What Do Our ENVS Students/Alums Do? Read Some Recent and Other Posts 

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  • Aly Robinson (’11) writes about her work in environmental education and public health after graduating from Lewis & Clark College’s Environmental Studies Program.
  • March 13, 2019 at 11:30am

    In order to truly understand India, knowledge of the past, present and future of India is crucial. Approaching this through several different sources helps to gain multiple perspectives, which is necessary when studying India.

    Modern India has been helpful in establishing ground level knowledge on the modern history of India. It also points out India’s many contradictions and helped establish a good lens for identifying these contradictions,

    Along with understanding the past, we explored how religion has played a part in shaping the Indian environment, either directly or indirectly. When the environment in India is degraded in some way, women typically experience it first. An article about women’s autonomy helps explore the lives of women in different regions. The article points to the fact that religion does not limit autonomy as much as the region does. In the south women generally have more individual autonomy, defined as “the ability to obtain information and use it as the basis for making decisions about private concerns and degree and access of control over resources” (Jejeebhoy, 2001), while their life expectancy is lower. This is due to the main occupation in the south being agriculture which women take part in and therefore exhibit control in the community.

    In looking at the present day version of India, an exploration of the current systems in place to manage water, solid waste and recycling offered insight and contradictions galore. This analysis of the systems in place exposes the oppression that the poor face in terms of resources. It also highlights that despite these conditions they are thriving. A main contradiction that keeps arising is the fact that if all of these poor people get better water or better waste systems that means the country will use more of its precious water supply and will create more waste to take care of. Unlike the US, the country cannot pay to ship it off, it has to deal with it.

    All of these issues are issues that the whole world will face soon enough. With its huge population, limited resources and degrading environment, the country is a prime example of what the world could look like very soon. How India deals with these issues is crucial to the rest of the world.


    Sources
    Dyson, Tim, Tim Dyson, and Leela Visaria. 2004. Twenty-First Century India: Population, Economy, Human Development, and the Environment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Jeffrey, Craig. 2017. Modern India: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
    Jejeebhoy, Shireen J., and Zeba A. Sathar. 2001. “Women’s Autonomy in India and Pakistan: The Influence of Religion and Region.” Population and Development Review 27 (4): 687–712.
  • Keith Morency (’16) highlights the various jobs that led him to work for a community solar team in Boston, MA, after graduating from the Environmental Studies program at Lewis & Clark College.
  • March 18, 2019 at 12:35am

    So, here’s the big thing I’m pondering:  How do we address the amounting mass of toxic waste in the United States?

    Listen, this is super important because: historically we have not considered this question, and we still do not fully understand the consequences of a century of mishandling of industrial toxins. Not only are we struggling to manage the toxic waste that negatively impacts our communities, our water ,and our soil, but we have not even uncovered all of the toxic potential around the country.

    I went after this big question in the specific context of East St. Louis , because: it has a rich history of industry that both uplifted the community but was also the demise when it left, leaving behind decades of mismanaged toxic waste and a political structure incapable of providing social services to it’s community. East St. Louis was the prime example of a racially diverse community which allowed for the rise in socio-economic status for people of color, until the collapse of regional industry.

    What I figured out there is this more specific question: What are the processes that create hidden areas of toxic waste, or relic sites, in East St. Louis and who do these spaces effect?

    Here’s how I answered it: By compiling a list of all the historical manufacturers from 1959 to 1990 I was able to pick out a list of sites around the city that have not received attention from the EPA. I then was able to perform a site analysis to find the contemporary land use of these sites. In addition, I analyze historical literature on national economic policy to situate the decline of industry in East St. Louis to larger national trends.

    What I found is: A massive decline in industry between 1959 and 1990 in East St. Louis left behind 21 sites that I have identified as potentially containing toxic waste. This decline was part of a national trend stemming from economic policy in the 1970’s and 80’s. This left the city destabilized with a significantly smaller tax base and a large population of impoverished people of color. The sites of potential hazard, called relic sites, have for the most part not been developed since their previous ownership which reflects the lack of investment into the city.

    And as I zoomed back out again I have realized the need to locate historical manufacturing sites with the potential for relic waste. Because of East St. Louis’s unique history leading to its lack of development, relic sites have not undergone transformations that would obscure it’s previous land use. In cities around the country, industrial areas have changed land use to accommodate new trends in the movement of people. If these sites have not undergone the proper land use assessments, communities interacting with them have the potential to be exposed to these historic toxins.

    In a nutshell, then, here’s what I’m hoping to say [saying]: The economic shifts of the 70’s and 80’s, in addition to the rationale of capital, led to the exodus of industry in East St. Louis, leaving behind relic waste in areas which have for the most part not been developed.

    So here are some next steps and further research that follow from what I did: Insight into shifts in populations around the relic sites would provide an idea of who has come into contact with these spaces and provide potential for epidemiological analysis. In addition, I would promote testing for particular toxins around these sites in order to find conclusive evidence.

  • March 13, 2019 at 9:39pm

    This lab was focused on looking at data from Hurricane Katrina and analyzing its damage along the Mississippi gulf coast. The following presentation of data could provide officials with information on where to allocate disaster aid.

    Deliverable 1

    This map provides some context for the area of interest. It shows the three coastal counties of Mississippi, including elevation, water within the counties, islands, and swamp/marsh land. It is evident from this map that these counties are pretty low in elevation and contain a lot of water features such as marshes and swamps. There are a lot of rivers that are relatively close together with swamps/marshes close to the rivers and bodies of water. The islands are relatively spaced apart. The land in these counties would be easily affected by a large storm surge because the elevation is so low and there is so much water for potential flooding.

    Deliverable 2

    This map shows Hurricane Katrina’s path over the continental United States. The different colors of the path represent different categories of intensity of the hurricane. Included is a graph of both wind speed and air pressure of the hurricane over time. The wind speed of Katrina clearly intensifies while over the Gulf of Mexico, and also is stronger where the water is deeper. There is also a very clear correlation between wind speed and air pressure. As air pressure decreases, wind speed increases and vice versa.

    Deliverable 3

    This map of the coastal counties shows the flooded land due to the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina. It shows the different types of land that were flooded, and includes a bar graph of the percentage of flooded land for each land cover type. The greatest impact of the storm surge is by far to wetlands in 55% of the flooded region. Developed land along the coast was also heavily impacted at 15% of the flooded region. The recovery of wetlands and other natural features that were affected will be very long term.

    Deliverable 4

    This map is very similar to the last, it just includes roads, railroads, churches, and hospitals. The churches are pretty widely dispersed, but there are a lot more on the coast in the flooded area. Pretty much all of the hospitals are near the coast in the flooded area and have likely been damaged. There is also a large stretch of railroad along the coast within the flooded area that has likely been affected. I would prioritize the damaged hospitals to be restored first so that any casualties from the storm can be assisted as soon as possible. I would then assess the damaged roads and railroads, and then the churches.

    Deliverable 5

    This table shows the various land types that were flooded, measured in acres and square miles, as well as the percentage of flooded land they constituted.

