APCG Conference Abstracts

2014 Abstracts

Disconnections and Mobilities amongst the ‘Erased’ Youth of Slovenia

Author: Stuart Aitken
Email Address: saitken@mail.sdsu.edu
Affiliation: SDSU

Abstract: This paper is about the struggles of Izbrisani (‘Erased’) youth in Slovenia from 1992 to the present day. It looks at the familial stresses (including the break-up of families and families locked in place) caused by loss of permanent resident status and failure to gain citizenship status after Slovenia achieved independence. In seemingly arbitrary institutional processes, some family members gained citizenship status while other did not. Theoretical insights are drawn from Agamben’s ideas about bare life and Rancière’s politicization of aesthetics; empirical examples are drawn from the spatial stories of Izbrisani youth.

Independence, Security, and Natural Gas Geopolitics between the European Union and Russia

Author: Michelle K. Alger
Email Address: malger@uoregon.edu
Affiliation: The University of Oregon

Abstract: This paper examines the geopolitics of energy security between the European Union (EU) and Russia through the lens of natural gas. It is well-documented that Russia uses its monopoly on energy infrastructure to influence the political and economic situation of those Western neighbors who heavily rely on its natural gas exports. Such influence is seen as a threat to European state sovereignty and regional security, and in 2009 the EU passed “The Third Energy Package” to address these concerns. Drawing on two case studies, the building of a floating liquefied natural gas terminal named “Independence” on Lithuania's Baltic Sea coast and the annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, this paper argues that the two main objectives of the energy package—a secure, reliable supply and reduced Russian influence—are in conflict with one another. This paper concludes that ensuring a secure supply of natural gas to Europe is coming at the price of Ukrainian territory and sovereignty, and challenges notions of state and regional security which neglect human and environmental security.

Using water smart design and an ecosystem services approach to fight solar heat islanding and enhance renewable energy production

Author: Greg Barron-Gafford
Email Address: gregbg@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona
Co-Author(s):Rebecca Minor
, Co-Author(s):Maggie Heard
, Co-Author(s):Jordan Barrows
, Co-Author(s):Nathan Allen

Abstract: Renewable energy power production through photovoltaic modules (PV) is important from both an economic perspective and as a means for mitigating climatic change. However, PV-based energy production is, itself, sensitive to climate projections, as any increase in temperature yields a reduction in panel efficiency. Ultimately, the predicted 4oC increase in temperature would reduce energy production 2.5%. Identifying means of increasing PV efficiencies is key for state and regional development. Here, we take a novel ecosystems approach and create a hybrid of “green” and “grey” infrastructure to address this issue. Our approach is grounded in a understanding of patterns of energy fluxes and a desire to implement water smart design. Further, we aim to augment the total ecosystem services of these built environments, whether rural or urban, to extend beyond renewable energy sites to ones that can also serve as migratory corridors (as opposed to areas more void of biology) or point of crop production. In merging the concepts from ecology, physics, hydrology, and atmospheric science, we aim to directly impacts issues related to biogeography, economics, air quality, water availability, and ecosystem resilience.

Arcadian Dreams and Anti-modern Migrations

Author: Ian Berdanier
Email Address: berdian@isu.edu
Affiliation: Idaho State University

Abstract: This research examines various streams of Western anti-modern thought, through cultural movements from the Victorian era to present. What a few cultural critics and historians have described as anti-modern, a loosely organized alternative to the prevailing modern rationalization of the social and economic milieu since the early nineteenth century, has not been unanimous in its intentions or goals, and through compromise with urban-industrial rationalization, has often been absorbed by the very modernity it sought to resist. Consequently, much of the Anglo-American trend can be more accurately described as postmodern, as it becomes tangential at best to original principles of a particular social movement; or, resting on no pre-modern creed or authority, essentially a dilettante primitivist folk-play as a distraction from what Jackson Lears has dubbed “over-civilization.” In the vast Anglo-Celtic migrations of nineteenth-century colonialism, a geographic distribution is detected, favoring modernist principles in the Anglo-American sphere in contrast to an anti-modernist underwriting of the Antipodean migrations. Notwithstanding Thomas Arnold the younger's failed attempt at agrarian simple life in New Zealand, his and others' correspondence with the Old World, together with second-generation Romantic artists' depictions of Pacific “noble savagery,” signal intentional differences that existed among colonial emigrants.

Evaluation of NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis Variables in Statistical Downscaling of Daily Precipitation in Southern California

Author: Curt Blondell
Email Address: cblon22@csu.fullerton.edu
Affiliation: California State University, Fullerton

Abstract: This paper examines large-scale regional atmospheric controls on orographic precipitation enhancement throughout Southern California, using a 40-year dataset of station precipitation and gridded atmospheric variables obtained from the National Center for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis product. The goal is to determine atmospheric predictors of daily precipitation in Southern California, and to evaluate whether atmospheric variables at a coarse spatial resolution, can be statistically downscaled to provide an understanding of surface climate variability in a region of complex terrain. This paper performs discriminant analysis on NCEP-NCAR reanalysis variables to determine what variables can be used as predictor variables to identify days that will receive precipitation and those days that will not. Atmospheric variables, such as zonal and meridional wind components, along with other atmospheric variables, are evaluated as predictors that promote or hinder orographic precipitation for a given locality. Accordingly, it is concluded that NCEP-NCAR reanalysis can be downscaled as a dependable predictor of precipitation at the sub-grid level, and can serve to construct more precise predictions of orographic precipitation events in Southern California.

Food Deserts, Stigmatized Neighborhoods and the Potential for More Just Food Landscapes

Author: Fernando Bosco
Email Address: fbosco@mail.sdsu.edu
Affiliation: San Diego State University
Co-Author(s):Pascale Joassart-Marcelli

Abstract: Much research is devoted to measuring characteristics of local food environments in relation to issues of food access and health. The concept of “food deserts” is often used to emphasize local deficits in healthy food. Policymakers propose to address such deficits by attracting large grocery stores or by encouraging community gardens and farmers markets as alternative approaches to food provision. Building upon recent literature in alternative food practices, we draw attention to the process of place stigmatization that occurs when neighborhoods are labeled as food deserts. Adopting a critical GIS approach, we combine data from food retailer audits with in-depth interviews of storeowners and community stakeholders in Southeastern San Diego to explore an area that has been designated as a food desert. Our goal is to provide a richer description of the urban food landscape that includes the small neighborhood shops, bodegas and liquor stores where residents of low-income communities shop for food, acquire knowledge, cultivate taste, and develop subjectivities that inform their relationship to food. We argue that the stigmatization of some of these food landscapes draws attention to the classed, gendered and racialized ways in which food practices are interpreted and produced.

Sub-annual tree-ring climate records and the impacts of climate extremes in the Four Corners region, USA

Author: Becky Brice
Email Address: rlbrice@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona
Co-Author(s):Connie A. Woodhouse
, Co-Author(s):Michael A. Crimmins

Abstract: In the Four Corners region of the American Southwest inter-seasonal variations in duration, intensity and timing of precipitation and temperature are important to cultural and agricultural activities. Annual precipitation totals may often obscure intra-seasonal spatial and temporal moisture variability, masking the dominant features of droughts and drought impacts to tribes in the region. Because instrumental climate data are limited, we explore the potential for earlywood and latewood tree-ring measurements in Psuedotsuga menziesii and Pinus ponderosa to serve as drought impact recorders of long-term drought and climate variability in this region. First, we examine relationships between tree rings and indices of climate extremes in precipitation and temperature from the World Meteorological Organization. Second, focusing on specific seasons and climate variables most likely to contribute to the severity of drought impacts, we explore the possibility to reconstruct these seasonal climate conditions prior to the instrumental record. Finally, we investigate the correspondence between synoptic scale climate dynamics operating on inter-annual to decadal time scales and specific droughts. If tree-ring measurements can be used as a proxy for drought impacts, reflecting combinations of seasonal elements of drought, then reconstructions can document impacts during periods of drought in the Four Corners over past centuries.

Discourses of Anxiety and the Geographies of Obsession

Author: Catherine Brooks
Email Address: cfbrooks@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona
Co-Author(s):Vin Del Casino

Abstract: In recent years, geographers have engaged more directly with concerns related to mental health. This work has taken a number of different trajectories, from historical accounts of the changing meanings and spaces of mental health to the embodied emotional experiences of people living with mental health issues or illnesses. What is clear, is that mental health is inextricably linked to a variety of socio-spatial practices. In this paper, we interrogate the emotional geographies of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a disease that is still largely understudied and yet is clearly affecting the lives of more people every day. Empirically, this paper draws from an analysis of the A&E series, Obsessed, which documents the lives of people living with OCD. While we understand that such a data set is at best a partial, edited representation of OCD, it gives us a unique insight into the spatialities of living with OCD by documenting some of the more intense cases of the disease. What this paper suggests is that mental health geographies can do more to engage with the ever-changing landscapes of anxiety disorders, of which OCD is but one manifestation. What this paper shows is that living with OCD is always already about the management of the social and spatial self.

