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

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  • December 5, 2019 at 11:04pm

    Lewis & Clark College (LC) has been working to decrease the amount of employees that drive to and from LC. It is no surprise that LC has a parking issue, it is a toss up driving to school as parking is never guaranteed. However, the motivation for decreasing the amount of employee drivers goes beyond limited parking. The city of Portland and LC itself wants the institution to decrease employee drivers to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced as a collective.

    However, there lies a barrier to successfully decreasing the amount of employee drivers besides the large hill LC sits on top of: limited TriMet efficiency and access. Employees can be discouraged by the reality that taking the TriMet to LC takes substantially longer that it does to drive.

    We can present this reality through GIS mapping. In fact, LC facilities presented this story through GIS to the city of Portland to justify their difficulty decreasing employee drivers. I created the maps below using data collected from surveys that LC employees submitted.

  • December 18, 2019 at 5:07pm

    As I take the time to reflect on the semester and my experience working at CSE, I am in the midst of processing what I learned and also setting goals for the new year.

    As previously mentioned in another post, one of the greatest challenges I faced was that of bridging the gap between academia and the real world experience when doing policy work. During many points I was question the Ecotype that summarises the dichotomy that exists between the ideal and reality. As policy makers are tasked with helping manage, mitigate and adapt to climate change and global warming, the ideal and reality are something that need to be given much consideration. This is seen in moving toward renewable energy or transitioning and weening off what are considered better fossil fuels such as fracked gas. This also invokes the dichotomy that exists between what is radical and what is incremental when thinking about this change and moving forward.

    One of the things I have been able to do through this experience and my reflections of current and past classes is think about the extent to which issues related to climate change and also global warming are extremely complex and complicated as a result of the number of stakeholders in each and also their connections to politics, law, policy, corporations and justice.

    Corporations influence politics and lobby in order to sustain their industries despite the fact that they are harmful to the environment and also may negatively impact specific communities. Policy makers and activists are thus tasked with fighting for both the human and nonhuman world and make efforts that can be both successful or unsuccessful depending on the law and state. However, with persistence many of their goals are met.

    Though I am constantly reminded that within these corporations there are people with families who are trying to support themselves and are sometimes painted as being the problem.

    Lastly, these thoughts employ me to think about scale in relation to the various environmental problems we face and also the people involved. All stakeholders and systems are interconnected and thus it is important that solutions take into account everyone of them. And so as I move forward in crafting the work that focuses on fracked gas and its usage I will be trying to think about all key actors and process within these industries and the people and how one can find ways to ensure the greatest benefit is afforded to all stakeholders.

    I would like to thank CSE for this opportunity, Elizabeth Safran my advisor and also the ENVS department and all professors I have taken classes with that will enable me to move forward in my work and develop my critical thinking skills.

    The post Reflections and looking forward. appeared first on Dintho tša lefase.

  • Liz Fehrenbach
    Liz Fehrenbach ’05 describes how her work in ENVS turned her on to a nursing degree.
  • December 2, 2019 at 12:44am

    The middle of the hourglass is now complete, therefore it is time to move to the bottom of the hourglass. The bottom of the hourglass is also broken into two parts, with the first part, the Comparison & Generalization and the Relevance to the Framing Question, being discussed here. This first step uses the middle of the hourglass as it is part of the situated context research, and broadens it out to address concerns coming from the top of the hourglass. This post, like ones before, will take the step of outlining what I will do in this particular section of the hourglass because I have not conducted enough empirical research yet.

    The Comparison and Generalization will allow for a clear yet defensible broadening of the results. This will start with starting with a summary for my focus question within my situated contexts, “What types of policy and technology were used to combat drought conditions and freshwater scarcity in arid and semi-arid regions in Southern California and Israel/Saudi Arabia? How effective were they and why?”. Using this focus question, this can be extended to other arid and semi-arid regions of the world that are similar to the ones mentioned here. Using this, a lateral comparison of the situated context to these to other similar, or even different, situated contexts based on current literature being used, new literature, and/or intuition. By conducting a comparison, this allows for the two situated contexts to be used as regions to look to regarding freshwater scarcity when dealing with these issues in other regions of the world. The Canary Islands, an archipelago of Spain located off the coast of Africa, could be an interesting place to use in this comparison. Finally, a vertical generalization of possible larger patterns relevant to this topic will be done through looking at geologic and climatic issues such as polar ice melt into the sea and eutrophication, as well as current policies and technology used to combat these issues. It would be interesting to see if there is overlap between the issue addressed in the middle of the hourglass and patterns relevant to this topic.

    After the entire top and middle of the hourglass is complete, and the comparison and generalization is conducted, it is important to look back on our framing question: “How can populations deal with freshwater scarcity?”. How this works is through a clear and provocative application of to the results obtained in the middle of the hourglass yet brings in the comparison and generalization above to have a focus on the framing question. It is possible this could be done by using the middle of the hourglass to understand, generally, how populations deal with freshwater scarcity as a whole. The situated research and the focus question indirectly answer the framing question, the difference is that it is more specific.