    Deliverable 6

    Note: “False Cover” in the title should read “False Color”

    This map portrays a false color image overlaid with derived land cover created using Landsat Thematic Imagery. The false color image uses infrared in place of red in order to better distinguish land from water. Five colors were then derived and symbolized appropriately as land cover types. The false color imagery better distinguishes land from sea than in true color, but it is harder to distinguish features on land in false color. The land-cover classification is very effective to distinguish forest from wetland, but is not as accurate when showing water and development. Since there are a lot of different colors in a developed area, the land-cover classification shows developed land as more than one color. In addition, not all of what is labeled as water is actually pure water, but it was the closest land cover type that was classified.

  • Eva Johnson (’15) describes her trajectory after graduating Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Environmental Studies.
  • March 17, 2019 at 10:56pm

    With the final draft of my thesis paper due this coming week, I’ve realized that I have completely left out of my online recordkeeping perhaps the most important part of this project: the major findings resulting from the research. Portland City Hall served as the stage for a powerful exchange of discourses that continue to shape the writing and implementation of policies regarding unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs), and while just about all stakeholders acknowledge the importance of seismic resiliency and life safety, many testifiers expressed opposition to parts or the entirety of the proposed policies to mandate seismic retrofits for Class 3 and Class 4 buildings and to mandate placarding for URMs. When making an argument, some positions would seem to be unopposable; life safety is often perceived as one of these trump card arguments. Truly, who wants to go on public record saying that architectural history, for example, is MORE important than keeping people alive? Life safety is the sacrosanct pillar upon while the proposed policies are formulated, and yet, a variety of stakeholders brought various arguments against these policies. Because of life safety’s preeminence, however, a variety of special strategies were observed among the rhetoric of testifiers. By invoking identity and reappropriating disaster safety rhetoric, testifiers who are most at-risk due to the proposed policies can assert power and influence policy decisions.

    These components can be broken down into individuated and group-based tactics. Identity, for example, was largely invoked among URM owners and tenants in the form of personal histories, including their parents’ jobs, their births, their schooling, and their experience with the city of Portland. However, many of them, especially the URM owners, were rallied by a few ringleaders and appeared at City Hall as part of a group effort to influence the proposed motions. Similarly, a group effort was made by African American pastors to emphasize their points about inclusion in the policymaking process. These groups, whether pre-planned or not, repeatedly emphasized themes that city council members seemed to remember especially well based on their recaps of and responses to the general body of testimonies.

    Reappropriation of safety rhetoric was also a popular tactic for testifiers. A majority of the testifiers at least acknowledged a financial challenge for URM owners and/or renters if the seismic retrofitting mandate was adopted. However, some testifiers were distinct in their comparison of seismic or other disaster impacts to the potential impacts of the mandates. One stated that, “This ordinance could also destroy buildings and apartments and vibrant main streets disrupting neighborhoods and people’s lives as much as any potential earthquake ever would,” one described a potential for “flattening businesses in Portland,” and another even compared it to a “death sentence.” Other keywords included “demolition,” “catastrophic,” and “decimated.” Additionally, in many cases, there was either implicit or explicit references to the city council’s role in implementing the policies, thus attaching responsibility for the consequences.

    These findings, particularly those regarding reappropriation of safety rhetoric, demonstrate that manipulating the disaster narrative to affix responsibility prior to an event rather than attaching blame after an event may prevent the most immediate disastrous impacts and encourage pursuit of other, potentially less-clumsy solutions. It is important to note that while inductive reasoning leads the reader to assume that the general bundle of rhetorical strategies had meaningful impacts on the policy (two new committees addressing stakeholders’ concerns were formed, and apologies were elicited from several council members for a lack of public engagement), this analysis is not able to disaggregate all of the results to confirm a strictly causal relationship between the outcomes and any of the individual strategies. However, given that the whole body of testimonies was generally successful in achieving some results, it is worth examining that body and identifying particularly prominent or emergent rhetorical strategies so that other research may elucidate which have been the most fruitful and in what contexts.

  • Emma Redfoot (’13) describes her indirect path toward studying nuclear engineering after graduating Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Environmental Studies.
  • March 18, 2019 at 4:50pm

    Week 8

    3.18.2019

    This past week served as an opportunity to organize and practice engagement specifically for the project Skylar and I are working on pertaining to renewables. First and foremost Skylar and I had the terrific opportunity to attend the Robin Teater ENVX workshop last week that focused on engaging across difference. The two hour event gave us an opportunity to practice being a better listener when communicating with someone that may have an opposing view in comparison to our own. That experience will be extremely beneficial when Skyler and I start meeting with our key stakeholders who will potentially have very different opinions about renewables than we personally do.

    This week we sent an email to Jeff W. asking if he would be interesting in having a conversation surrounding renewables in the Pacific Northwest. He has expressed interest and is willing to participate in our project! We will hopefully have a meeting scheduled by the end of this week for the first week of April. Table 1 clearly outlines the key stakeholders we are hoping to meet with and the status of our communication with them this far.

    Key Stakeholder

    Company

    Status of Contact

    Meeting Completed (Yes/No)

    Pam S.

    Utility

    Meeting Scheduled

    No

    Scheduled: 3/21

    Jeff W.

    Utility

    Email Sent, Participation Confirmed

    No

    Erin K.

    Renewable Energy Independent Power Provider

    Email to be this week

    No

    Table 1: Stakeholders and Status of Contact as of 3.18.2019

    On an organizational level we clarified who our key stakeholders are with Professor Jessica Kleiss by submitting a google form of their contact information to her. We also submitted the refined list of questions we plan on potentially asking stakeholders (the list of questions can be found at the bottom of this post). I use the word ‘potentially’ because Skylar and I are planning on asking the first four questions in every meeting. However, we want to provide space and flexibility in our conversation to see what our stakeholder is most interested in discussing. This would avoid a prescriptive informational interview and encourage and active dialogue between the three of us at the meeting.

    Provided By Atlanta Challenge

    Skylar and I have our first stakeholder meeting this Thursday with Pam S. and we are both very excited. Last week Professor Kleiss suggested that we practice our questions on each other to eliminate any redundancies or kinks beforehand and to get in touch with what we personally think. This exercise was very helpful (and fun). By the end of asking each other our questions we both improved our question delivery and decided who should present certain questions. That practice will make our meeting run much more smoothly and will help us achieve our goal this week which is to have a successfully, engaging conversation with Pam S about renewable energy generation in the Pacific Northwest.

    Provided By UNC Wilmington | Randall Library


     

    Potential Questions to Ask Stakeholders:

    What are your perceptions and opinions of renewable energy? Why?

    What are your perceptions and opinions of nuclear energy? Why?

    What do you feel some obstacles to implementing renewable energy?

    What do you think are the top three things promoting the integration of renewable energy generation in the NW?

    What do you think are the top three things inhibiting the integration of renewable energy generation in the NW?

    Where do you think nuclear should fit into the energy profile?

    Do you think the emphasis on renewable could create issues?

    Have your feelings towards nuclear changed over time? Been influenced by anything?

    Have your feelings towards renewables changed over time? Been influenced by anything?