Theorizing the economics of transit migration: Migrant delay and detention en route to the United States

Author: Mario Bruzzone
Email Address: bruzzone@wisc.edu
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin–Madison

Abstract: A burgeoning geographical literature recognizes the punitive response to migration inhering in the contemporary policy regimes of Global-North states. Yet many migrants are also "detained" at times in transit to Global-North countries, slowed or stuck as much by the quotidian necessities of providing food and shelter for themselves during their journeys as by state violence. In Mexico, this may take the form of kidnapping by local police or by gangs; may be smugglers forcing their charges into housekeeping, agricultural, or sex work; may be "taxes" that migrants pay to be allowed to beg in the streets; or may be licit work by those outlawed from performing it. Together, such practices come to constitute an economy, one founded on migration timing. Border policing, long recognized to be a process of sorting and composing a national labor market, thus grows to include governance of migrant flows that are pivotal to the interface between labor and capital. As they attempt to move, work, and reproduce themselves—and in contrast to the contraction that capital has facilitated for itself— migrants find that, often, space-time expands.

Ludington Michigan as a Case Study in Community Resiliency

Author: Stephen Buckman
Email Address: buckmans@umich.edu

Abstract: The terms “community resiliency” and “sustainability” have become hot topics within urban geographic and planning circles. Each term denotes a particular way of seeing the world and combating issues of climate change and social and economic shocks. This paper first examines the differences between the two and similarities of the two terms. Secondly this paper uses the case study of the master planning process of Ludington Michigan to show “community resiliency” in action as it pertains to drastic shocks and slow burns to the system. The work presented here comes out of the combined planning efforts of the City of Ludington, Hamlin Township, Per Marquette Township, the University of Michigan and the Land Information Access Association.

Care Work and Place-making to Combat Isolation: Urban Community Gardening and Rainwater Harvesting among the Elderly and Disabled in Tucson, Arizona

Author: Stephanie Buechler
Email Address: buechler@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona
Co-Author(s):Nathan Herrera

Abstract: This study focused on the creative ways disabled public housing residents combatted physical, economic, social and political isolation. The residents achieved this primarily through daily care work and place-making in the Blue Moon community garden in Tucson, Arizona. The garden’s design fostered place-making: a rainwater harvesting system and the native vegetation the system irrigated created a green, cooler space out of a large unused parking lot. Most of the gardeners were middle-age or elderly low-income women. Isolation experienced by these residents due to their geographical location in a crime-ridden, urban food desert as well as bodily, economic and social impediments were examined. Populations in urban food deserts have primarily been the focus of public health research. However, this research revealed that human geography can shed light on community initiatives in food deserts. The study also elucidated how feminist geographical perspectives on care work among women can be broadened to include work performed among non-kin in exchange relationships. Care work related to the sharing of inputs, produce and knowledge among community gardeners and new linkages between gardeners and local organizations further reduced isolation and offered a vision of future action for social change.

Mining the Past: Using Arrastras as Evidence of Early Mexican Mining Activity in Nevada

Author: Chelsea Canon
Email Address: canon@nevada.unr.edu
Affiliation: University of Nevada, Reno

Abstract: Why are Mexican miners absent from Nevada’s historical record? While Spanish place names abound and the influence of Hispanic technologies on early mining in the region is well documented, the stories of Hispanic miners themselves are missing from Nevada histories. This is in part because the history of this mining activity is written on the landscape, not in texts. My study locates the remains of arrastras (small-scale milling and amalgamating machines strongly associated with Hispanic mining in the nineteenth century) in Nevada, and uses them as evidence of early Mexican mining activity in the state. In many cases, subsequent mining development is anchored by these early technologies, which likely indicated rich mineral areas to later prospectors. Two examples from the San Antonio Mountains and the Hot Creek Range of central Nevada will be presented.

Househunting With Wilbur Zelinsky: HGTV’s House Hunters Constructs the Superorganic

Author: Jim Craine
Email Address: jwc53531@csun.edu
Affiliation: California State University, Northridge

Abstract: Cultural landscapes adopt elements of ethnic and regional heritage yet also overwhelm them. According to Carl Sauer this behaviour “does not depend on physical stimuli, nor on logical necessity, but on acquired habits, which are its culture. The group at any moment exercises certain options as to conduct which proceed from attitudes and skills which it has learned.” Wilbur Zelinsky takes Sauer’s initial concept further by recognizing that nation-states are social constructs. Zelinsky used the American home to illustrate his concept of the superorganic – a culture “viewed as an entity above man, not reducible to the actions of individuals, mysteriously responding to laws of its own” as defined by James Duncan. For Zelinsky, the home was a collection of artifacts (the domestic living space), sociofacts the place for valuing large family gatherings), and mentifacts (the abundance, prosperity, freedom and independent living of the artifact). I argue that HGTV’s popular show House Hunters works to construct the superorganic through its portrayal of a house-hunting population that is culturally homogeneous. The desire for similar artifacts, sociofacts and mentifacts specified by the show’s house hunters work to limit choice but, in turn, reify the cultural landscape by creating a representation that signifies a superorganic structure that is indeed greater than the sum of its parts. NOTE: I’m not arriving until Friday so if I could get a Saturday session that would be great – thanks!

Low altitude remote sensing of stream channels and gullies

Author: Jerry Davis
Email Address: jerry@sfsu.edu
Affiliation: San Francisco State University
Co-Author(s):Peter Christian, San Francisco State University

Abstract: Low to very low altitude (< ~100 m AGL) remote sensing using inexpensive cameras and a variety of platforms including unmanned aerial systems (UAS), kites, and poles, is showing great promise in capturing three dimensional models of hillslope gullies and stream channels. Experiments in a hillslope gully in Pacifica, California, has demonstrated the promise of applying Structure from Motion (SfM) methods to a site that is otherwise impossible to capture without disturbance (Christian et al. 2013). Similar methods employing registration of SfM 3D models to surveyed ground control points have proved successful in Sierra Nevada sites ranging from steep river channels to meadows, though challenges remain in capturing sites with woody vegetation, where laser scanning remains preferable, and in situations of high contrast from natural lighting under partial canopy. We've successfully applied altered cameras capturing near infrared to map vegetation indices, similar to the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, to study the effects of restoration efforts to raise water tables in montane meadows; however more work is needed to accurately apply these surrogates to channel morphometry. Christian, Peter, Jerry D. Davis, Leonhard Blesius, 2013. Application of a Very-Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Consumer Grade Camera for the Collection of Research Grade Data: Preliminary Findings. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (San Francisco) Abstracts, Dec. 12, 2013.

Biocommunicability and the CDC Map of Lyme Disease

Author: Georgia Davis Conover
Email Address: georgiac@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control estimated the incidence of Lyme disease to be ten times higher than reported. According to CDC numbers, then, more than 300,000 people contract the infection each year, an incidence rate higher than AIDS. Yet, the CDC maintains that Lyme disease is rare, difficult to contract, simple to diagnose and easy to cure. The disease, it argues, is also geographically limited. It is difficult to tell, from the CDC website, that Lyme disease is the focus of a four-decade long controversy, one that pits institutionalized science against a group of alternative researchers, maverick doctors, and Lyme activists that believes the Lyme bacterium can persist despite antibiotic treatment, the disease is extremely debilitating in its later stages, and that current diagnostic and treatment protocols are dangerously restrictive. Furthermore, this group argues that the disease is of epidemic proportions, and anyone, anywhere, is at risk of contracting it. In this talk, I use the analytic of biocommunicability to examine the CDC’s strategy of ‘containing’ Lyme disease, and putatively calming an ‘anxious’ (and gendered) public. Furthermore, I demonstrate how the CDC map of Lyme disease has been taken up and deployed as part of this strategy.

Rosemont Ours: Embodying threatened species in the path of a proposed copper mine

Author: Kimi Eisele
Email Address: kimieisele@gmail.com
Affiliation: Independent artist/scholar

Abstract: An open-pit copper mine proposed for the Rosemont Ranch area of Southern Arizona would impact over 4,000 acres of desert landscape, including habitat for at least nine endangered or threatened species. In response to this, I produced (in collaboration with New ARTiculations Dance Theatre and Ben Johnson) Rosemont Ours: A Field Guide, a dance film in which dancers perform on site nearly 20 of the plant and animal species in peril. As it seeks to pay reverence to what could be lost, the video also raises questions about our role as humans, as consumers, stewards, and “performers” of nature. What does it mean for a human body to take the shape, form, and movement of an animal or plant? Why do the limits of our own human form justify the extraction of resources, jeopardizing the non-human? If we destroy habitat, can we then “replace” plant and animal species with ourselves? In this presentation I discuss the making of Rosemont Ours, exploring embodiment, representation, and attunement as ways of generating new knowledge about both our own humanness and what lies beyond it.

