Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Environmental Program Seminar

Environmental Program Seminar

Genuine Wealth, Native Efforts at Sustainability

by Peter Weiss 

Peter studied art, political science and American studies at Marlboro College and earned a Diploma in Sculpture from the School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. However, since 1979 his career has centered around photography. 

In 1982 Peter settled in Santa Fe and traveled and photographed extensively through the Southwest. 

In 1991, Peter joined the staff of Recursos de Santa Fe, a 501c3 non-profit that provided an umbrella for various cultural and art projects in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. They began to be asked to lead deep, specialized tours for groups from the Smithsonian and other institutions and he found himself a study leader and lecturer on a wide range of topics, mostly to do with the history of indigenous peoples in the area.

In 1997, Peter was asked to do the same in other parts of the world and began by leading tours to the Orinoco, meeting with the Warao on several trips there. He also began leading tours in the Pacific Northwest and along the Eastern Seaboard, lecturing primarily on pre-Columbian cultures from Nova Scotia to South Carolina.

Soon Peter began leading tours in Europe, North Africa, the Norwegian Arctic, West Africa and Japan. Everywhere he goes he is interested in indigenous communities and in Europe, for example, he has been spending more time with refugee groups and other immigrant communities to better understand their strategies for maintaining their cultures while adapting to new lives in often radically different environments.

Over the years Peter has come to view sustainability as adaptation. And as the world continues to change ever more quickly, adaptation is paramount for survival. Some cultures are thriving and others are becoming lost. His experience has given him a few small insights into what seems to work and what doesn’t.

RSVP to by Monday October 24th at Noon


Wednesday, October 26, 2016
12:00pm to 1:00pm


Sustainability, Energy & Environment Complex (SEEC) S372A/B


Lunch provided