Charles T. Prewitt
Charles T. Prewitt

Why are Tucson and Phoenix – two cities that apparently share so much of the same Southwestern desert environment – so different from each other?  Any resident of either community would agree that they are very different and will likely argue for the superiority of one over another. But what caused the Valley of the Sun to be so unlike the Old Pueblo?

A few years ago, Michael T. Logan, head of the history department at Oklahoma State University, decided to address that question in a book entitled, “Desert Cities: The Environmental History of Phoenix and Tucson.”

Charles T. Prewitt, Ph.D., a distinguished geologist, 12-year director of the Geophysical Laboratory at Carnegie Institution of Washington D.C. and Academy Village resident, will be reviewing Logan’s book and examining Logan’s conclusions. Prewitt’s talk will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday (Aug. 8).

In addition, the speaker will be sharing comprehensive data and maps featuring the two metropolitan areas that are not available in Logan’s book. Prewitt brings to this topic both a depth of professional expertise and the personal knowledge gained by having lived in both cities.

Logan, a native of Tucson with a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, but with many good friends in Phoenix, approached the differences between the two cities from several directions:  geological, historical, political, economic and social. He found that one prevailing difference between the two communities throughout their history has concerned water:  its volume, availability, management and its business and household use. He cites the Salt River Project and the Central Arizona Project as having related and central impacts on the two cities.

Note: This talk was rescheduled from the spring due to the illness of Prewitt.  Happily, he has recovered.

Submitted by Janet Kerans, Academy Village Volunteer

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Tucson and Phoenix – A Tale of Two Cities: August 2013
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