Web-Based Explorations of the History of Flood Management along the Portneuf River

Author: Joshua Eppley
Email Address: eppljosh@isu.edu
Affiliation: Idaho State University
Co-Author(s):Kevin Marsh
, Co-Author(s):Robert Edsall

Abstract: This paper examines the colorful social history and socioecological effects of flooding along the Portneuf River in southeast Idaho, and presents a platform for public education about flood management. The project is part of a collaborative effort within the NSF-funded MILES (Managing Idaho Landscapes for Ecosystem Services) project, whose goal is to apply a multi-disciplinary approach to “build Idaho's capacity to study complex social-ecological processes, especially those associated with water demand and valuation of ecosystem services.” First, we conducted historical research at various national and local archives and then digitized each document with accompanying metadata into a database. The web-based platform is a modified version of the open-source Timeline JS program developed by the Knight Lab at Northwestern University. Adding custom javascript and CSS files, we adapted the timeline’s script to illustrate the complex and sometimes violet history of private vs. public water rights issues, federal and local discrepancies, industry and pollution, heroic human actions, and flood management policies. This allows the user of the timeline to engage with the digitized primary sources and provides the opportunity to critically analyze the way in which past policies and events have shaped our modern Portneuf River and its future.

Wash Room Geography: Waterless and High-Efficiency Flush Urinals at U.S. Colleges and Universities

Author: Bryant Evans
Email Address: bryant.evans@hccs.edu
Affiliation: Houston Community College

Abstract: Water, arguably the world’s most valuable resource, is also remarkable due to its finite capacity. As knowledge of water scarcity has expanded over time, various innovations have been developed in response to it. What’s more, as societies have become more aware of the acute issues and consequences found in conjunction with water scarcity, they have shown an increased willingness to embrace innovations that in part aim to address it. This paper looks more closely at one small sliver of this equation by exploring waterless and high-efficiency flush urinals on U.S. college and university campuses. Various dimensions - including background on waterless and high-efficiency flush urinal technologies, along with implementation, use, and satisfaction related to these innovations on campus settings - are examined here in greater detail.

Sugarcane production and the pretense of sustainable practice: social disparities and the adverse health effects of field workers in Nicaragua

Author: Hannah Evans
Email Address: hevans@rohan.sdsu.edu
Affiliation: San Diego State University

Abstract: Over the past two decades, sustainability has become a topic of increasing interest to scholars concerned with the social and ecological implications of capitalist production and consumption. Similarly, the term has gained currency among the general public, which is seemingly increasingly concerned with environmental issues. However, understandings of sustainability vary greatly; the term has been used to define a multi-scaled process, a goal and a social movement that brings together diverse groups and offers a presumably positive ‘alternative’ to conventional modes of development. This paper explores the contradictions and tensions underlying the concepts and discourses of sustainability within the context of sugar production in Nicaragua. Using a framework informed by structural violence, I seek to elucidate the various ways in which the implementation of widely acclaimed ‘sustainable’ practices in the sugar industry have contributed to the marginalization and exploitation of sugarcane workers. Of particular concern are the long-term consequences on the health and well-being of farmworkers of market-based programs that encourage specific production methods and products by labeling them as sustainable.

MILES Portneuf River Storymap

Author: Greg Farley
Email Address: farlgre2@isu.edu
Affiliation: Idaho State University
Co-Author(s):Dr Yolonda Youngs
, Co-Author(s):Dr Robert Edsall

Abstract: Managing Idaho's Landscapes for Ecosystem Services (MILES) is an NSF/EPSCoR-funded project to advance the understanding of feedbacks between social and ecological systems and ecosystem services in mid-sized cities in the face of climate change and urban growth. Of particular interest in this project are the socioecological dynamics associated with water demand and valuation of ecosystem services. A priority for MILES is the development of visualization tools for representing spatial and temporal data about the ecosystem of the Portneuf River in southeastern Idaho. In this poster, we discuss the development of an ESRI Storymap Tour app to portray stakeholders' interactions with and views of the Portneuf in a geographic context. Data for this Storymap comes from a survey of the public held at two parks in Pocatello, Idaho, in which the volunteers took pictures of the river and made comments about what they saw. On the Storymap, data from this survey is presented in a user-friendly format designed for scientists, policy-makers, and the general public. This work demonstrates the utility of visualization tools for communicating complex ecosystem services information in an engaging way.

Military Conscription as Domestic Biopower: Oblava and the Culture of Impressment in Tajikistan

Author: Doug Foster
Email Address: dfoster@uoregon.edu
Affiliation: University of Oregon

Abstract: This paper examines the practice of military recruitment in the Central Asian Republic of Tajikistan (RT). The autocratic government of RT associates much state discourse with the importance and glory associated with military service. However, the population has shown a strong distaste for service in the RT military and state’s approach to recruitment is both a response to this distaste and simultaneously a contributor to it. I show that the use of an illegal but tacitly accepted practice of impressment by military recruiters called oblava (Russian: raid) during bi-annual conscription drives has negative consequences for the development of national sentiments and state legitimacy. Coupled with lack of pay, training or adequate food and health care, I conclude by conceptualizing the majority of military service in RT is actually the state use of biopower to control young males in a territory with a rapid population growth rate but few economic opportunities.

Sociotechnical imaginaries and the city: Bridging Science, Technology, and Society with Human Geography

Author: Jennifer Fuller
Email Address: jen.fuller@asu.edu
Affiliation: Arizona State University

Abstract: This paper works through some of the theoretical connections between what is referred to as sociotechnical imaginaries (Jasanoff and Kim, 2009) and human geography related to place, identity, and community. Sociotechnical imaginaries studies are traditionally concerned with notions of nationalism and imaginations put forth at the institutional level. My dissertation work brings sociotechnical imaginaries down to the level of the city to investigate the ways in which ideas about community-scale solar photovoltaic projects are created, circulated, and “concretized” as not only part of the city agenda, but also as part of the identity of the city in Flagstaff, Arizona and Treviso, Italy. Jasanoff, S. and Kim, S.H. (2009). Containing the atom: Sociotechnical imaginaries and nuclear power in the United States and South Korea. Minerva, 47(2), 119-146.

A Remote Sensing Based Evaluation of the Effects of Prescribed Burning

Author: Bezakulu Gebru
Email Address: gebru@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: Fire suppression on semi-arid rangelands has led to accelerated soil erosion and the spread of invasive shrub species, threatening desert grassland ecosystems. The benefits of fire to desert ecology include; elimination of invasive plants and shrubs, increased nutrient recycling to promote vegetation revival and a reduction in catastrophic fires. Prescribed burning, or controlled fire, is currently used by land managers as a conservation practice to manage, promote and restore the desert ecology. This study used remote sensing to monitor the vegetative response of three sites treated with prescribed burns on a semi-arid rangeland in southeastern Arizona. Temporal data sets of vegetative cover (green and senescent) were produced through the application of a Soil Adjusted Total Vegetation Index (SATVI) to Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery. Maps of initial map severity were also created. Results indicated a positive trend of vegetative recovery following the treatments.

You and What Army? Violence, the State and Mexico's "War on Drugs"

Author: Boyce Geoffrey
Email Address: gboyce@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona
Co-Author(s):Jeffrey Banister
, Co-Author(s):Jeremy Slack

Abstract: In late 2010, WikiLeaks made public thousands of private communications sent between the US embassy in Mexico City and Washington. The documents contain frank observations made by US bureaucrats and officials about Mexican politics and government, but are especially pointed in their treatment of Mexico’s declared 'War on Drugs,’ which, since 2007, has been the focus of unprecedented negotiation, cooperation, and tension between the two governments. With a few notable exceptions, geographers have largely stayed away from the study of states and illegal practices, and relatively little research employs an explicitly spatial analytic. In what follows, we examine how the spatialization of the drug phenomenon operates as an official strategy of intervention – illicit phenomena like the illegal drug trade are rendered in spatial terms in order to become amenable to specific kinds of state action. Through the WikiLeaks cables we are able to witness the state’s conversation with itself as it tries to order, map and create meaning of an overly chaotic situation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the contradictory and incoherent narratives and conditions that constantly threaten to overflow the boundaries and structuring assumptions of the drug war.