    Do you think the integration of renewables, and their benefits, are a sufficient way to combat climate change?

    Do you think the lack of an organized market in the NW has prevented the integration of renewables?

    Is it possible to cut back environmental regulations on carbon emissions and still effectively protect water and air quality? Why?

  • Kyle Tibbett (’15) talks about his life after graduating Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Environmental Studies and taking a position in fisheries management in Idaho.
  • March 13, 2019 at 1:39pm

    Hurricane Katrina was a big deal.  It brought a lot of attention to natural disasters, throughout the news.  My dad’s first book strictly on climate change was published a year later in 2006, in which he discusses the relationship between climate change and natural disasters.  He has been writing articles on this topic ever since.  I was in elementary school at the time, and this storm is part of what sparked my interest in environmentalism.  I remember for my birthday, which was in late September shortly after the hurricane, I asked friends that attended my party to bring money to donate for relief efforts for the storm instead of presents.  It has been around 14 years since the event and people still talk about Hurricane Katrina.

    Hurricane Katrina sparked a concern for Americans, because we realized the damage these types of storms can cause to populations if they are not prepared.  And yet, we have since 2005 had numerous other hurricanes in different parts of America seriously disrupt and damage individual people and families, as well as city infrastructure.  The truth is, not every city was built to sustain such weather.  We saw this in New York, where hurricanes do not usually reach such high latitude during Hurricane Sandy.  And the fact is, as our global average temperature is warming, we are experiencing hurricanes that are more intense.  Therefore, regions that are known to experience hurricanes, may still not be prepared for hurricanes at this level of intensity. When this is the case, we need to know how to respond to these events.  A large part of this is knowing what is occurring spatially during these events, such as what areas would be the most flooded, and what areas to prioritize in terms of allocating response resources.  This is where GIS comes in.

    For this lab I investigated the issue of hurricane response with, as might have been guessed, Hurricane Katrina.  A GIS professional would be creating this information for the use of government officials and aid responders.  The first important information that would need to be understood is what the layout of the land where Katrina hit looks like.  This includes elevation, water bodies, counties, cities and any islands.  Figure 1 displays this information, showing that their are three counties in the area most effected by the storm, along the gulf coast in Mississippi.  You also see there are significantly more cities near the coast which is more likely to be flooded in a storm, and six islands.  Fig. 2 is a true color composite map of the area, and shows what land would actually look like from an aerial view using satellite imagery.  The discoloration near shore shows more urbanized areas, which checks out with the city locations in Fig. 1.  Going back to Fig. 1, There is higher elevation farther inland, with veins of lower elevation pulsing through the land, indicating the land is hilly, not flat.  You also see there is significant marsh/swamp land along the coast that veins inland.

    Fig. 1: Map of Gulf Coast Counties, Elevation and Water.

    Katrina 1.jpg

    Fig. 2: True Color Composite Map

    Sept321.jpg

    There are numerous wavelengths humans cannot see such as heat, which is why I then created a false color composite satellite imagery map shown in Fig. 3.  This way we can see the amount of infrared radiation from different parts of the region.  For this map I made infrared displayed as red, which means the land is emitting the most infrared.

    Figure 3: False Color Composite Map with Infrared shown as Red

    Sept432

    Now government officials and responders would understand the general layout of the land.  The next piece of important information is the path of the hurricane, as well as the wind speed and air pressure over time.  Figure 4 shows a map of Hurricane Katrina’s path, as well as graphs of its wind speed and pressure over time.  The map shows that Katrina once near land first was traveling west, and once on land was traveling north east.  The graphs show pressure and wind speed as inversely related.  As one increases, the other decreases.  Pressure increases near/on land and wind speed starts to decrease.

    Fig. 4:  Hurricane Katrina Path, Wind Speed and Pressure over Time

    Time

    The next question, and the first big question in assessing damage is where and what was flooded.  Figure 5 shows both what land was flooded and what land types were flooded.  All of the waters were completely flooded during this storm, and as expected, the areas closest to the coast were flooded most.  This means that the majority of the cities in these three counties, and the more urban areas were flooded.  Figure 5 also shows that Wetlands were the most flooded land type, which can be expected considering they are aquatic ecosystems.  Using color composite satellite imagery I created the map in fig. 6.  For this map I let ArcGIS calculate an estimate of the different land types.  You can see this estimate generally checks out, with the main exception that significantly ore agricultural/barren area is shown.  The main finding from both maps though is that there is a significant amount of Wetland, which is the most important aspect of these maps to agree on.

    Fig. 5:  Map of Land Types and Flooded Land

    Katrina2.5

    Figure 6: Land Type Estimate using Color Composite Satellite Imagery

    Unsept.jpg

    Figure 7 then shows what percent of each land type was flooded in both a graph and a map.  This map and graph project the same information as the map in figure 5, which is that wetlands were significantly more flooded than any other land type at about 55%.  Developed land comes in second, also as predicted by the previous maps.  Agricultural areas and barren land are the least flooded, which makes sense considering these land types would be in the more rural areas farther inland.

    Figure 7: Percent Flooded Land

    Katrina3

    The final crucial piece of information in terms of prioritizing aid and resource allocation in response to Hurricane Katrina, is what infrastructure would be damaged.  Figure 8 shows a map of infrastructure in the Mississippi coastal area, including roads, churches and hospitals, as well as displaying what areas were flooded in light blue.  Churches can be used as a useful indicator of where the highest populations are, and fig. 8 shows multiple flooded areas with a high density of churches, where instead of individual church symbols an area becomes a blob of purple.  Large highways such as 90, 10 also would be flooded from the storm.  This is important in terms of what roads need to be closed, as well as limitations in transporting resources to the affected areas.  All of the hospitals are located in flooded areas, and this would be the first place to prioritize resources.  To start, hurricane damage could cause an influx of  people who need medical care, but hospitals also have some of the most vulnerable populations, who may require electricity for life support, or be unable to move themselves for evacuation.  These are people who need immediate care and attention.

    Figure 8: Map of Infrastructure

    Katrina4

     

  • Erin Scheibe (’15) writes about her experiences pursuing a career in nursing after graduating from the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College.
  • Julia Benford '17
    Julia Benford (’17), a graduate of the  Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College, reflects on how critical thinking and inquiry skills she gained through ENVS course studies are especially useful when teaching environmental education at Tualatin Hills Nature Center.
  • March 18, 2019 at 3:22pm

    15510342345_fbce193a1c_o.jpg

    This week, I have focused on refining my engagement questions and thinking about how I will encounter my stakeholders. Since my engage-ees are Lewis and Clark students, I don’t need to do as much legwork as some of my colleagues in terms of contacting people and setting up meetings. I plan to largely engage with people I already know, at least somewhat. Therefore, more of my time has been focused on my questions. Since I am going to employ all three methods of environmental communication, I need three different sets of questions. I will not read these questions off of a paper, but rather inform my conversations with my various stakeholders.