    Although this is the last “post” for ENVS 499, the next steps should be mentioned. The last step of the bottom of the hourglass is the next steps to take and further research. Also, to prepare for the poster celebration on December 11, a draft poster will be completed by the next and last group consultation. These posters, for both ENVS 350 and 499, represent work that is in-progress and by no means a finished product. Students will be at a different stage in their capstone preparation.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Katherine Jernigan working with students in a school garden in Chicago.
    Katherine Jernigan, BA ’15, works with school children in Chicago and found a way to combine her loves of the outdoors and cooking.
  • Erin Scheibe (’15) writes about her experiences pursuing a career in nursing after graduating from the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College.
  • December 6, 2019 at 4:14am

    After diving into the details of my two situated contexts it is important to connect them back to the rest of the world. My larger framing question wanted to see how forests could do good on both the local and international levels. This is a hard question to answer and relies on many different variables. From studying my situated contexts I have found that one important factor is the discrepancies in local ideas verse the global collective. In both the pacific northwest and the Brazil Amazon there has been a rise in populism which isolates the needs of the local over the global. In this sort of state, there is no possible way for there to be a match between the global and local needs. These are not isolated cases of populism either.

    I expect to find the literature on the rise of nationalism and populism around the globe. There are many reasons for this trend and it differs for each nation. The main similarity is that this way of thinking makes creating collective international solutions extremely difficult if not impossible. There needs to be a change in leadership and priorities on all levels of government. A realignment of values and goals will be necessary to combat transnational issues like climate changes and all the impacts that go along with a warming earth. One common policy that is suggested is a binding international treaty on climate change. This does not exist and getting countries with populist views to agree to it would be challenging but are the best way forward. There needs to be some sort of accountability for countries to reach environmental goals. While it is not part of my research I could see someone looking into the ways on how to change these populist perceptions and why they are still so prevalent today.

  • Jules Bailey and colleagues at OBRC
    ENVS Alumnus, Jules Bailey ’01, keeps Oregon’s bottle deposit and return program successful and relevant.  He is the Chief Stewardship Officer for the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative.
  • 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.
  • December 5, 2019 at 12:24pm

    As we continue to move down the hourglass, my results and analysis will begin to take shape. Seeing that I have yet to conduct my research in the field I can only anticipate my results based on the fact that I will be doing a comparative study between Kruger National Park and the Masai Mara. In thinking about the results that I anticipate I will begin by charting the similarities and  differences between these two places. 

    History: Both South Africa and Kenya/Tanzania  were colonised by the British for varying lengths of time. And so settlerism will have an impact on land use in the area. Through the process of colonialism, indigenous people in both countries were forced off their land to make space for the colonisers and so the ways in which land was used and conceptualised before has changed. When thinking about this in the context of conservation, historically during colonialism hunting parks were set up by the British for game hunting. Often, when the rulers saw that the populations of animals were decreasing and with changing tastes they began to set up game and safari parks. In this way both situated contexts will be similar as they have histories of settler colonialism and displacement caused by this.

    Ideology: Although during British colonialism indigenous knowledge was preserved and appropriated to varying extents, another point that will inform my analysis and results will be the tension that ensues from the western and indigenous ideologies regarding the question of nature. In many indigenous African languages, the word nature does not exist in the same way as it does in the English language. And so when one considers colonialism and land use, one can see that this tension manifests itself and continues to do so with development and industrialisation. This will be something I will explore in both situated contexts and keeping in mind as I conduct interviews with various stakeholders. After speaking to Jim, I will also consider how these ideologies differ and also not try to romanticise them, in aiming to translate these ideologies into English as best as I can

    Conservation approaches: Lastly, the most compelling argument one can state will impact my results and analysis is that of the differing conservation strategies used in the Masai Mara and Kruger National Park. This is a result of many differing factors which have yet to be explored, however, some are known to me at present, namely history and current policies. Kruger and the Masai Mara greatly differ in that the former uses a conservation biology approach, whereas the latter uses that of community based conservation. Which is also a strategy that is greatly employed in East Africa. These strategies, although not completely pure are mixed in their contexts. Thus the strategy will dictate the primary beneficiaries of each approach, reinforcing the notion that all case studies are contextual and there isn’t necessarily a “one size fits all” approach. 

    These are the main differences I anticipate will mostly impact my findings and analysis. In writing my thesis I hope to treat the subject in a way where it is the truest to itself and also accessible and understandable to others. 

    The post What To Expect When You’re Can’t Expect Anything appeared first on Dintho tša lefase.