The Role of Indigenous Fire Ecology and Culturally Based Prescribed Fire in the Reintroduction of the California Condor

Author: Conor Handley
Email Address: cch251@humboldt.edu
Affiliation: Humboldt State University

Abstract: Indigenous Peoples have used fire to alter landscapes since time immemorial. Since the arrival of Europeans and the implementation of fire suppression, the range and population of the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) has declined to the brink of extinction. With the help of captive breeding programs, their numbers have risen and they have been reintroduced to a portion of their original territory. Even with this relative success, condors are still struggling to expand their range and population. The loss of the majority of Indigenous Peoples land management strategies, especially the use of fire, is part of the reason for the original decline of the condor and may be critical to their revival. The reasons, techniques and impacts which Indigenous Peoples use of fire have are highly diverse. Indigenous knowledge of fire ecology is the product of observation and use over vast periods of time. The obvious purposes for these fires may be reasons such as, hunting, agriculture, and encouraging the growth of basket weaving materials, but Indigenous fire benefits entire ecosystems. The implementation of Indigenous fire techniques in modern and historic condor habitat may be essential in the resurgence this endangered bird.

Immigration, Race, and the 1920s-era Ku Klux Klan in Oregon

Author: Susan Hardwick
Email Address: susanh@uoregon.edu
Affiliation: University of Oregon

Abstract: (Author) Immigration, Race, and the 1920s-era Ku Klux Klan in Oregon. Susan W. Hardwick, Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, susanh@uoregon.edu. (Abstract) This paper explores the role of the post-War World I-era Ku Klux Klan in preserving nativism and white Protestantism in Oregon. Klansmen in this Pacific Northwest state were recruited in surprisingly large numbers by marketers hired and sent west by KKK organizers in Atlanta. Their impacts subsequently helped reshape the political and social geography of Oregon at a variety of scales. The state’s voters elected a KKK-backed candidate for governor, for example, and Klan members in Astoria exploited local anti-immigrant, anti-Socialist, and anti-Catholic sentiment to elect a Ku Klux Klan -backed sheriff and mayor, four city councilmen, and two state legislators. Information compiled and analyzed from archival materials, census data, historic newspapers, and semi-structured interviews is used in this presentation to expose the little known importance of the Ku Klux Klan in maintaining the white Protestantism that continues to define Oregon’s majority population almost a century later.

Building Bagel Beach: The Role of the Jewish Community in the Development of Miami Beach

Author: Alison Hotten
Email Address: alison.hotten@gmail.com
Affiliation: University of Nevada, Reno

Abstract: Migration and settlement patterns of American Jewry have historically been shaped by tolerance and discrimination. A significant Jewish community developed in Miami Beach in the twentieth century because of the more liberal practices of some developers who allowed Jews to vacation, rent, and buy land in the area. This paper explores the role of the Jewish community in the development of the built landscape of Miami Beach, as this community fostered a professional network of Jewish land developers, hoteliers, and architects who were extensively involved in the boom years of the tourism industry. Research focuses on a group of Jewish architects who helped to define several regional styles of architecture including Tropical Art Deco and mid-century Miami Modernism (MiMo). Architects such as Henry Hohauser, Morris Lapidus, and Norman Giller were some of the region’s most prolific architects, and also produced some of Miami Beach’s most iconic buildings like the Colony Hotel and Fontainebleau. Their work overtly contributed to the Jewish presence on the landscape through religious architecture, but also in a larger sense reflected the unique Jewish experience in Miami Beach.

Socio-Ecological Transformations in Riparian Zones: The Production of Spaces of Exclusion and the Uneven Development of Resilience in the Sonoran Borderlands

Author: Lily A. House-Peters
Email Address: lilyhp@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona

Abstract: Overlain with pipes, crisscrossed by barbed-wire fencing, and perforated by deep wells, watersheds in the Arizona-Sonora border(ed)lands are marked by complex, overlapping political and environmental governance regimes. Riparian zones, characterized by accessible surface water and shallow groundwater, high quality forage, and nutrient rich floodplain soils, are highly valuable for a range of productive sectors, including agriculture, ranching, and mining. In the semi-arid, high-elevation grasslands of the bi-national San Pedro River watershed, access to water and riparian spaces is characterized by a long history of shifting political-economic conditions and natural resource policies transforming social-ecological relations. This paper examines the politics of transformation in riparian social-ecological systems (SES) in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. Drawing on nine-months of dissertation fieldwork, I aim to advance understanding of the social and ecological struggles that accompany transformative moments in human-environment relations. In this research, I draw into conversation two influential, yet long separate theoretical traditions. I argue that marrying a Marxist historical materialist approach to examining the mechanisms of enclosure with a radical reinterpretation of social-ecological resilience theory serves to bridge a critical gap in understanding of the relationship between social-ecological transformation, the production of spaces of exclusion, and the uneven development of resilience in the borderlands.

Exploring Population Density in Proximity to Freeways in Los Angeles, California

Author: aleksandra ilicheva
Email Address: aleksandra.ilicheva.405@csun.edu
Affiliation: California State University, Northridge

Abstract: Using a combination of local and Federal population data sets, I explore the relationship between population density proximity to freeways. There is some urgency to gaining a better understanding of the health concerns related to the air and noise pollution exposure experienced by these populations. Studying population density using census data is somewhat difficult because typical population data from the US Census does not reflect population distribution at a fine scale. I created a dasymetric map using Mennis’ 2003 methodology to better reflect the distribution of population. I also created a map of residential areas using city land use and zoning data in attempt to discern where the city tries to locate higher density housing.

Crisis Mapping Applications of Google Maps Engine

Author: Joel Irish
Email Address: jdi116@psu.edu
Affiliation: Penn State University

Abstract: During crises, timely geospatial information is highly valued by victims, emergency managers, and the broader public. Web applications have revolutionized the speed and scale of crisis mapping. Adoption, usability, and data validation are critical, but for Google Maps Engine (GME), they remain untested. This presentation describes quantitative analysis of 120 GME crisis maps measures adoption and validity, profiling the map data and its users. The map data profile includes the type of crisis, basemap selection, editability, type, quantity, source, format, and validation. The user profile examines the producer, software version, emergency phase, response speed, distribution, and audience. Additionally, verbal protocol analysis and cognitive interviews test usability among eight subjects. The results show early adoption for GME Lite/Pro, but not for the enterprise platform nor API. Validation remains a serious concern for both static and crowd-sourced (57 percent of layers with little or no validation). The usability study exposes paths of least resistance (uploading data, adding features) and mental roadblocks (layer management, classification) among untrained users. GME is an effective communication tool and will benefit from Google ubiquity and familiar interfaces. However, with technical and user limitations, GME will not and should not be the only tool in the toolbox.

Three Methodologies for Cultivar Dispersal and Food Choice

Author: Michael Jardini
Email Address: mjardini@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: Three methodologies exploring culinary dispersal are tested, based off of a geographic understanding of global food choice. Currently, food choice is not well understood geographically, but is explained more often in terms of economics or culture. The methodologies use, respectively, climatological constraints for cultivar suitability, botanical and geographic origin of cultivars, and computational construction of diet in comparison to production and consumption of each of multiple food sources at national levels around the world. Data from FAO databases, particularly GAEZ and FAOSTAT, is collected and analyzed for the study. Preliminary results correlate consumption and suitability, but more conclusions may come from further analysis.

Death and desert: materialities of humanitarian affairs at the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Author: Daniela Johannes
Email Address: danielaj@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: The paper presents an analysis of two sources of cartography coming from different auto-declared pro-migrant NGO´s working on the US-Mexico border conflict. While the concepts of death and desert come forth through mainstream imagery and advertisement around the phenomenon of illegal immigration, they are as well appropriated and built upon by pro-migrant cartography-making practices. Such enactments will be approached through their biopolitical (Foucault 2003; McDorman 2005) and actor-network (Latour 2005) implications. This paper seeks to trace the politics at play when a pedestrian migrant encounters the elements of nature or man-made artifacts while transiting the Border. On the other hand, it interrogates the role played by certain materialities-such as the existence and absence of water, technologic devices and print maps- which are controlled and brought by humanitarian groups to potential migrants in the desert. It does so in light of the relevance of a current politics of nature regarding the Southern border of the United States. Human and non-human actants will be found playing the assemblages of material forces to help perpetuate a contagious landscape of fear and fatality.

Debt Landscapes: Failed Migration and Land Dispossession in Rural Guatemala

Author: Richard Johnson
Email Address: rljohnson@email.arizona.edu

Abstract: A confluence of new challenges and costs associated with undocumented migration from rural Guatemala to the United States has led to a growing frequency of ‘failed’ migration and migrant debt. Insurmountable debt among sending households is increasingly resulting in loan default and seizure of loan collateral assets, most commonly land. Debt and dispossession are profoundly shaping the experience of contemporary migration, as well as the socioeconomic and physical landscapes in sending communities. This work offers preliminary findings on the attributes and implications of a new political economy of migration finance and dispossession. Research on “debt landscapes” asks important questions for scholarship on migration and land change, US border security and migration policy, moral economies of migration finance and debt, the shifting opportunities and constraints for campesino livelihoods, and the broader role of regional land tenure patterns and histories in producing variation of this phenomenon.