    For my deficit engagement, I plan to:

    • Inform my receptor about the issues with greenhouse gas emissions and how transportation adds to these issues
    • Inform my receptor about the waze carpool app and its features
    • Ask them why they do/do not use the app
    • Ask them what they like/don’t like about the app

    For my framing engagement, I plan to ask:

    • How do you feel about how Lewis and Clark handles transportation to and from campus?
    • Have you had any issues getting to and from campus? If so, what are they?
    • What reservations do you have about being involved in a Lewis and Clark carpooling app?
    • What would it take to get you to be involved in a Lewis and Clark carpooling app?

    For my dialogic engagement, I plan to ask:

    • Why do we form habits?
    • How do you think habits are formed?
    • What sorts of initiatives can spur habit changes?
    • Do you think that moral appeals are effective in spurring habit change? Why?

    Before and after the engagement, I will ask my participants to fill out a short survey. It will ask them:

    • How likely, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being least, 10 being most), are you to try the waze carpooling app?
    • Why?
    • How worthwhile, on a scale of 1-10, is it for the college to pursue the implementation/incentivization of the waze carpooling app?
    • Why?

    This way, I can hopefully see the effects of my conversations with the different stakeholders and be able to assess the utility of each mode of communication in this particular context.

  • Gabby Francolla
    Gabriella Francolla ’18 majored in ENVS. She describes her path after graduating from Lewis & Clark, where she has had the opportunity to engage with diverse populations while working as an educator.  Next year she will begin working as an Environmental Educator Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Mexico.
  • March 19, 2019 at 8:42am

    email-payslips-not-secure.png

    Our engagement project has been progressing slowly but steadily and it is soon going to see a dramatic increase in pace. This past week, Jane and I had the chance to attend a workshop run by Robin Teater in order to focus on communicating across difference, something that is guaranteed to occur during our engagement conversations. We had to chance to practice skills such as listening and asking thought-provoking questions while refraining from asserting personal opinions and assumptions onto the conversation. These tools and insights will be extremely useful when engaging in dialogues with our stakeholders. This Thursday the 21st will commence the first meeting of our project with Pam S. Jane and I are extremely excited to have a chance to hear the unique and personal responses from these professionals within their fields.

    In preparation for this conversation, Jane and I interviewed each other in order to solidify our stances on these topics as well as create a level of comfort with the questions we will be asking. This exercise was extremely productive as it allowed us to hear the questions out loud and elaborate on our responses as well as ponder how they will sound to our stakeholders. Finally, interviewing each other was extremely interesting! Jane and I disagreed on different topics so it was a good way to employ the skills we learned in the Robin Teater workshop. Additionally, for the project, Jane has been sending out emails to Jeff W. in order to finalize a meeting time in the upcoming weeks. Table One outlines our stakeholders as well as the progress made with establishing meeting times.

    Stakeholder Company Email Status of Contact Meeting Completed (Yes/No)
    Pam Sporborg Portland General Electric pam.sporborg@pgn.com Meeting Scheduled No

    Scheduled: 3/21

    Jeff Wheeler Portland General Electric jeff.wheeler@pgn.com Email Sent, Participation Confirmed No
    Erin Kester Avangrid Renewables erin.kester@avangrid.com Email to be this week No

    Table One

    The questions that Jane and I have decided to use can be found below. We have discussed these talking points with Jessica in an individual meeting as well as submitted to them to a Google Form in order to receive more feedback before our first interview. With these questions, we hope to produce a dialogue, hearing what our stakeholders say as well as bringing our own expertise to the conversation. This will hopefully elicit emotions and individualized perspectives rather than simply conducting a formal and fact-driven interview.

    Questions:

    • What are your perceptions and opinions of renewable energy? Why?
    • What are your perceptions and opinions of nuclear energy? Why?
    • What do you feel some obstacles to implementing renewable energy?
    • What do you think are the top three things promoting the integration of renewable energy generation in the NW?  
    • What do you think are the top three things inhibiting the integration of renewable energy generation in the NW?  
    • Where do you think nuclear should fit into the energy profile?
    • Do you think the emphasis on renewable could create issues?
    • Have your feelings towards nuclear changed over time? Been influenced by anything?
    • Have your feelings towards renewables changed over time? Been influenced by anything?
    • Do you think the integration of renewables, and their benefits, are a sufficient way to combat climate change?
    • Do you think the lack of an organized market in the NW has prevented the integration of renewables?
    • Is it possible to cut back environmental regulations on carbon emissions and still effectively protect water and air quality? Why?
  • March 18, 2019 at 1:56am

    With the final draft of my thesis paper due this coming week, I’ve realized that I have completely left out of my online recordkeeping perhaps the most important part of this project: the major findings resulting from the research. Portland City Hall served as the stage for a powerful exchange of discourses that continue to shape the writing and implementation of policies regarding unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs), and while just about all stakeholders acknowledge the importance of seismic resiliency and life safety, many testifiers expressed opposition to parts or the entirety of the proposed policies to mandate seismic retrofits for Class 3 and Class 4 buildings and to mandate placarding for URMs. When making an argument, some positions would seem to be unopposable; life safety is often perceived as one of these trump card arguments. Truly, who wants to go on public record saying that architectural history, for example, is MORE important than keeping people alive? Life safety is the sacrosanct pillar upon while the proposed policies are formulated, and yet, a variety of stakeholders brought various arguments against these policies. Because of life safety’s preeminence, however, a variety of special strategies were observed among the rhetoric of testifiers. By invoking identity and reappropriating disaster safety rhetoric, testifiers who are most at-risk due to the proposed policies can assert power and influence policy decisions.

    These components can be broken down into individuated and group-based tactics. Identity, for example, was largely invoked among URM owners and tenants in the form of personal histories, including their parents’ jobs, their births, their schooling, and their experience with the city of Portland. However, many of them, especially the URM owners, were rallied by a few ringleaders and appeared at City Hall as part of a group effort to influence the proposed motions. Similarly, a group effort was made by African American pastors to emphasize their points about inclusion in the policymaking process. These groups, whether pre-planned or not, repeatedly emphasized themes that city council members seemed to remember especially well based on their recaps of and responses to the general body of testimonies.

    Reappropriation of safety rhetoric was also a popular tactic for testifiers. A majority of the testifiers at least acknowledged a financial challenge for URM owners and/or renters if the seismic retrofitting mandate was adopted. However, some testifiers were distinct in their comparison of seismic or other disaster impacts to the potential impacts of the mandates. One stated that, “This ordinance could also destroy buildings and apartments and vibrant main streets disrupting neighborhoods and people’s lives as much as any potential earthquake ever would,” one described a potential for “flattening businesses in Portland,” and another even compared it to a “death sentence.” Other keywords included “demolition,” “catastrophic,” and “decimated.” Additionally, in many cases, there was either implicit or explicit references to the city council’s role in implementing the policies, thus attaching responsibility for the consequences.

