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The quest for knowledge follows winding pathways, now generally traveled electronically, creating a web of connections. In visualizing my bibliography I wanted to convey the interconnected nature of the references that I have drawn upon for my work studying state-level environmental justice policies.
Environmental justice can be defined as a movement to address human needs while caring for the environment and using resources sustainably. Environmental justice is intertwined with other social justice issues, and confronts racism, poverty, and negative public health impacts caused by the production of toxic materials and other environmental injustices, which are disparately shouldered by low income communities of color. From a policy perspective, environmental justice policies are meant to include “the meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” (EPA, 2018).
The Environmental Justice Principles guide my research, as I seek to analyze if and how states have incorporated these Principles into their environmental justice policies. The Principles are featured in my visualization, scribbled on, roughly coded, and highlighted. I began my master’s degree exploring federal, national studies on environmental justice, which are primarily depicted on the left-hand side of the piece, which then connects to state-level research. My MPP essay focuses on environmental justice policies and activism in three states: Oregon, New Mexico, and Michigan. I am an embroidery artist, and decided to create my web of connection using embroidery thread, and to add the three states that are the focus of my research as watercolor additions. On the right side of the visualization, references to theory are intertwined with sources exploring community organizing, indigenous research methodologies, and explorations of what ‘justice’ means. The intersectional nature of my work is mirrored in this fluid, suspended piece, each strand of thread creating stronger bonds and each reference illuminating my way.
Forest harvesting frequently influences the volume of streamflow within managed watersheds. For my thesis, I analyzed 50 years of 15-minute resolution data for seven different watersheds in the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. Within this site some watersheds are covered in old growth forest (over 500 years old) and other watersheds have been entirely clearcut. My main goal was to explore how the distribution of water across the landscape shifts as a forest regrows after harvest, using the old growth forested watersheds as my reference. I isolated individual storm events and calculated a ratio of how much of the incoming precipitation ended up in the streams. While it is a simple metric, this ratio can help reveal the partitioning of water across the landscape. All of the precipitation from a storm event that does not end up in the stream must be stored somewhere else within the watershed. If you imagine dumping a large bucket of water onto the watershed, some of the water may accumulate in the stream and some may be caught on the leaves of the trees or within the mosses and lichens in the forest canopy. If it is cold enough, some water may be temporarily stored in a snowpack. Water could also be absorbed by the organic matter that accumulates on the forest floor.
For my animation, I have chosen to focus on the changing hydrological processes associated with young forest regrowth. We observed that the ratio of the precipitation that ended up in the streams of harvested watersheds declined through time. As a forest regrows, different species of trees establish themselves and more mosses and lichens colonize on their branches. This helps the forest canopy store more water, and in turn, less water is left to be partitioned to the stream. When trees start to grow in, the forest becomes denser, and snowpack depth decreases since more of the snow is caught in the trees, rather than falling to the forest floor. Less snow accumulation means that there will be less snowmelt in the spring, so streamflow will decrease. With time, organic matter like decaying logs and mosses accumulate on the forest floor. This layer is very effective at storing water. As more water is absorbed by the organic matter, less water is in the stream.
In my visualization, I have included scans of sources that relate to all of these hydrologic processes, only including portions of the papers that I had highlighted as being relevant to these changing water storage areas. On the left-hand side there are references related to snow. Within the stream are citations that focus on changing streamflow volumes. On the right-hand side are references that relate to the storage of water in the forest canopy and forest floor. As the animation plays, the forest is regrowing. I have changed the size of the references to reflect the size of these different water storage pools. For example, as the references on the right increase in size, they are reflecting how as the forest regrows, more and more water is being stored in the forest canopy and the forest floor, meaning less water is available to the stream.
— Emily Crampe
Water Resources Science
The thesis of this work is to illustrate how ostracism within coral science is limiting the preservation of coral reefs. Thus far, a large community of scientists has made great progress to address the coral reef crisis. However, the frequency and prevalence and of coral bleaching has increased and, still, many questions remain unresolved and current solutions are not scalable. I argue that social inequities are excluding information and new perspectives that would address the coral reef crisis. The motivation of this piece is to encourage scientists to be accountable for permitting inclusion to promote the progress of science.
From a distance, you can see a coral losing brown pigment at the top of its branches due to a process known as coral bleaching. During sustained ocean warming, corals will lose their symbiotic algae, exposing white skeleton underneath their clear tissue. During bleaching, corals begin to starve and often die as a result, making bleaching an ongoing threat that has serious economic, cultural, and ecological consequences worldwide.
Upon closer view, you can see the faces of the authors cited in my dissertation proposal. Their work has been foundational to understanding coral-algal symbiosis. This mosaic of scientists represents a network of people working collaboratively – this parallels the network of polyps that connect to form a colonial coral colony. Nevertheless, these scientists are struggling with many unanswered questions about various aspects of coral bleaching and agree that they are running out of time to preserve coral reefs. The future of corals is dire as 70% to 90% of corals are predicted to be extinct if temperatures increase by 1.5°C.
Upon a closer examination of the authors, you will notice the underrepresentation of women and people of color. The systemic racial and gender bias entrenched in various aspects of science is well documented. I was curious about the gender imbalance in my own research proposal. For the first time, I have tracked the gender ratio in my sources. I have wrongly believed that all was well within my work. Out of 107 references, comprising of 475 authors, only 32% of the cited authors were women and a staggering 23% of my references featured no women authors.* These numbers are distressing and the low number of female authors (and people of color) excludes perspectives and details in formal investigations about coral science. This missing detail creates a pixelated image that lacks clarity. To reduce the granularity, coral scientists must begin to acknowledge and actively welcome more perspectives from underrepresented groups.
— Valeri Lapacek
121 The Valley Library
Corvallis OR 97331–4501