Facilitating Indigenous Research, Science, and Technology: the story of an emerging network

Author: Jay Johnson
Email Address: jaytjohnson@ku.edu
Affiliation: University of Kansas
Co-Author(s):Renee Pualani Louis
, Co-Author(s):Liz Medicine Crow
, Co-Author(s):Mark Palmer

Abstract: While most research in Indigenous communities has been geared toward uncovering information of interest to the Western scientific enterprise, Indigenous communities and researchers utilize research to address community concerns as well. By bringing together a network of Indigenous scientists, researchers and community organizers who represent communities, organizations, and academic institutions across the United States, we have established a research coordination network geared toward uncovering the research needs and capabilities of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities. The vision of the FIRST network is to bridge Indigenous and Western sciences, through appropriate principles, protocols, and practices, in order to better understand the conditions of environmental vulnerability and the best strategies to achieve resilience by facilitating Indigenous-led research initiatives. Our vision is to establish an Indigenous science network that emphasizes research activities that contain integrated theory, practice and dissemination through mentoring and community-based partnerships. The overall goal of this network is to develop strategies for meeting the research needs of Indigenous communities and to encourage communities to take leadership in meeting their own research needs. This paper will discuss the establishment of the FIRST network and its goals for the next five years.

The Magical Mystery Lights of Marfa

Author: John P Jones
Email Address: jpjones@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: Marfa, a town of some 2,000 settled on a high plateau (4,688 feet) in the Chihuahuan Desert, lies in a sparsely populated part of Texas, roughly in the middle of the state’s westward-pointing arm. The region’s elevation makes the land suitable for dryland ranching, but Marfa proper has steered in a more artsy direction, first with the star-studded 1956 classic, Giant, and later with modern westerns such as No Country for Old Men (2005) and There will be Blood (2007). Minimalist sculptor Donald Judd’s arrival in Marfa in the early 1970s transformed the landscape – literally – with his oversized boxes of concrete, and in the ensuing years the town became a mecca for hipster artists and tourists. But way before these arrivals, well into the 1880s in fact, Marfa had gained fame for its ‘Ghost Lights’, a strange nighttime phenomena in which colored lights can be seen to dance, merge, disappear and reappear off in the distant Paisano Pass southwest of town. The Marfa Lights regularly draws both skeptics (“just car lights”) and believers (“UFOs”). In this presentation I provide an account of (rather than account for) the mysterious magical lights of Marfa. My site visits to the ‘scene’ provide first-hand evidence of their existence; subsequent analysis focuses on efforts to explain the phenomena by those seeking alternatives to the more occultish explanations on offer.

Improved Cookstoves in Peru

Author: James Keese
Email Address: jkeese@calpoly.edu
Affiliation: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Abstract: Approximately 3 billion people in developing countries cook with open fires. Indoor air pollution has serious health effects, disproportionately affecting women and young children. Improved cookstoves use chimneys to remove smoke from houses. They also burn fuelwood more efficiently, potentially reducing deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. With programs in over fifty countries, cookstoves are a global enterprise promoted by governments, multilateral aid agencies, and NGOs. However, most programs focus on stove installation, not on their long term sustained use. Many programs fail because of a limited understanding of the needs of the people who use the new technology and of the places where they live. The focus is on stoves, not stove systems. A successful program must account for the relationship between stoves and the cultural, social, and ecological characteristics of the target area that influence stove use. For eight years, and working with the NGO ProWorld Service Corps, students have been installing improved stoves in indigenous communities on Cal Poly’s study abroad program in Peru. This paper addresses the issues related to the adoption and sustained use of improved cookstoves, with references to a forthcoming follow-up study of Cal Poly’s Peru program.

Contested Territories and the Changing Hydropower Landscape of Southern Chile

Author: Sarah Kelly-Richards
Email Address: shkelly@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona

Abstract: This research seeks to understand the unfolding socio-ecological landscape of small and large hydropower dam development in the water abundant Ríos and Lagos southern regions of Chile. The current rate of hydropower development is intensified by a coalescence of growing energy demands, dynamics in the electricity market, and promotion of renewable energy focused on small hydropower dams. With little state coordination, private companies are planning an unprecedented number of large and small dams in the Ríos and Lagos regions. This surge in hydropower development is generating numerous legal disputes. In response, groups such as tourism consortiums and indigenous peoples are promoting alternative water use and land zoning strategies. Drawing from scholarship on the political ecology of territorialization and environmental governance, I explore the ways in which national environmental policy and regional governance dynamics are mutually constitutive. I examine the roles and effects generated by the planning and development of small hydropower dams in particular, and assess how the development of these dams articulates with climate and energy policy and socio-territorial processes. I conclude by outlining a future research agenda that aims to be policy relevant while also cognizant of competing visions for landscape and resource planning.

Disappearing Desert Waters: A Comparison of Human Modifications to the Jordan and Colorado River Systems

Author: Kali Kennedy
Email Address: kalikennedy@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: School of Geography and Regional Development

Abstract: The impacts of the Jordan River on the Dead Sea illustrate a scarcity of water and the consequences of human modification that are common to both the Jordan and Colorado Rivers. Although the Colorado is roughly ten times the size of the Jordan, both systems have played vital roles in human development. The Jordan River borders Jordan, Israel, and Palestine and has fed one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Dead Sea. Meanwhile, the Colorado River has sustained the Colorado Delta for millennia, stretching across seven U.S. states and two in Mexico, including and largely affecting the state of Arizona. The river provides the region with water and has carved out one of the world’s largest canyons. However, both rivers are facing major depletion in their flow due to human alteration with the construction of dams and diversions for farms, cities, and electricity generation. From my study as an undergraduate student in these arid desert regions, I’ve been inspired to draw a parallel on water scarcity and the challenges confronting these two precious river systems. This paper addresses the congruencies and the differences between the human and environmental impacts of water scarcity in the Jordan and Colorado River regions.

Emerging Gang Geographies of Multnomah County

Author: Dirk Kinsey
Email Address: dkinsey@pdx.edu
Affiliation: Portland State University

Abstract: In recent years, the Portland metropolitan area has seen a relatively sudden and generally steady increase in gang related activity. Gang violence in Portland had, since its peak in the mid 1990’s, significantly decreased. However, in the past five years, the metro area saw an increase in signs of graffiti, youth recruitment, assaults and homicides classified as gang related. Contrary to historical patterns, recent activity has been largely located outside of inner city neighborhoods, becoming more diffuse and simultaneously localized. The migration of gang activity to the periphery of the city corresponds to a recent period of substantial development and gentrification in Portland’s inner neighborhoods and subsequent demographic shifts.This study examines emerging geographies of gang activity within the larger context of the changing social and demographic character of the Portland metro area and analyzes how spatial-political interfaces between urban and suburban jurisdictions may contribute to these patterns.

A Change of Objects Would Do You Good: Personal Mobility Patterns in Early Nineteenth Century New England

Author: Marti Klein
Email Address: mklein@fullerton.edu
Affiliation: California State University Fullerton

Abstract: Travel was very important to the professional classes. Boys changed schools frequently, and spent their vacation with relatives rather than interfere with their parents’ travel plans. Girls attended school locally or at home when not on extended visits to friends and relatives. Doctors prescribed a change of climate or scenery, or a journey, to cure or prevent illnesses, especially before seasons thought to be injurious to health. People traveled to “establish” their good health, build “strength” for the winter, or escape “sickly air.” Although letter writing was vital to communication, and frequent exchanges were an obligation, relatives and close friends were expected to extend their hospitality when requested, often for long periods. A change of scenery and “objects,” and care by loved ones, was recommended for a variety of emotional and physical ills. However, New England was ambivalent, as “too much of solitude & too much of the world both weaken the life of religion in the soul,” the familiarity of one’s objects provided solace, and a loved one’s absence from the “family circle” was openly lamented. This paper relies on correspondence, literature, and medical treatises to establish the motives, movements, and results of these patterns of personal mobility.

Is There a Mrs. Kinsey? The Forgotten Geographical Spouse

Author: William Koelsch
Email Address: wkoelsch@cox.net
Affiliation: Clark University (Emeritus)

Abstract: This paper takes the subject of women in geography beyond those who held academic or other positions in their own right to consider the role of the geographical spouse and their contributions to the geographical work of the better-known figures we read about in standard texts on the subject. In this paper I select a single figure, Dorothy Herbertson, as a partner in the work of her better-known husband, Andrew Herbertson of Oxford, in the task of raising the standard of geographical education in Britain in the early 20th century. It is presented as an example of what we might discover if we expand our inquiries beyond the conventional narratives and major figures in the histories of our discipline.