  • December 17, 2019 at 5:06pm

    To culminate the work that I have been doing over the past semester on my theoretical framework we spent the last week putting together a scholarly poster to present our progress. It was interesting creating the poster because it does not feel as if my work is a finished product, but it definitely felt like a helpful step in understanding the direction that I will be moving in next. Communicating these ideas with others was also critical and helped me to think though my framework even more.

    Below is the image of my poster or click the link here to view a more enlargeable version.

  • December 1, 2019 at 9:43pm

    The middle of the hourglass is now complete, therefore it is time to move to the bottom of the hourglass. The bottom of the hourglass is also broken into two parts, with the first part, the Comparison & Generalization and the Relevance to the Framing Question, being discussed here. This first step uses the middle of the hourglass as it is part of the situated context research, and broadens it out to address concerns coming from the top of the hourglass. This post, like ones before, will take the step of outlining what I will do in this particular section of the hourglass because I have not conducted enough empirical research yet.

    The Comparison and Generalization will allow for a clear yet defensible broadening of the results. This will start with starting with a summary for my focus question within my situated contexts, “What types of policy and technology were used to combat drought conditions and freshwater scarcity in arid and semi-arid regions in Southern California and Israel/Saudi Arabia? How effective were they and why?”. Using this focus question, this can be extended to other arid and semi-arid regions of the world that are similar to the ones mentioned here. Using this, a lateral comparison of the situated context to these to other similar, or even different, situated contexts based on current literature being used, new literature, and/or intuition. By conducting a comparison, this allows for the two situated contexts to be used as regions to look to regarding freshwater scarcity when dealing with these issues in other regions of the world. The Canary Islands, an archipelago of Spain located off the coast of Africa, could be an interesting place to use in this comparison. Finally, a vertical generalization of possible larger patterns relevant to this topic will be done through looking at geologic and climatic issues such as polar ice melt into the sea and eutrophication, as well as current policies and technology used to combat these issues. It would be interesting to see if there is overlap between the issue addressed in the middle of the hourglass and patterns relevant to this topic.

    After the entire top and middle of the hourglass is complete, and the comparison and generalization is conducted, it is important to look back on our framing question: “How can populations deal with freshwater scarcity?”. How this works is through a clear and provocative application of to the results obtained in the middle of the hourglass yet brings in the comparison and generalization above to have a focus on the framing question. It is possible this could be done by using the middle of the hourglass to understand, generally, how populations deal with freshwater scarcity as a whole. The situated research and the focus question indirectly answer the framing question, the difference is that it is more specific.

    Although this is the last “post” for ENVS 499, the next steps should be mentioned. The last step of the bottom of the hourglass is the next steps to take and further research. Also, to prepare for the poster celebration on December 11, a draft poster will be completed by the next and last group consultation. These posters, for both ENVS 350 and 499, represent work that is in-progress and by no means a finished product. Students will be at a different stage in their capstone preparation.

  • November 24, 2019 at 11:00pm

    Over the past few weeks I have been working on rethinking my framework and the scholarly sources that I am going to be drawing from the construct it. After turning in my annotated bibliography I spent some time reflecting on the work that I had done, and after lots of thought realized that many of my sources were not going to help me in constructing a framework with depth I needed. I feel confidant now that I have found more key literature that backs up the key theories that I am constructing. 

    Below I have listed a few new key sources that have been critical in the construction of my key contributing theories. 

    Production, Consumption and Distribution of Food Products

    Looking back through old lists of sources I realized that in order to understand aspects of the food system I had to look at contemporary scholarly literature. Julie Guthman does a great job of bringing a fresh perspective many beliefs about consumption and production of food. She advocates for those who are marginalized by the system and urges readers to think about the bigger picture. The two articles that I have chosen of her work discuss the comparison between organic and conventionally grown food as well as theories about the personal responsibility of food consumption. Another prevalent author that I explored was Gyorgy Scrinis who wrote a book unpacking the idea of nutritionism. I believe that nutritionism plays a large role in people’s view of the food system as well as holding a lot of misconceptions. Understanding these views has helped me to see what the prevalent concerns are in food consumption and production aspects of this category that I was missing in my annotated bibliography. 

    Guthman, Julie. 2003. “Fast Food/Organic Food: Reflexive Tastes and the Making of ‘Yuppie Chow.’” Social & Cultural Geography 4 (1): 45.

    Guthman, Julie. 2007. “Can’t Stomach It: How Michael Pollan et al. Made Me Want to Eat Cheetos.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 7 (3): 75–79. https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2007.7.3.75.

    Scrinis, Gyorgy. 2013. Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice. Arts and Traditions of the Table. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Elementary Education Empowering Global Change

    Finally figuring out two big names in educational theory was game changing in the weaving together my education key theory. Both Paulo Freire and John Dewey were radical and influential in their educational beliefs. Freire believed in liberation and change came for students by overcoming oppression. This very liberal philosophy helped me to see how even fifty years ago people were thinking about education as a way to create independent thinkers. Dewey had similar liberal ideas, but believed that education should not be stagnant, a way to learn for the social spirit. Understanding these two scholars helped me to base my ideas of self discovery and student independence in theory.  

