History lecturer Nicholas Robins, an expert on the environmental history of South America, exposes modern day consequences of silver-mining practices used by 16th century Spanish conquistadors in his guest blog series on NC State’s Abstract. In “Spanish Colonialism’s Environmental Legacy,” Robins reviews the history of mining in South America and its transformation into a modern day environmental concern which is exclusive to these historic mining communities—extremely high and dangerous concentrations of mercury which remain embedded in the soil more than 400 years later.
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