Community Health Link Explorer: A Spatial Data Warehouse Infrastructure to Investigate Community Health in Chicago

Author: Marynia Kolak
Email Address: marynia.kolak@gmail.com
Affiliation: Arizona State University
Co-Author(s):Geri Miller, PhD

Abstract: Geospatial investigations in health and social environments have provided information for health disparities relevant to public health assessments, though there is an increasingly urgent need to create distributed, interoperable spatial data infrastructures to integrate health research data as a powerful means for generating hypotheses, detecting spatial patterns, and responding to health threats (Richardson et al 2013). The Community Health Link Explorer Data Warehouse is established as a spatial data infrastructure to integrate and standardize complex data in a common interface that comprises a public health environment matrix of the City of Chicago. Almost one hundred datasets are extracted, transformed, and loaded into a PostGresSQL/POSTGIS warehouse using the Feature Manipulation Engine (FME), extracting from open and proprietary data formats and transforming into standardized, commonly projected features. Spatial data and tables include features of the built environment, transportation, city infrastructure, demographic and public health reported data, and facilities relevant to healthy living. The data warehouse is structured to support a decision support system to inform community health surveillance for public health officials, researchers, and community members over time, with routine data management and process workflows documented.

Maritime Exposure and Economic Prosperity: Why Location Matters

Author: Jesse Lane
Email Address: jmlane@una.edu
Affiliation: University of North Alabama

Abstract: Maritime trade and access to deep water shipping are important in determining a country’s economic success. This study explores the relationship between “maritime exposure"--how closely a country’s economy is linked to oceanic trade--and overall economic prosperity and social well-being. Drawing from studies on the landlocked curse, resource curse, maritime port dependency, import and export competition, and trade openness, as well as data from 160 countries, I developed an index of maritime exposure and used a regression analysis to assess correlations with established measures of economic and social well-being, such Gross Domestic Product, economic growth rates, and the United Nations Human Development Index. Initial results suggest that some index factors (such as total length of coastline and number of deepwater ports), but not all, correlate strongly with economic and social well-being.

Analyzing the Foreclosure and Crime Burden of Stockton, California

Author: Hailey Lang
Email Address: hml25@humboldt.edu
Affiliation: San Jose State University

Abstract: The impact of the foreclosure crisis of the 2000s left Stockton, California with socio-economic issues including a decrease in policing which left residents even more concerned of the already crime induced city. Spatial analysis of the foreclosure crisis and crime were used to show the temporal changes within the city, while residents heightened fear of crime was investigated to understand local perceptions. Foreclosure and crime hotspots are compared to demographic profiles of the city, showing “white flight” of suburban neighborhoods. Violent crimes are still segregated in historically low-income areas while property crimes have encompassed much of the city. Overall research shows that resident perceptions of crime contradict statistical crime data, and the relationship between foreclosures and crime do not necessarily make for an equitable distribution of crime.

Characterizing Sediment Flux Using Reconstructed Topography and Bathymetry from Historical Aerial Imagery on the Willamette River, OR.

Author: Trevor Langston
Email Address: langston.trevor@gmail.com
Affiliation: University of Oregon

Abstract: The Willamette is a gravel-bed river that drains ~28,800 km2 between the Coast Range and Cascade Range in northwestern Oregon before entering the Columbia River near Portland. In the last 150 years, natural and anthropogenic drivers have altered the sediment transport regime, drastically reducing the geomorphic complexity of the river. Key drivers of channel change have been flow regulation by flood-control dams, bank revetments, and conversion of riparian forests to agriculture. The goal of this study is to describe large-scale temporal and spatial trends in the sediment budget by reconstructing historical topography and bathymetry from aerial imagery. Aerial imagery of the Willamette is available from USDA and USACE projects dating back to the 1930’s. Above water surface elevations are extracted using the Imagine Photogrammetry package in ERDAS. Bathymetry is estimated using a method in which hydraulic parameters are used to develop a regression between water depth and pixel values. Merged together, topography and bathymetry produce a spatially continuous digital elevation model of the geomorphic floodplain. Volumetric changes in sediment stored along the study reach are then estimated for different historic periods. Additionally, HEC-RAS is used as an independent measure of sediment transport given prescribed flow, sediment and geomorphic conditions.

Collective Memories in Tucson’s Downtown Revitalization

Author: Sarah Launius
Email Address: slaunius@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: This paper examines the trajectories of collective memories in forming downtown revitalization efforts in Tucson, Arizona. Within geography, memory is increasingly recognized as an active force shaping place-based identities, reflected in the built-environment and related social relations. This case study investigates the ways that placed subjectivities within Tucson’s downtown region foster collective memories that are productive in materializing or foreclosing visions for downtown Tucson. I argue that near-downtown residents continue to disrupt dominant development rationales in downtown Tucson that seek to sculpt an “authentic” social memory woven through the built environment of a revitalized urban core. Through incorporating safer forms of abstracted collective memories, city officials and downtown boosters, in turn, produce an authentic Other as the safe subject for the city.

The Road to a Clinic: The Response in El Salvador to Rural Kidney Disease

Author: Emma Lawlor
Email Address: ejlawlor@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: El Salvador has the world’s highest mortality from kidney failure, with over 2500 deaths recorded annually. Kidney disease is also the top cause of male hospital deaths. From community leaders and local health workers to national politicians, Salvadorans are urgently trying to figure out how to respond. El Salvador is the ground zero of a “new” form of Chronic Kidney Disease that has unfolded into an epidemic across lowland pockets of rural Central America in the past three decades. Though the cause from a medical perspective is still very much debated, environmental and/or occupational exposure to agro-chemicals is the leading hypothesis. Building off of fieldwork conducted in El Salvador in the summer of 2014, this paper will be a preliminary exploration into the practices, discourses, and materialities of this emerging kidney disease epidemic. Anchoring analysis around the story of one community and its medical clinic, the paper will ask, how does this health crisis entangle bodies and rural space? How and where do spheres of clinical practice, community development, and state policy-making map on? The paper will seek to arrive at a few key themes and theoretical openings with which to drive forward further analysis.

Food insecurity and resource-based livelihoods in an African fishing community

Author: Sara Lopus
Email Address: saral@demog.berkeley.edu
Affiliation: University of California, Berkeley

Abstract: Food insecurity describes individuals’ lack of reliable access to affordable foods of adequate caloric quantity and nutritional quality. In the world’s “hunger hotspots,” such as Northern Mozambique, chronic food insecurity contributes to child stunting rates of greater than 40%. Food-insecure individuals may consume sufficient calories to meet their energy needs, but diets relying heavily on starchy staples and lacking vegetables, fruits, and proteins can cause micronutrient malnutrition, the repercussions of which have lasting detrimental effects on cognitive development and earning potential. Dietary diversity indices, which quantify the foods consumed from various food groups, serve as proxies for more complex measures of dietary quality and are often positively correlated with anthropometric outcomes in developing contexts. In this study, I use the retrospective dietary data of approximately 1,500 children to compare child dietary diversity indices for households engaged in resource-based livelihoods with households whose individuals earn salaries in other local industries. I hypothesize that resource-based livelihoods increase individuals’ proximity to nutrient-rich fish and produce, but the greater earnings of households whose members work in emerging industries contribute to higher diversity indices by making quality foods more affordable. Data are drawn from a complete census I performed of Ibo Island, Mozambique in 2012.

Collaboratively Harnessing Indigenous Research Protocols, Principles, and Practices (CHIRP3)

Author: Renee Louis
Email Address: pualani@ku.edu
Affiliation: University of Kansas Institute for Policy and Social Research
Co-Author(s):Elizabeth Medicine Crow
, Co-Author(s):Kyle Wark
, Co-Author(s):Jay T. Johnson

Abstract: Native scientific knowledge has become a valuable commodity for many research projects across the social and natural sciences, but these projects themselves are not always geared toward benefiting the Native peoples engaged in the research. While there are many people thoughtfully engaged in research with/for Native communities, others are not as mindful in their approach either with the communities they engage, the methods they use, or the ethical protocols they follow. Furthermore, while Native communities have adapted to the Western scientific research enterprise for decades, Western researchers have not adapted to Native scientific research paradigms. This is partly because many Western scientists do not acknowledge the existence of Native science principles, protocols, and practices and those that do rarely have the ability to engage with Native science practitioners. CHIRP3 will assess and re-imagine how the scientific community engages with Indigenous peoples in the United States by identifying the research regulation capacity of Native entities, encouraging them to take leadership in defining their own Native science paradigms, and creating a working guidelines in collaboration with Native tribes and organizations that address Native research policies based on Native perspectives of research.

Hey Joe, Where You Going With That Gun In Your Hand? Media as Practice in Joe Arpaio’s Old West

Author: Chris Lukinbeal
Email Address: chris.lukinbeal@arizona.edu
Affiliation: The University of Arizona
Co-Author(s):Laura L. Sharp

Abstract: Joe Arpaio, or “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” uses hardline tactics that have won the hearts of right-wing conservatives and extremists and the condemnation of Amnesty International, and the American Civil Liberties Union. In order to legitimize his extreme tactics toward illegal immigration Joe mobilizes the media to create an identity for himself and his opposition. This performative act of the lawman and the careful construction of the modern day Wild West in which it is situated are used to cover up practices of cruelty, racism and corruption. With this paper we explore how Joe Arpaio uses the media to produce and reify his own mythic image. Empirical facts and the “real” may not be as powerful as myth and media in a land where Phoenicians, (illegal) aliens, and coyotes roam through the Valley of the Sun under the watchful eye of Sheriff Joe and his posse.