    Freire, Paulo. 2018. Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 50th Anniversary Edition. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.

    Dewey, John. 1923. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. Macmillan.

    Biophysical Aspects of Agriculture  

    For the final key theory I found my annotated bibliography to hold relevant for the most part in terms of sources about the impacts of agriculture. One new source that I did find though was about the importance of water and the many compilations it has with agriculture. This helped me to think about the comparison between the distance that food travels verse the lowest impact climate for it to be grown in. Overall it was helpful in thinking about one more biophysical impact of agriculture and the many complications surrounding it. 

    Holden, Joseph. 2014. Water Resources: An Integrated Approach. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

  • December 3, 2019 at 11:24pm

    Just as we did with Hurricane Katrina we can better understand the path, storms, and impact of the category 5 hurricane that hit Key West and its surrounding areas in 2005.

    GIS is a critical tool in natural disaster relief. Using GIS we can identify the path, extent, and impact of a disaster to assess the needs on the impacted population. The following report outlines how we can identify these factors of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi coast.

    To project the damage and issues that may occur from a natural disaster it is crucial to understand the basic geography of the region. Understanding the elements of the area provides insights on what infrastructure and populations are most at risk of damage.

    This map shows the location of the main places in Key West.

    Once we have a strong understanding of the region we can project how the hurricane’s impact it in terms of flooding. We can also use GIS to reflect the actual flooding that occurred during the storm as well. Below is a map showing the flooding that occurred form the hurricane.

    This map shows the flooding that came from the hurricane. From the image we can see that almost all churches and hospitals as well as the one airport experienced flooding. All of these places being flooded greatly increases damages for the population as resources are limited. This map and corresponding bar graph show that developed land experienced the most flooding, while wetlands experienced the least.

    GIS can be used to trace and project the hurricane’s path as well as project. The data provided is for the storm’s actual trajectory. Therefore we can trace its path. Data also allows us to understand the track of the storms through their wind speed and barometric pressure. Doing this provides a better understanding of how the storm progresses and its time frame.

    These visuals shows the track of the hurricane as well as its varying wind speed and barometric pressure. The graph of wind speeds shows us that the wind speed of the contributing storms oscillate every 11 hours throughout the hurricane, gradually increasing for about 4-6 hours then decreasing for about 4-6 hours. The graph on barometric pressure shows us that the pressure of the storms gradually decreased for the first 15 hours and then fairly consistently increased for the rest of the storm.

    To further assess the damage of the hurricane we can use Landstat imagery to provide a more detailed visualization of the land. NASA’s Landstat collects images of earth using filters for different wavelengths. These images are collected in bands of different shades of grey. These bands are then put together in various combinations to create color images. We can create a true color band which has bands 1,2, and 3 and creates an image similar to what we would usually see (first figure below). We can also create an image that shows more intricate details of the land such as clearer water boundaries, roads, and buildings by including another color band, band 4, which shows near-infrared wavelengths (second figure below). The same image can also be represented differently using unsupervised classification. Such a classification makes ISO clusters, groupings of pixels, that represent different features such as soil, water, or roads on the image (last figure below).

    The images show Key West using filters for different wavelengths. Together, they provide a 3 clear depictions: 1) what a human eye would see looking at the coast (from a bird’s eye view) 2) where chlorophyll is most reflected, which indicates where there is healthy plants 3) The levels of development throughout the island.

  • Eva Johnson (’15) describes her trajectory after graduating Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Environmental Studies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • November 25, 2019 at 2:02am

    img_8334.jpg

    Over the past few weeks I have been working on rethinking my framework and the scholarly sources that I am going to be drawing from the construct it. After turning in my annotated bibliography I spent some time reflecting on the work that I had done, and after lots of thought realized that many of my sources were not going to help me in constructing a framework with depth I needed. I feel confidant now that I have found more key literature that backs up the key theories that I am constructing. 

    Below I have listed a few new key sources that have been critical in the construction of my key contributing theories. 

    Production, Consumption and Distribution of Food Products

    Looking back through old lists of sources I realized that in order to understand aspects of the food system I had to look at contemporary scholarly literature. Julie Guthman does a great job of bringing a fresh perspective many beliefs about consumption and production of food. She advocates for those who are marginalized by the system and urges readers to think about the bigger picture. The two articles that I have chosen of her work discuss the comparison between organic and conventionally grown food as well as theories about the personal responsibility of food consumption. Another prevalent author that I explored was Gyorgy Scrinis who wrote a book unpacking the idea of nutritionism. I believe that nutritionism plays a large role in people’s view of the food system as well as holding a lot of misconceptions. Understanding these views has helped me to see what the prevalent concerns are in food consumption and production aspects of this category that I was missing in my annotated bibliography. 