    These findings, particularly those regarding reappropriation of safety rhetoric, demonstrate that manipulating the disaster narrative to affix responsibility prior to an event rather than attaching blame after an event may prevent the most immediate disastrous impacts and encourage pursuit of other, potentially less-clumsy solutions. It is important to note that while inductive reasoning leads the reader to assume that the general bundle of rhetorical strategies had meaningful impacts on the policy (two new committees addressing stakeholders’ concerns were formed, and apologies were elicited from several council members for a lack of public engagement), this analysis is not able to disaggregate all of the results to confirm a strictly causal relationship between the outcomes and any of the individual strategies. However, given that the whole body of testimonies was generally successful in achieving some results, it is worth examining that body and identifying particularly prominent or emergent rhetorical strategies so that other research may elucidate which have been the most fruitful and in what contexts.

  • Darya Watnick (’13), a graduate of the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College, describes her time spent working in Israel for three years after graduating and returning to work as a Jewish Engagement Manager in the U.S.
  • March 14, 2019 at 5:44pm

    In the first part of this lab we wanted to explore the coast.noaa.gov site.  Here we each independently looked at various data. I looked to see if there was track data for the 1992 Hurricane Iniki that made landfall in Hawai’i.  I went to the tools page then hit historic hurricane tracks and launched the program. I then search 1992 and the platform displayed all hurricanes for that year.  The colors represent category strength/number. I also identified Hurricane Iniki (it is in the central Pacific Basin and has an “L” shaped track.

    Before we moved on to gathering more data, we first had to think about organization.  In past exercise we have separated our work into three folders: documents, data, and results.  We could organize it in this fashion or in another format. I think I may want to have a folder for each data source I download. E.g. I could have a NOAA folder, in which there is a geodatabase, process summary, document describing data, and maps I create using it.  This may help me to stay organized instead of searching around for various folders

    Next we looked at International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS) or IBTrACS to look at Track Data for various hurricanes.  We first went to the Data Access (version 4) tab to examine the information they had. We want shapefiles that way it’s visible through ArcGIS.  We imported zipped data files for both active hurricanes and hurricanes since 1980. The maroon lines represent all hurricanes since 1980, and the graduated color lines are the current active hurricanes.  There is data that goes far back enough that there should be information pertaining to 1992 and Hurricane Iniki. I plan on downloading this data to get wind speed, track info, projections, etc.

                        Downloaded technical documentation and csv column labelling

    ftp:// eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ibtracs/v04r00/provisional/shapefiles/

                        Downloaded zipped files for active hurricanes and since 1980

    Lastly, we explored the National Hurricane Center website and the data they had available.  As a class we wanted to look at Hurricane Maria more closely. Under the Preliminary Best Tracks we chose the type of data we wanted, the year (2017), and Hurricane Maria.  There were quite a bit different shapefiles. I downloaded the zipped file for 007A prediction, which was early in Maria’s path. I plotted the observed track (which was a shapefile within the data) and the radii for wind speed strength.  It tells us which quadrant is strongest.

    Downloaded PDF, and Shapefile for Hurricane Maria

    Data Retrieved For Maps:

    Downloaded technical documentation and csv column labelling

    ftp:// eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ibtracs/v04r00/provisional/shapefiles/

    Downloaded zipped files for active hurricanes and since 1980

    Downloaded PDF, and Shapefile for Hurricane Maria

    New Conclusions and Ideas for Independent Hurricane Project

    Going through these various websites provided a lot of insight for my own project.  I still plan on focusing on Hurricane Iniki of 1992. My initial research question was: Why did Hurricane Iniki make landfall?  We also took a look at some satellite imagery and the types of data they had available. I was particularly interested in storm surge and landsat information.  I have already found data for the track of Hurricane Iniki. I am pondering another research question → How did Hurricane Iniki affect land cover on Kaua’i? (where the storm made landfall).  I could potentially compare what the land cover was prior to the storm and after the storm. I could still incorporate my initial research question if I can find sea surface temperature data.  But I think my initial question of why did it make landfall may be a tricky question to interpret. I would like to use the landsat data and I could incorporate social effects of the Hurricane on Kaua’i’s economy.  

    Research Question: How did Hurricane Iniki affect land cover on Kaua’i and what were the impacts of such change?

    Plan

    → have a map detailing Iniki’s track and strength (category)

    → have 2 maps (pre v. post storm) detailing land cover

    → look at news articles and newspaper articles to figure out what some of the social impacts were

    Data Sources:

    Relevant Articles:

    Brief summary report → https://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1992.php

    Coffman, Makena, and Ilan Noy. “Hurricane Iniki: Measuring the Long-Term Economic Impact of a Natural Disaster Using Synthetic Control.” Environment and Development Economics17, no. 02 (April 2012): 187–205. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355770X11000350.

    Dreyer, J., J.H. Bailey-Brock, and S.A. McCarthy. “The Immediate Effects of Hurricane Iniki on Intertidal Fauna on the South Shore of O‘ahu.” Marine Environmental Research59, no. 4 (May 2005): 367–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2004.04.006.

    Fletcher, C. H., B. M. Richmond, G. M. Barnes, and T. A. Schroeder. “Marine Flooding on the Coast of Kaua’i during Hurricane Iniki: Hindcasting Inundation Components and Delineating Washover.” Journal of Coastal Research11, no. 1 (1995): 188–204.

    Lawrence, Miles B., and Edward N. Rappaport. “Eastern North Pacific Hurricane Season of 1992.” American Meterological Society, March 1994.

    Smith, Jane McKee, Andrew B. Kennedy, Joannes J. Westerink, Alexandros A. Taflanidis, and Kwok Fai Cheung. “HAWAII HURRICANE WAVE AND SURGE MODELING AND FAST FORECASTING.” Coastal Engineering Proceedings1, no. 33 (December 14, 2012): 8. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v33.management.8.

  • March 18, 2019 at 4:08pm
  • Rachael Lipinski (’09), a graduate of the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College, writes about her time working as an environmental attorney.
  • March 17, 2019 at 9:20pm

    So, here’s the big thing I’m pondering:  How do we address the amounting mass of toxic waste in the United States?

    Listen, this is super important because: historically we have not considered this question, and we still do not fully understand the consequences of a century of mishandling of industrial toxins. Not only are we struggling to manage the toxic waste that negatively impacts our communities, our water ,and our soil, but we have not even uncovered all of the toxic potential around the country.

    I went after this big question in the specific context of East St. Louis , because: it has a rich history of industry that both uplifted the community but was also the demise when it left, leaving behind decades of mismanaged toxic waste and a political structure incapable of providing social services to it’s community. East St. Louis was the prime example of a racially diverse community which allowed for the rise in socio-economic status for people of color, until the collapse of regional industry.

    What I figured out there is this more specific question: What are the processes that create hidden areas of toxic waste, or relic sites, in East St. Louis and who do these spaces effect?

    Here’s how I answered it: By compiling a list of all the historical manufacturers from 1959 to 1990 I was able to pick out a list of sites around the city that have not received attention from the EPA. I then was able to perform a site analysis to find the contemporary land use of these sites. In addition, I analyze historical literature on national economic policy to situate the decline of industry in East St. Louis to larger national trends.