¿Quién va a mandar?: Questions of Sovereignty, Governance, and Territory in Honduran Economic Development and Employment Zones (ZEDE)

Author: Casey Lynch
Email Address: caseylynch@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: In July 2013, the Honduran National Congress passed the Law of Economic Development and Employment Zones. This law allows for the creation of autonomous jurisdictions where new sets of political, legal, economic, and administrative structures can be set up outside of the direct control of the Honduran government. Proponents of the project hope that these zones will escape the corruption, violence, and general dysfunction of the Honduran state and in turn attract foreign investment and employment opportunities for Honduran workers. According to the law, ZEDE’s are governed by a 21 member appointed Committee for the Adoption of Best Practices, a Technical Secretary, and an independent judiciary operating under Common Law and composed of international judges. While the structures of the ZEDE government are still in the early stages of development, I hope to offer a theoretical interpretation of the ZEDE Law and its significance for the study of the State, territory, processes of neoliberalization, and policy transfer. This paper will examine the laws, constitutional amendments, and other related legal documents in order to consider the theoretical assumptions, logic, and goals behind the creation of the ZEDE and the changes that the idea has undergone since its first iteration in 2011.

Research Dissonance

Author: Kenneth Madsen
Email Address: madsen.34@osu.edu
Affiliation: The Ohio State University

Abstract: In presenting our research we are expected to make conclusive and unambiguous arguments. At the same time, however, academics increasingly recognize the complexity of phenomena that do not easily conform to our reductive understandings – a term I apply in the broadest possible sense to academic writing. In this paper I argue for a more explicit sharing of the conflicting, oppositional, and even contradictory forces that we encounter as an essential part of our conclusions rather than something that has to be sorted through and eliminated. Building on the psychological concept of cognitive dissonance, I suggest that a tidy presentation of research results that ignores alternative understandings in order to provide a clear academic argument is overrated and that a certain suspension of the innate human need for cognitive harmony can be a productive means for thinking through the results of our research. Drawing on my own work understanding the impact of the U.S.-Mexico border on the Tohono O’odham, an indigenous group based in Arizona and Sonora, I share how for a more complete understanding one must also consider the counter-currents at play and alternative understandings of these events and places – even if one cannot fully explain such discrepancies.

Biosphere 2, Poetry, and the Anthropocene

Author: Eric Magrane
Email Address: emagrane@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: In Biosphere 2 (B2)’s first incarnation, eight people lived in a closed system under glass for two years. This has been described as ‘the human experiment’ and the forerunner of reality television. B2’s current life as a site of big science, a controlled environment to do large-scale landscape evolution studies and climate systems modeling—as well as a tourist attraction, one of Time Life’s 50 Must See Wonders of the World—embodies many of the dreams and anxieties in conceptions of the Anthropocene. B2 includes multiple biomes as well as a human habitat. Underneath, two acres of pipes known as the ‘technosphere’ are a metaphor for the Earth’s ecosystem services. In February 2014, I designed the Pilot Poetic Field Research weekend at B2, an experiment in which I brought poets to meet with researchers, and then installed the poets in biomes to write poems. The experiment was conceived as a hybrid between creative practice, social science, and environmental fieldwork. In this paper, I draw on ecocriticism and more-than-human geography to situate the experiment methodologically and creatively. Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments has just featured a series of poems from the project: http://terrain.org/2014/columns/biosphere-2-poetry-anthropocene-eric-magrane/

Raising Arrowrock: A political ecology case study

Author: Richard Martinez
Email Address: richardmartinez2@u.boisestate.edu
Affiliation: Boise State University

Abstract: In 2008, the U.S. Congress identified the Arrowrock Dam as an aging federal structure of concern with substantial maintenance expenditures. Currently, the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) evaluate construction alternatives for the near century old dam. The fear of flooding and availability irrigation water have deeply influenced the economics through which federal agencies have justified the building of dams. Today a uniquely complex situation presents itself as policy, public, and private interests converge. Major policies such as the National Environmental Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and changes in the Principles and Guidelines for federal water resource planning now play a role in the decision making process. The purpose of the research is to observe the controversy between the federal agencies involved, the various public and private stakeholders, and the public advocacy group Idaho Rivers United.

Recording Arctic environmental change: use of technology by Indigenous people

Author: Heidi McCann
Email Address: heidi.mccann@nsidc.org
Affiliation: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Co-Author(s):Allaina Wallace
, Co-Author(s):Chris McNeave
, Co-Author(s):Julia Collins
, Co-Author(s):Ruth Duerr
, Co-Author(s):Peter Pulsifer
, Co-Author(s):Shari Gearheard
, Co-Author(s):Henry Huntington

Abstract: Although often ignored or disregarded, Indigenous local and traditional knowledge (LTK) is an important source of data for understanding long-term environmental change. Historically, LTK has been conveyed orally from generation to generation. However, cultural shifts over time and adoption of digital technologies have introduced new forms of preserving and learning about the rapid changes in Arctic climate. To support the cultural shift, the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA) program implemented specific technologies to assist in the preservation and dissemination of local and traditional knowledge. These web-accessible technologies include video interviews with local hunters in their native language with subtitles, an application allowing access to Indigenous observations of weather and environment, and a geospatial mapping application of local knowledge. Lastly, to ensure the long-term preservation of the data, ELOKA is collaborating with the Data Conservancy to develop curation systems for LTK data. The ELOKA project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs.

From Suburbs to Places: An Examination of Micro-scale Changes and Sense of Place in Sacramento

Author: Jennifer McHenry
Email Address: jlmchenry@ucdavis.edu
Affiliation: University of California, Davis

Abstract: Suburban neighborhoods built in the latter half of the 20th century are generally considered placeless and void where the main outdoor activities are lawn maintenance and automobile navigation. This research challenges that perception by examining the link between changes in the structure and use of residential front space and interaction, identity and a sense of place. I inventoried changes in four Sacramento suburban neighborhoods and interviewed the residents; asking them about the changes they have made, their interactions with others and their feelings regarding the neighborhood. The interviews started with a mental map exercise and concluded with the resident marking locations of people and homes they knew on a pre-made map. A few residents from each site also participated in a walking interview. Residents changed the use and structure of their yard and garage spaces for various reasons and in many cases these changes contributed to increased interaction by bringing residents outdoors and facilitating greetings and conversations. These interactions in turn played a part in strengthening a shared identity and sense of place. The results suggest that micro-scale place making, while not the only contributing factor, facilitates interaction and contributes to a sense of place within neighborhoods.

Night of the World: Arizona Politics and the Ludicrous Sublime

Author: Kevin McHugh
Email Address: kmchugh@asu.edu
Affiliation: Arizona State University
Co-Author(s):Jennifer Kitson

Abstract: “It’s a strange world, isn’t it Sandy?” intones Jeffrey Beaumont in David Lynch’s surreal film Blue Velvet. Like Sandy and Jeffrey in the idyllic town of Lumberton we scarcely need to leave Arizona to glimpse disturbing worlds moving beneath the ‘normal’ order of things. We explore the ludicrous sublime of Arizona politics, taking a path through Slavoj Žižek’s Lynchian expression of the Lacanian Real. Using infrared imaging we traverse a heat-ray fantasy as a kind of therapeutic domestication of the traumatic impossibility of the monstrous Real that is politics in Arizona. The horror of the Real is felt in the perversity and obscenity of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s 22-year reign of terror as Toughest Sheriff in America, and a close encounter of the third kind punctuates the corrupt shenanigans of blue blood (former) Governor John Fife Symington III, whose sighting of mysterious lights in the Phoenix night sky is symbolic of his meteoric fall from power and comical rebirth as a pastry chef at the Biltmore Ritz-Carlton. Two questions loom. Must (political) subject formation, as Žižek argues, involve tarrying on, and passing through, the monstrous dismembering power of the negative imagination, Hegel’s Night of the World, Lynch’s ludicrous sublime? Lest you, dear listeners, attempt to negate the negation and seek refuge in righteousness we pose a second question: who among us is free of monsters?