    Guthman, Julie. 2003. “Fast Food/Organic Food: Reflexive Tastes and the Making of ‘Yuppie Chow.’” Social & Cultural Geography 4 (1): 45.

    Guthman, Julie. 2007. “Can’t Stomach It: How Michael Pollan et al. Made Me Want to Eat Cheetos.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 7 (3): 75–79. https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2007.7.3.75.

    Scrinis, Gyorgy. 2013. Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice. Arts and Traditions of the Table. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Elementary Education Empowering Global Change

    Finally figuring out two big names in educational theory was game changing in the weaving together my education key theory. Both Paulo Freire and John Dewey were radical and influential in their educational beliefs. Freire believed in liberation and change came for students by overcoming oppression. This very liberal philosophy helped me to see how even fifty years ago people were thinking about education as a way to create independent thinkers. Dewey had similar liberal ideas, but believed that education should not be stagnant, a way to learn for the social spirit. Understanding these two scholars helped me to base my ideas of self discovery and student independence in theory.  

    Freire, Paulo. 2018. Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 50th Anniversary Edition. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.

    Dewey, John. 1923. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. Macmillan.

    Biophysical Aspects of Agriculture  

    For the final key theory I found my annotated bibliography to hold relevant for the most part in terms of sources about the impacts of agriculture. One new source that I did find though was about the importance of water and the many compilations it has with agriculture. This helped me to think about the comparison between the distance that food travels verse the lowest impact climate for it to be grown in. Overall it was helpful in thinking about one more biophysical impact of agriculture and the many complications surrounding it. 

    Holden, Joseph. 2014. Water Resources: An Integrated Approach. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

  • 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.
  • Aly Robinson (’11) writes about her work in environmental education and public health after graduating from Lewis & Clark College’s Environmental Studies Program.
  • 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.
  • December 10, 2019 at 9:02am

    For finals week we are each bringing in a material object that represents theory. I am going to bring in an object that is used to create other objects. It was made for a purpose, to justify the creation of another object just as theory is used to understand other phenomena. I am not going to disclose what my object is quite yet, check in next week to find out what it is…

  • November 24, 2019 at 11:23pm

    policymakers-collaborating-twitter.jpg

    The last Isms critique is finally here and for my last one, I will be looking at Environmental science and public policy. Once again, all isms critiques are from Companion to Environmental Studies. Summary Environmental problems are more difficult and embody more aspects than other types of public policy. Environmental problems can be irreversible and … Continue reading It looks Great on Paper
  • December 18, 2019 at 5:07pm

    As the semester comes to an end and I am tasked with various new projects and wrapping up others, as I move forward another one of the projects I will be working on will that be related to helping track Big Timber money.

    As previously stated in another post, it has been reported that the Timber industry is the number one emitter of greenhouse gases in the state of Oregon. This is in slight opposition with the assumption that Oregon is a green state both literally and metaphorically. The Pacific Northwest is well known for its lush, dense and evergreen forests which give locals and various tourists the opportunity to take hikes to areas that aren’t impacted by heavy industrialisation.

    Furthermore, these trails are immersed in the hills, valleys, creeks and lakes of the state, and not only allow people to hike but are also designated shooting areas and places where timber is harvested.

    The presence of forests has benefits for both the human and nonhuman worlds. Moreover, as a carbon-neutral economy is being crafted through various policies, they are also seen as one of the many possible a carbon sinks for the world. Thus, the potential for forests of the northwest is immense when related to how they can be used in adapting to global warming and climate change. However, to further complicate this matter one must also consider that not all carbon is created equal. The opportunity for carbon sinks in old growth forests is greater than that of newer monocrop ones that are reforested as part of timber practices. Additionally, the potential for carbon storage rests on the age of the forest and thus newer ones will only be helpful after 100 years.

    And so as the management of the forests of the Pacific Northwest changes in lieu with the demands of environmental policies, one must also consider the ways in which the forests are to be maintained as current fire suppression practices put the forests and their surrounding areas at great risk in the event of a fire, such as that in Eagle Creek. Furthermore, the Eagle Creek fire of 2017 was exasperated by many other factors notably that of keeping the forests of Oregon dense and lush, which greatly contrasts with their natural state of health as 100 years ago, they were less dense and with more defined layers.

    Thus in the fight for protecting forests, one must also consider the ways in which they are to be managed and whether or not they will be restored to their previous state- which would allow some type of logging, or if they are to be managed as they are and recreated completely.

