical to understanding New Mexico, the desert, and all the other places where groundwater is an unseen resource that drives social and environmental decision making. Groundwater provides a great depth of information for those who want to gain more than a cursory level of knowledge about the hows and why of groundwater."

Which World?
Scenarios for the
21st Century:
Global Destinies,
Regional Choices

Allen Hammond
Island Press
Shearwater Books, 1999
(320 pages)

Allan R. Freeze and
John A. Cherry

Prentice-Hall, 1979
(604 pages)
Out of print

Science and Survival
Barry Commoner
Viking Press, 1966
(50 pages)

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