    What I found is: A massive decline in industry between 1959 and 1990 in East St. Louis left behind 21 sites that I have identified as potentially containing toxic waste. This decline was part of a national trend stemming from economic policy in the 1970’s and 80’s. This left the city destabilized with a significantly smaller tax base and a large population of impoverished people of color. The sites of potential hazard, called relic sites, have for the most part not been developed since their previous ownership which reflects the lack of investment into the city.

    And as I zoomed back out again I have realized the need to locate historical manufacturing sites with the potential for relic waste. Because of East St. Louis’s unique history leading to its lack of development, relic sites have not undergone transformations that would obscure it’s previous land use. In cities around the country, industrial areas have changed land use to accommodate new trends in the movement of people. If these sites have not undergone the proper land use assessments, communities interacting with them have the potential to be exposed to these historic toxins.

    In a nutshell, then, here’s what I’m hoping to say [saying]: The economic shifts of the 70’s and 80’s, in addition to the rationale of capital, led to the exodus of industry in East St. Louis, leaving behind relic waste in areas which have for the most part not been developed.

    So here are some next steps and further research that follow from what I did: Insight into shifts in populations around the relic sites would provide an idea of who has come into contact with these spaces and provide potential for epidemiological analysis. In addition, I would promote testing for particular toxins around these sites in order to find conclusive evidence.

  • March 14, 2019 at 7:41pm

    A week from today the first graded draft of my thesis is due.  I have an appointment to go to the writing center to meet with the director on Monday.  I do not want to waste my time with him working on things I could have gotten to myself but had not yet, so for me, my first draft is basically due Monday.  After Monday I am planning on just spending my time making last minute edits John gave me.  I will have a busy weekend this means, but I do not have too much left to do fortunately.

    I have been so focused on preparing for the first draft, that I almost forgot, things do not end there.  I will not have that much more time to finalize my written thesis and make my poster for Festival of Scholars.  On top of that, all of my work for the senior art exhibition is due the Monday after spring break and the opening is that Friday.  For festival of scholars I will be presenting for both art and my ENVS capstone, and right now the plan is also to present a poster for GEOL-340.  That means presenting three times in one day, and this day is not that far off.  I have presented at festival of scholars quite a bit by this point, but never this much in one day.

    20180420_093548Me presenting my poster at festival of scholars last spring for ENVS 330

    I have less then three weeks to finish my artwork, a week to finish the first draft of my thesis, and right now I need to prioritize my time wisely.  Right now I am asking myself if I am planning to spend all of my spring break working, or if I want to try to cram as much in as possible beforehand.  I still do not know what the better option is.  So far I have been managing to balance my two senior classes and all my projects, but now I need to be especially methodological in how I move forward.

    The idea right now is to plan to finish all of my art before spring break even though I have my first draft of my thesis due.  This means I will have left to do over spring break even if I do not finish everything, while if I plan in advance to spend spring break working, I know I will end up having even more left to do than I had planned for.  And I have to keep in mind I will be working on a midterm, my thesis paper and poster and reading a book over spring break.  If I plan to work on my art too, I will end up spending my entire break doing school work.  Right now I am just brainstorming on how I will move forward because my priority is my draft, but the first thing to do after I hand in my draft will be to write out a plan for the rest of the semester until festival of scholars.  I am excited for the rest of the semester and seeing all of my work come into fruition, but I am also a little nervous and need to be extremely organized to manage everything.

  • Laura Schroeder (’14) describes her year as a Fulbright scholar in Colombia after having taken courses in environmental studies and graduating from Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Sociology/Anthropology.
  • Megan Coggeshall (’12) tells the story of how she ended up as a data analyst in global health research after graduating Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Environmental Studies and French Studies.
  • March 18, 2019 at 12:35am

    This week, I have spent a significant amount of time working through understanding the decline of industry in East St. Louis and connecting it to larger trends. Initially in my paper I discuss the rust belt , cities in the midwest and NE which were effected heavily by deindustrialization, but I think it’s important to show and not just tell. This was perfect timing because I am learning about economic policies in the US for a course on international political economics.

    So as not to go into too much detail in my post, my research thus far has analyzed the policy trends in the US in the Reagan era which heavily influenced the role of industry in the United States. I found interesting statistics on the change in manufacturing employment in the US which has a similar trajectory to the decrease in companies in East St. Louis.

    Manufacturing Jobs in the US
  • March 18, 2019 at 7:49pm

    Week 8

    3.18.2019

    This past week served as an opportunity to organize and practice engagement specifically for the project Skylar and I are working on pertaining to renewables. First and foremost Skylar and I had the terrific opportunity to attend the Robin Teater ENVX workshop last week that focused on engaging across difference. The two hour event gave us an opportunity to practice being a better listener when communicating with someone that may have an opposing view in comparison to our own. That experience will be extremely beneficial when Skyler and I start meeting with our key stakeholders who will potentially have very different opinions about renewables than we personally do.

    This week we sent an email to Jeff W. asking if he would be interesting in having a conversation surrounding renewables in the Pacific Northwest. He has expressed interest and is willing to participate in our project! We will hopefully have a meeting scheduled by the end of this week for the first week of April. Table 1 clearly outlines the key stakeholders we are hoping to meet with and the status of our communication with them this far.

    Key Stakeholder

    Company

    Status of Contact

    Meeting Completed (Yes/No)

    Pam S.

    Utility

    Meeting Scheduled

    No

    Scheduled: 3/21

    Jeff W.

    Utility

    Email Sent, Participation Confirmed

    No

    Erin K.

    Renewable Energy Independent Power Provider

    Email to be this week

    No

    Table 1: Stakeholders and Status of Contact as of 3.18.2019

    On an organizational level we clarified who our key stakeholders are with Professor Jessica Kleiss by submitting a google form of their contact information to her. We also submitted the refined list of questions we plan on potentially asking stakeholders (the list of questions can be found at the bottom of this post). I use the word ‘potentially’ because Skylar and I are planning on asking the first four questions in every meeting. However, we want to provide space and flexibility in our conversation to see what our stakeholder is most interested in discussing. This would avoid a prescriptive informational interview and encourage and active dialogue between the three of us at the meeting.

    Provided By Atlanta Challenge

    Skylar and I have our first stakeholder meeting this Thursday with Pam S. and we are both very excited. Last week Professor Kleiss suggested that we practice our questions on each other to eliminate any redundancies or kinks beforehand and to get in touch with what we personally think. This exercise was very helpful (and fun). By the end of asking each other our questions we both improved our question delivery and decided who should present certain questions. That practice will make our meeting run much more smoothly and will help us achieve our goal this week which is to have a successfully, engaging conversation with Pam S about renewable energy generation in the Pacific Northwest.

    Provided By UNC Wilmington | Randall Library

     

    Potential Questions to Ask Stakeholders:

    What are your perceptions and opinions of renewable energy? Why?

    What are your perceptions and opinions of nuclear energy? Why?

    What do you feel some obstacles to implementing renewable energy?

    What do you think are the top three things promoting the integration of renewable energy generation in the NW?

    What do you think are the top three things inhibiting the integration of renewable energy generation in the NW?

    Where do you think nuclear should fit into the energy profile?

    Do you think the emphasis on renewable could create issues?

    Have your feelings towards nuclear changed over time? Been influenced by anything?