    The post Big Timber and Philosophy appeared first on Dintho tša lefase.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • December 5, 2019 at 12:24pm

    Reflecting back on the framing question: Is conservation beneficial?, the overall topic of my thesis study relates to many questions and issues including those of the rights of indigenous people, co-management of conservation areas and also the effects of colonialism on the human and nonhuman worlds. The contexts of Kruger National Park and Masai Mara are especially important and intriguing as a result of the number of stakeholders that are involved in both human (tourists, management and indigenous people) and nonhuman (flora and fauna). Kruger National Park also offers itself as an exception in the global context considering the fact that part of it was expropriated back to the Makuleke tribe, who chose to not resettle on land that was lawfully declared land. This touches upon the question of the nature/ culture binary and their changing notions in the postcolonial world and also speaks to the impacts of settler colonialism. This is in stark contrast to the cases seen in other parts of the world, most notably the USA, where indigenous people are given limited or no agency over protected lands.The study of different contexts and their ignored and considered stakeholders will be evermore important as conservation principles and their underlying ideologies continue to evolve and be questioned given their historical origins. 

    In the case of the Masai Mara, when considering the way in which history unfolded and settlers were not left in the country but international experts are important in aiding the nation move forward in the context of postcolonial development, the conservation strategy employed is that of community based conservation. In this way, the relationships between the indigenous people and the land could be said to be restored to a certain extent as they live in a manner that does not separate them from the nonhuman world in the same way. 

    However, when exploring the question of beneficiality all stakeholders and their values must be considered, as well as the dominant ideology guiding their values and whether it is something that all involved parties agree on.

    In moving forward, I will be refining my methodology so that I ensure the comparative study is fair and explores both case studies to the fullest extent possible within this capacity.

    And I intend to consider and define beneficiality so that I can address my posed question adequately. 

    Finally, I will conduct my research and continue to rework my written outcome, and be transparent as I do so. I will also consider all other elements of the bottom of the hourglass and discuss them as much as I am able to. 

    The post Moving forward appeared first on Dintho tša lefase.

  • Charlotte Copp
    ENVS alumna, Charlotte Copp ’18, explores the field of GIS.  She is currently a GIS intern for the City of Lake Oswego.
  • December 6, 2019 at 1:15am

    After diving into the details of my two situated contexts it is important to connect them back to the rest of the world. My larger framing question wanted to see how forests could do good on both the local and international levels. This is a hard question to answer and relies on many different variables. From studying my situated contexts I have found that one important factor is the discrepancies in local ideas verse the global collective. In both the pacific northwest and the Brazil Amazon there has been a rise in populism which isolates the needs of the local over the global. In this sort of state, there is no possible way for there to be a match between the global and local needs. These are not isolated cases of populism either.

    I expect to find the literature on the rise of nationalism and populism around the globe. There are many reasons for this trend and it differs for each nation. The main similarity is that this way of thinking makes creating collective international solutions extremely difficult if not impossible. There needs to be a change in leadership and priorities on all levels of government. A realignment of values and goals will be necessary to combat transnational issues like climate changes and all the impacts that go along with a warming earth. One common policy that is suggested is a binding international treaty on climate change. This does not exist and getting countries with populist views to agree to it would be challenging but are the best way forward. There needs to be some sort of accountability for countries to reach environmental goals. While it is not part of my research I could see someone looking into the ways on how to change these populist perceptions and why they are still so prevalent today.

  • Osamu Kumasaka
    ENVS alumnus Osamu Kumasaka ’16, describes his path to working in environmental conflict resolution.  He is a Junior Associate at the Consensus Building Institute in Boston, MA.
  • Julia Huggins BA '13 at the Lynn Canal, Alaska.
    Julia Huggins BA ’13 has been awarded the Vanier Scholarship to continue her PhD in biogeochemistry at the University of British Columbia, where she is the chief scientist of the oceanography research program. The scholarship will fund her research on oxygen loss in the oceans and the environmental impact of marine microorganisms.
  • Emma Redfoot (’13) describes her indirect path toward studying nuclear engineering after graduating Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Environmental Studies.
  • Robin Zeller
    Robin Zeller ’15 describes how ENVS lead to a degree in medical anthropology.
  • December 3, 2019 at 11:24pm

    GIS is a critical tool in natural disaster relief. Using GIS we can identify the path, extent, and impact of a disaster to assess the needs on the impacted population. The following report outlines how we can identify these factors of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi coast.

    To project the damage that may occur from a natural disaster and analyze how the natural disaster will impact the area’s population it is crucial to understand the basic geography of the region. Understanding the elements of the area provides insights on what infrastructure and populations are most at risk of damage.

    This map shows the location of the main places on the Mississippi coast. From the image we can see that most of the hospitals are located near the coast, which is cause for concern because those areas will experience the most flooding. The image also shows island off the coast which will be put in danger of high levels of flooding. The land elevations throughout the area corroborate projections of high levels of flooding near the coast of the mainland and islands.

    Once we have a strong understanding of the region we can project how the hurricane’s impact it in terms of flooding. We can also use GIS to reflect the actual flooding that occurred during the storm as well. Below is a map showing the flooding that occurred form the hurricane.