    Have your feelings towards renewables changed over time? Been influenced by anything?

    Do you think the integration of renewables, and their benefits, are a sufficient way to combat climate change?

    Do you think the lack of an organized market in the NW has prevented the integration of renewables?

    Is it possible to cut back environmental regulations on carbon emissions and still effectively protect water and air quality? Why?

  • March 18, 2019 at 11:43am
  • Rebecca Kidder (’16), a graduate of the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College, describes her time working as a reading tutor in a kindergarten classroom in Minneapolis.
  • March 14, 2019 at 8:45pm

    In the first part of this lab we wanted to explore the coast.noaa.gov site.  Here we each independently looked at various data. I looked to see if there was track data for the 1992 Hurricane Iniki that made landfall in Hawai’i.  I went to the tools page then hit historic hurricane tracks and launched the program. I then search 1992 and the platform displayed all hurricanes for that year.  The colors represent category strength/number. I also identified Hurricane Iniki (it is in the central Pacific Basin and has an “L” shaped track.

    Before we moved on to gathering more data, we first had to think about organization.  In past exercise we have separated our work into three folders: documents, data, and results.  We could organize it in this fashion or in another format. I think I may want to have a folder for each data source I download. E.g. I could have a NOAA folder, in which there is a geodatabase, process summary, document describing data, and maps I create using it.  This may help me to stay organized instead of searching around for various folders

    Next we looked at International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS) or IBTrACS to look at Track Data for various hurricanes.  We first went to the Data Access (version 4) tab to examine the information they had. We want shapefiles that way it’s visible through ArcGIS.  We imported zipped data files for both active hurricanes and hurricanes since 1980. The maroon lines represent all hurricanes since 1980, and the graduated color lines are the current active hurricanes.  There is data that goes far back enough that there should be information pertaining to 1992 and Hurricane Iniki. I plan on downloading this data to get wind speed, track info, projections, etc.

                        Downloaded technical documentation and csv column labelling

    ftp:// eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ibtracs/v04r00/provisional/shapefiles/

                        Downloaded zipped files for active hurricanes and since 1980

    Lastly, we explored the National Hurricane Center website and the data they had available.  As a class we wanted to look at Hurricane Maria more closely. Under the Preliminary Best Tracks we chose the type of data we wanted, the year (2017), and Hurricane Maria.  There were quite a bit different shapefiles. I downloaded the zipped file for 007A prediction, which was early in Maria’s path. I plotted the observed track (which was a shapefile within the data) and the radii for wind speed strength.  It tells us which quadrant is strongest.

    Downloaded PDF, and Shapefile for Hurricane Maria

    Data Retrieved For Maps:

    Downloaded technical documentation and csv column labelling

    ftp:// eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ibtracs/v04r00/provisional/shapefiles/

    Downloaded zipped files for active hurricanes and since 1980

    Downloaded PDF, and Shapefile for Hurricane Maria

    New Conclusions and Ideas for Independent Hurricane Project

    Going through these various websites provided a lot of insight for my own project.  I still plan on focusing on Hurricane Iniki of 1992. My initial research question was: Why did Hurricane Iniki make landfall?  We also took a look at some satellite imagery and the types of data they had available. I was particularly interested in storm surge and landsat information.  I have already found data for the track of Hurricane Iniki. I am pondering another research question → How did Hurricane Iniki affect land cover on Kaua’i? (where the storm made landfall).  I could potentially compare what the land cover was prior to the storm and after the storm. I could still incorporate my initial research question if I can find sea surface temperature data.  But I think my initial question of why did it make landfall may be a tricky question to interpret. I would like to use the landsat data and I could incorporate social effects of the Hurricane on Kaua’i’s economy.  

    Research Question: How did Hurricane Iniki affect land cover on Kaua’i and what were the impacts of such change?

    Plan

    → have a map detailing Iniki’s track and strength (category)

    → have 2 maps (pre v. post storm) detailing land cover

    → look at news articles and newspaper articles to figure out what some of the social impacts were

    Data Sources:

    Relevant Articles:

    Brief summary report → https://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1992.php

    Coffman, Makena, and Ilan Noy. “Hurricane Iniki: Measuring the Long-Term Economic Impact of a Natural Disaster Using Synthetic Control.” Environment and Development Economics17, no. 02 (April 2012): 187–205. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355770X11000350.

    Dreyer, J., J.H. Bailey-Brock, and S.A. McCarthy. “The Immediate Effects of Hurricane Iniki on Intertidal Fauna on the South Shore of O‘ahu.” Marine Environmental Research59, no. 4 (May 2005): 367–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2004.04.006.

    Fletcher, C. H., B. M. Richmond, G. M. Barnes, and T. A. Schroeder. “Marine Flooding on the Coast of Kaua’i during Hurricane Iniki: Hindcasting Inundation Components and Delineating Washover.” Journal of Coastal Research11, no. 1 (1995): 188–204.

    Lawrence, Miles B., and Edward N. Rappaport. “Eastern North Pacific Hurricane Season of 1992.” American Meterological Society, March 1994.

    Smith, Jane McKee, Andrew B. Kennedy, Joannes J. Westerink, Alexandros A. Taflanidis, and Kwok Fai Cheung. “HAWAII HURRICANE WAVE AND SURGE MODELING AND FAST FORECASTING.” Coastal Engineering Proceedings1, no. 33 (December 14, 2012): 8. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v33.management.8.

  • Hanah Goldov (’13), ENVS major at Lewis & Clark College, describes how her interest in  intentional spaces and environmental design began in her undergraduate work and will continue as she enters a Master’s Program in Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley fall of 2018.
  • Eva Ramey (’15), a Biology major and Environmental Studies minor at Lewis & Clark College, describes how her international research unfolded, beginning with her study abroad experience in Tanzania.
  • Kori Groenveld
    ENVS alumna, Kori Groenveld ’18, describes how her path at LC lead her to a career in the energy industry.  She is working as a Program Administrator at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
  • Environmental Studies and Economics major Aaron Fellows ’16 talks about his summer internship with the International Economic Development Council.
  • March 13, 2019 at 6:39pm

    This lab was focused on looking at data from Hurricane Katrina and analyzing its damage along the Mississippi gulf coast. The following presentation of data could provide officials with information on where to allocate disaster aid.

    Deliverable 1

    This map provides some context for the area of interest. It shows the three coastal counties of Mississippi, including elevation, water within the counties, islands, and swamp/marsh land. It is evident from this map that these counties are pretty low in elevation and contain a lot of water features such as marshes and swamps. There are a lot of rivers that are relatively close together with swamps/marshes close to the rivers and bodies of water. The islands are relatively spaced apart. The land in these counties would be easily affected by a large storm surge because the elevation is so low and there is so much water for potential flooding.

    Deliverable 2

    This map shows Hurricane Katrina’s path over the continental United States. The different colors of the path represent different categories of intensity of the hurricane. Included is a graph of both wind speed and air pressure of the hurricane over time. The wind speed of Katrina clearly intensifies while over the Gulf of Mexico, and also is stronger where the water is deeper. There is also a very clear correlation between wind speed and air pressure. As air pressure decreases, wind speed increases and vice versa.

    Deliverable 3

    This map of the coastal counties shows the flooded land due to the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina. It shows the different types of land that were flooded, and includes a bar graph of the percentage of flooded land for each land cover type. The greatest impact of the storm surge is by far to wetlands in 55% of the flooded region. Developed land along the coast was also heavily impacted at 15% of the flooded region. The recovery of wetlands and other natural features that were affected will be very long term.

    Deliverable 4

    This map is very similar to the last, it just includes roads, railroads, churches, and hospitals. The churches are pretty widely dispersed, but there are a lot more on the coast in the flooded area. Pretty much all of the hospitals are near the coast in the flooded area and have likely been damaged. There is also a large stretch of railroad along the coast within the flooded area that has likely been affected. I would prioritize the damaged hospitals to be restored first so that any casualties from the storm can be assisted as soon as possible. I would then assess the damaged roads and railroads, and then the churches.

    Deliverable 5

    This table shows the various land types that were flooded, measured in acres and square miles, as well as the percentage of flooded land they constituted.

    Deliverable 6

    Note: “False Cover” in the title should read “False Color”

    This map portrays a false color image overlaid with derived land cover created using Landsat Thematic Imagery. The false color image uses infrared in place of red in order to better distinguish land from water. Five colors were then derived and symbolized appropriately as land cover types. The false color imagery better distinguishes land from sea than in true color, but it is harder to distinguish features on land in false color. The land-cover classification is very effective to distinguish forest from wetland, but is not as accurate when showing water and development. Since there are a lot of different colors in a developed area, the land-cover classification shows developed land as more than one color. In addition, not all of what is labeled as water is actually pure water, but it was the closest land cover type that was classified.

  • Michaela Koke (’16) describes her work with the Merck Family Fund and her first year after graduating Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Environmental Studies and Sociology/Anthropology.
  • March 14, 2019 at 8:25pm

    I got to hear from Robin Teater from Healthy Democracy on the subject of how to engage with people who have very different viewpoints. Not only is this an inherently important conversation, it also touches on some of the studies that my research is drawn on. She recommended an article from Vox by Ezra Klein about how scientific literacy can make people’s views diverge even further ideologically, rather than bringing them into (scientific?) consensus.

    The article extensively draws upon Dan Kahan’s paper, Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government, to talk about the phenomenon of people’s conclusions from literal numeric data being driven apart as their numeracy increases. This was summarized fairly accurately by the Vox article (putting aside the correlation/causation debate):

    Being better at math didn’t just fail to help partisans converge on the right answer. It actually drove them further apart. Partisans with weak math skills were 25 percentage points likelier to get the answer right when it fit their ideology. Partisans with strong math skills were 45 percentage points likelier to get the answer right when it fit their ideology.

    What struck, me, though, was this line from the next paragraph:

    Consider how utterly insane that is: being better at math made partisans less likely to solve the problem correctly when solving the problem correctly meant betraying their political instincts.

    This doesn’t follow directly from the statistics previously presented, and seemed dissimilar from the claims I’ve seen in Kahan’s papers, so I went to the paper itself. On page 13, it says:

    But when the data, correctly interpreted, threatened subjects outlooks, high-numeracy partisans enjoyed no meaningful advantage over their low-numeracy counterparts (3 percentage points, ± 16, for Conservative Republicans in “crime decreases”; 11 percentage points, ± 20, for Liberal Democrats in“crime increases”), all of whom were unlikely to identify the correct response (Figure 7).

    This doesn’t seem to match the article. Rather than being better at math making partisans less likely to solve the problem correctly, it merely doesn’t meaningfully help. There are different ways that the analysis could have been run, but if the Vox article is trying to present the results as found in the paper, it doesn’t seem like it’s succeeded. It’s not surprising to see various and sundry omissions or errors in articles that seek to summarize scientific findings, but there’s a layer of additional irony when the topic of the article itself is scientific literacy. It reminds me of the importance of primary sources, since even well-meaning and generally quite skillful people can incidentally introduce some confusion.

    The good news, though, is that this encouraged me to more go back and read the paper by Kahan, which is strongly related to the questions of political interpretations of scientific data that my research is going after. Making this point that, even with something as fundamental as simple arithmetic, partisan interpretation can fool our underlying reading comprehension skills, is an important foundation for all the additional factors such as having a personal stake in the matter. Industry representatives who are presenting their views on regulation that could impact businesses may have all sorts of compelling conscious reasons to present data in a way that best reflects the industry’s interests, but it may be that even subconsciously they’re fooling themselves before they even get to that step of intentional spin.

  • March 14, 2019 at 3:16pm

    dsc05969.jpg

    Over the course of this past week, I completed a draft of my story map for the waterfall experience and conducted background research on human history in the Columbia River Gorge. Choosing which details to include or exclude for my brief historical background was a challenge because of how historically rich the area is. Considering that my project considers questions regarding tourism, components of the waterfall experience, and why people visit the waterfalls here, I guided my focus towards more recent historical details. Also, since my scholarly essay is by no means purely historical in nature, it was essential not to go overboard by relaying a full historical account of the Columbia River Gorge.

    Looking into the building of key infrastructure like the construction of the National Scenic Highway, Interstate 84, and the Multnomah Falls Lodge was essential as these were the means by which early visitors could access the area. The Columbia River Gorge Historic Highway (built between 1913 and 1922) was particularly significant as it was the first planned “scenic” roadway built in the United States. Upon completion, it was considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be “a destination onto itself.” This highway allowed visitors to access notable landmarks like Multnomah Falls with ease and was a major step in solidifying the area as a tourist destination.

    In consideration of tourist development at waterfalls in particular, The Multnomah Falls Lodge allowed visitors to stay overnight at the waterfall – offering plentiful amenities. Completed in 1925, the lodge was meant to provide visitors with a comfortable and luxurious stay. The footpaths to the waterfall and Benson Bridge were also completed at this time. To this day, the lodge is an essential stop for people visiting Multnomah Falls as they can buy food, souvenirs, and gain information from a visitor center.  Aside from the history of key infrastructure, I will also describe the origins of the National Scenic Act which solidified much of the Oregon side of the Gorge as a National Scenic Area. This act goes hand in hand with the Columbia River Gorge Management Plan which was written by the Gorge Commission . This plan describes land management in the area, use of natural resources, rules for building construction, and fulfillment of the goals written about in the National Scenic Act.

    With regards to my map, I’ve inserted the information needed and photos necessary for its layout. My map is in a “cascade” format which blends narratives, maps, and images. I enjoyed laying out the waterfall experience in such a visual and engaging way – particularly with regards to the integration of my own photographs. However, I’m still figuring out some components of the program regarding layout and the insertion of certain maps as a background image. The most pressing issue for me at the moment is comparing seasonal changes in people’s experiences at the waterfalls as I’d like to display my data and images from both seasons as a side by side comparison. Considering the “cascade” format of my map, this doesn’t yet seem possible but I’m experimenting with the program to arrive at a solution.