    This map shows how the flooding that occurred from the hurricane. Some of the hospitals and churches in Harrison County were not in flood zones. However, much of Hancock and Jackson county’s agriculture, wetlands, and forests were flooded, subsequently flooding many of their hospitals and churches as well. This bar graph shows how the flooded land is broken down by land type. Since the wetlands are closer to the coast and are by nature susceptible to flooding, they make up 55% of total flooded land. This table shows the amount of land that was flooded for each land type. Developed land experienced the most flooding out of all land types, while agriculture experienced the least.

    GIS can be used to trace and project the hurricane’s path as well as project. The data provided is for the storm’s actual trajectory. Therefore we can trace its path. Data also allows us to understand the track of the storms through their wind speed and barometric pressure. Doing this provides a better understanding of how the storm progresses and its time frame.




    These visuals shows the track of the hurricane as well as its varying wind speed and barometric pressure. The graph of wind speeds shows us that the wind speed of the contributing storms rapidly increase after two hours and, despite a dip in wind speed around 9 hours in and a stabilization of wind speeds between 16-18 hours in, wind speeds continued to rise until the hurricane’s highest wind speed at 21 hours. After that, the storms’ wind speeds declined steadily for about 7 hours. he varying barometric pressure throughout the hurricane. The graph on barometric pressure shows us that with the exception of two small rises, the barometric pressure steadily decreased for the first 20 hours of the hurricane and steadily increased for its final 8 hours. 

    To further assess the damage of the hurricane we can use Landstat imagery to provide a more detailed visualization of the land. NASA’s Landstat collects images of earth using filters for different wavelengths. These images are collected in bands of different shades of grey. These bands are then put together in various combinations to create color images. We can create a true color band which has bands 1,2, and 3 and creates an image similar to what we would usually see (first figure below). We can also create an image that shows more intricate details of the land such as clearer water boundaries, roads, and buildings by including another color band, band 4, which shows near-infrared wavelengths (second figure below). The same image can also be represented differently using unsupervised classification. Such a classification makes ISO clusters, groupings of pixels, that represent different features such as soil, water, or roads on the image (last figure below).

    The images show Mississippi’s coast using filters for different wavelengths. Together, they provide a 3 clear depictions: 1) what a human eye would see looking at the coast (from a bird’s eye view) 2) where chlorophyll is most reflected, which indicates where there is healthy plants 3) Where water, wetland, vegetation, residential, and urban spaces are on the coast.

  • Rachael Lipinski (’09), a graduate of the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College, writes about her time working as an environmental attorney.
  • 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.
  • December 17, 2019 at 2:06pm

    To culminate the work that I have been doing over the past semester on my theoretical framework we spent the last week putting together a scholarly poster to present our progress. It was interesting creating the poster because it does not feel as if my work is a finished product, but it definitely felt like a helpful step in understanding the direction that I will be moving in next. Communicating these ideas with others was also critical and helped me to think though my framework even more.

    Below is the image of my poster or click the link here to view a more enlargeable version.

  • November 25, 2019 at 12:10pm

    Nicole Seymour’s section in Companion to Environmental Studies on Queer Ecology cover’s queer ecology as a conceptual framework for understanding the intersection of sexual and environmental issues. It considers how heterosexuality in particular as a human norm influences how we relate with the natural world. Activism and art have been a large part of this discussion, peices of queer ecology have come from queer theory, posthuman studies, feminism, and evolutionary biology to nme a few of the diverse disciplines. Seymore says that the modern sexual identities arose with the rise of neoliberal capitalism and carbon-based economies. Typically, according to Seymore the natural is depicted as reproductivity, health, futurity and heterosexuality. The queer, she argues is associated with urbanity, disease, and death. Queer ecology challenges these associations, pointing out there the treatment of queers and treatment of nature have things in common. Queer ecology has an interesting relationship with science, often focusing on how heteronormativity either creates bias in scientific observation or using scienticif findings to deconstruct heterosexuality and what is “normal” sexuality in nature. In addition, considering how gender and sexuality are constructions can stretch to a consideration how the purity of nature is a construction. There is an argument that is queerness is a deviation from the norm, then evolutionary biology itself can be considered queer becuase of it relies of a deviation from the norm. Seymore describes how queer ecology is both abstract and theoretical in nature as well as situated in spaces such as rural farm spaces, camgrounds and public parks. She covers debates and critisisms of queer ecology, arguing that while some advocate specifically for LGBTQ communities through critisism, others generalize the term, therefore neutrilizing its political implications. She discusses how queer ecology has been developed primarily why white scholars, although it aims to challenge the whiteness of mainstream environmentalism. Seymour mentions that queer ecology is diversifying, with many contributions coming from Japan and brazil,as well as a queer ecological politis of gentrification emerging to study how public greening projects lead to gentrification. In addition, she mentions how in the future queer ecology may be used more frequently as tool for grappling with our current messy reality instead falling into overly  optimistic or extremist camps. 

    This discussion of how queer ecology can encourage us to confront a messy reality seems like is might fall under the cartegory of generalizing and neutralizing the term queer. I don’t think that means it shouldnt be used in that way, in fact I really like the idea of queer ecology as a toll for a messy reality. However, I think further discussion needs to be had about how to do this without politically neutrilizing the term queer, if that is possible, and how to proceed if not. 

    I am thinking of using queer theory in my theory framework, to discuss artists who are effetively sitting with messy and complex realities without drfitng towards extremism. This chapter was important for me to consider because of the potential problem that I mentioned above, regarding the challenge of using queer theory to discuss something that diverges from discussion of LGBTQ communities without neutrilizing or generalizing the term. 

  • November 25, 2019 at 12:10pm

    This week in ENVS 350 we mainly focused on refining our theory and framework paper outlines. A preliminary exercise for writing this was creating a map of the theories that are informing our research. I recently decided to change my research project, so at this point I am redoing aspects of my annotated bibliography, and reconstructing my framing questions, while still considering the theories I have researched so far that relate to my new topic. 

    As environmental art is experiencing time in the spotlight of the art world, many artists have taken up the idea of the Anthropocene in their work. Some artists engage with the Anthropocene in rich, critical ways, predominantly positioning all that the Anthropocene does to erase racism, mass incarceration, the responsibility of capitalism and industrialization in environmental issues, and other violent power structures as well as scientists and geologist’s arguments about the importance of officially establishing it. Others work with a simpler, reductionist view of the Anthropocene. Artists and scholars who are engaging in this discussion of the Anthropocene have proposed a proliferation of alternative names for current epoch, from the better known Capitolocene, Cthulhuene, and Plantationocene, to the polycene, roughly understood as the epoch of many names. Each claim to include the central force of this new epoch. 

    I know I want to write about this topic but I am not sure exactly how. I previously proposed using art as a visual resource for assessing various proposed “-cenes” and the worlds they suggest. Another valuable way I could take this work is to consider how I might assess the rich vs. reductionist ways that artists and scholars consider the Anthropocene and is various argued modes of erasure.

    *Update: A few days after writing this update post my insightful friend Poppy (who is writing her grad thesis on very similar themes) sat down and helped me work through my ideas so far. She proposed that to bring a discussion of reductionism vs. richness back to theory, I reference queer theory as discipline with which to look at how artists and scholars are “queering” the anthropocene. As Nicole Seymore mentions in her excerpt on queer ecology in Companion to Environmental Studies, queer theory and ecology is begining to be used as a mode of “grappling with our messy reality, in which environmetnal destruction is already here.” I plant to consider how in queering the anthropocene, artists and scholars are attempting to remedy various ways that the Anthropocene erases historical narratives of power and destruction. I will go into details of my new proposed theoretical framework in future posts. 

  • 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.
  • Environmental Studies and Economics major Aaron Fellows ’16 talks about his summer internship with the International Economic Development Council.
  • December 5, 2019 at 10:05pm

    Urban development is a spatial problem. Therefore, we can use GIS to inform its issues. In the following report I outline the spatial analyses that build to an understanding of what parts of San Diego, CA are most suitable for urban development.

    First we need a strong understanding of San Diego’s basic geographic layout.

    This map of San Diego shows us the most of the urban areas are the Western side of the city while the parks are on the Eastern side. It also shows us that highways exist throughout the city (as expected) and the higher elevation are on the East side where there are fewer urban areas. This may be because it can be more difficult to develop at higher elevations.

    Second, we can identify how close different regions are to highways, parks, and urban areas as well as how high the land is from sea level. These features determine land’s (property) value and are considered in urban planning so that development occurs in the most desirable spot.

    These maps show us the distances from features of San Diego as well as the elevation throughout the city. Such spatial data will be necessary in determining what land is suitable for development.

    The most desirable land to develop on is subjective to planners. For this case study we prefer close proximity to urban areas and highways, long distances from parks, and medium elevation. These features of proximity and elevation can be calculated using a fuzzy membership tool. This tool produces a visual representation of how desirable different areas are according to an individual specific characteristic.

    These maps so what regions are most suitable for development according to the planners’ preferences. This diagram reflects how the fuzzy membership and overlay tools can be used to determine the most suitable areas for development according to one preference or multiple. The diagram shows that in this case, the preferences for development is land that is far from a park, close to an urban area, close to a highway, and in middle elevation.

    While we can determine the desirability of land based on a single feature using the fuzzy membership tool, the desirability of land to develop on is determined based on a combination of features. We can use the fuzzy overlay AND tool to produce a visualization of how land is desirable based on all the spatial preferences combined. Doing so produces a map of the most desirable places to develop land.

    What land is most suitable for developing varies through space and time. The steps this report outlines takes the planners’ preferences and analyzes San Diego’s physical features to determine what regions will be the best for development.