Proposing a Spatial Thinking Model Applicable to Geography within California’s Common Core Standards

Author: John Menary
Email Address: jmenary@csudh.edu
Affiliation: CSU - Dominguez Hills

Abstract: Commonly, high school teachers agonize over many contradictory concerns. Within California, and probably elsewhere, the introduction of the Common Core Standard’s emphasis on reading, writing and thinking, likely injects more controversy. In talking with Southern California elementary and high school teachers a major but also a traditional problem focuses on compromise. With respect to instructing geography, many social studies teachers concur that geography is important and needs to be covered more comprehensively within existing curricula. However, a settled solution must offer a mode of sharing curriculum design objectives within the confines of time. Presently, both, accidentally, conspire to restrict what and how geography can, and cannot, be presented to students. This paper proposes an instructional template, regardless the level of instruction, social studies teachers can satisfactorily employ. Derived from studies of cinematic landscapes in films and video games, proposed is a common model for the representation of spatial reasoning. It unites three major geographic concepts - landscape, place and region. Connected within the theme of people-environment, the model provides teachers a template for teaching spatial thinking and spatial decision-making while also assisting with the transference of complex geographic theoretical conversations into the classroom.

Hydro-politics and Hydro-economics: Comparing Upstream and Downstream Challenges for Vietnam and Ethiopia

Author: Dianne Meredith
Email Address: dmeredith@csum.edu
Affiliation: California Maritime Academy-CSU
Co-Author(s):Givental, Elena

Abstract: This paper examines the conventional concept of hydro-political hegemons in both upstream and downstream locations, on different continents, in the context of political transformations, economic priorities, and environmental challenges. The water resource futures of both Vietnam and Ethiopia depend on access and control of two of the largest rivers in the world, the Mekong and the Nile. Both countries have similar motives for pushing high dam construction: food security through perennial irrigated agriculture, economic growth through electricity generation and export, and government expansion. However, the Blue Nile originates upstream in Ethiopia and the Mekong ends downstream in Vietnam. While both Vietnam and Ethiopia have hydro-political challenges with upstream or downstream traditional hegemons (China and Egypt) which have used their power to control the rivers’ destinies in each region, Vietnam’s Lower Mekong faces a multitude of high-dam related adverse environmental effects in contrast to Ethiopia’s upper Blue Nile hydro-development benefits. In today’s developing economies, impending hydro-economic benefits dwarf the risks of political confrontations, often disregarding potential environmental adversities. Thus, the authors conclude that Vietnam’s and Ethiopia’s hydro-economic returns will overshadow the hydro-political discourse regardless of their respective upstream or downstream locations.

Does Summer Monsoon Intensity affect Autumn Climate in the Southwestern United States?

Author: James Miller
Email Address: jamesmiller@fullerton.edu
Affiliation: California State University, Fullerton

Abstract: While the role of antecedent winter and spring snow cover on the strength of the North American Monsoon has been documented, there is little research on how monsoon variability affects autumn climate across the southwestern United States. Using the United States Historical Climate Network (USHCN), Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) network, and National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) climate division data, this study quantifies the effect of anomalous summer precipitation in Arizona and New Mexico on the autumn climate in the region. The data show that anomalously low (high) summer precipitation in the Southwest is associated with above (below) normal temperatures during the early-to-mid autumn. Additionally, diurnal temperature range is higher (lower) following summers with below (above) normal precipitation. Moreover, autumn dewpoint temperatures and relative humidity across the Southwest are correlated with the strength of the summer monsoon. The results suggest that anomalous summer precipitation can modulate the autumn climate of the southwestern United States.

The Critical Intimacies of Walking in the Abasto Shopping Mall, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Author: Jacob Miller
Email Address: jcmiller@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona

Abstract: In recent years, cultural geographers have drawn on theories of affect and emotion to explore new kinds of everyday consumer landscapes. Walking with research participants through the spaces in question has emerged as a useful technique for accessing these domains of embodied experience. This paper draws on findings from fieldwork at a shopping mall in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to highlight the difficulties and rewards of experimenting with such methodological and theoretical approaches in consumption studies. I outline how I adapted Rose, Degen and Basdas's (2010) "walk-along" technique and discuss key findings generalized by what I am calling spaces of critical intimacy - moments in which participants become attached to the mall, or are repulsed by it, or find themselves somewhere in between, somewhere more ambivalent. I want to suggest that these emotional experiences of the mall are just as important for a theory of consumer biopower as the notion that pre-conscious or non-cognitive affect is increasingly "engineered" into the landscape (Thrift 2008).

Ecology and management of fengshui forests in southeastern China

Author: J. Jesse Minor
Email Address: jminor@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona
, Co-Author(s):Chris

Abstract: Traditional forest management can produce a suite of positive ecological outcomes. Even small forest patches in traditional management can be important for species protection, preserving remnant forests, improving stream quality, and providing a core zone for forest expansion and regeneration. This study combines village-level ethnography with water quality sampling and forest stand surveys to understand the role of fengshui forests in southeastern China in broader patterns of cultivation, agroforestry and conservation. Traditionally managed fengshui forests are also incorporated into state protection regimes, with effects on forest composition and associated ecological outcomes. The rationales for village-level management of fengshui forests are also vulnerable to state intervention, with forest patches managed for scenic effects over longstanding fengshui motivations.

Neoliberal Agricultural Policies and Farmers’ Political Power in Japan

Author: Yoshitaka Miyake
Email Address: ymiyake@hawaii.edu
Affiliation: The University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

Abstract: Neoliberalism in agriculture demands free trade, corporate control of agricultural resources, and the reduction of state intervention. Farming is likely to be productivist, emphasizing competition and efficiency, while agricultural policies aim to reduce intervention and promote market rule from food production to consumption. This study shows both the effectiveness and limitations of farmers’ political power against neoliberal policy in Japan in the 2000s, especially the effectiveness of their votes. From 2007 to 2009, farmers’ votes contributed to the defeat of the long-term ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the national elections and stopped the 2007 Multi-Product Management Stabilization Plan, a policy designed to meet the norms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and develop large-scale agriculture. Even then, however, farmers could not press the government to explore options other than neoliberalism, and the government pursues the neoliberal policy direction as it has done since the Uruguay Round. Interviews with officials in Japan and a review of government documents, books, and news articles about the planned implementation show that while farmers prevented the extension of neoliberal policy for a few years, farmers’ power alone was not enough to force the exploration of an alternative in Japanese agriculture and its policy direction.

Traditional Infrastructure, Modern Flows: Cultural Politics of Development in Kathmandu, Nepal

Author: Olivia Molden
Email Address: omolden@uoregon.edu
Affiliation: University of Oregon

Abstract: This research investigates the contemporary role of traditional infrastructure in Kathmandu, Nepal to contribute to understanding the cultural politics of modernization and resource allocation in developing cities. Ancient and indigenous stone spout systems provide water services to around 10% of the Kathmandu Valley population. Simultaneously, they function as important spaces for cultural and community activities. Interviews, archival sources, court cases, and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development’s 2013-14 water supply survey provide a multidimensional perspective on stone spout use and management. As many developing cities face difficulties in governing water resources and cultural heritage, stone spouts provide an insightful case study into both these issues. Findings point to the importance of water managed at the community level and the acceptance of traditional infrastructure as legitimate water sources. However, greater participation of the government is also critical to support the management of water resources and cultural heritage broadly.

Maps on Human Canvasses

Author: Madison Most
Email Address: madisonmost@gmail.com
Affiliation: California State University, Northridge
Co-Author(s):Maritza Munoz

Abstract: Maps on Human Canvases is a creative exploration of cartography. This project serves two objectives. The first showcases the beauty and creative potential of cartography outside of its conventional design and functionality. The second connects female geographers with their passion for the discipline by demonstrating the ubiquitous yet subtle relationship between the female body and land. Throughout human history and across many countries and cultures, there has been a profound connection of the female body with the land and the Earth, manifested in the naming of place. Terra, the Latin word for “land” or “Earth”, is feminine, as are its derivatives, tierra and terre. Brittania, Helvetia, Europa, Bhārata Mātā (Mother of India), and Fjallkonan (Lady of the Mountain) are all feminine national personifications, or anthropomorphisms of countries. The cartographic display consists of a series of photographs, each one depicting a different map that has been hand-painted onto a female body. Both lead artists are female geographers, as are all the human canvases. The project is an exploration of cartography through a nontraditional medium, telling each female geographer’s story through the map they embody.

Urban Nature as Spectacle in a Desert City

Author: Chelsea Munoz-Patchen
Email Address: cpatchen@asu.edu
Affiliation: Arizona State University

Abstract: I work from the premise that urban natures are lived as irreducible relations of bodies, human and otherwise. I develop an affective-aesthetic approach in urban political ecology, exploring a case study of the Salt River Project irrigation canals in the Phoenix region. I distill the history of Phoenix canals as a narrative in material socio-ecological relations. From hydrological marvel in engineering and capitalist development, to ‘places’ for social gatherings and recreation, respite from the intense heat of the Valley of the Relentless Sun. The latter were lost as the Salt River Project modernized, de-vegetated, and concretized the canal system post WWII. Today, we see renewed interest in canals as sites of capitalist development, recreation, and social engagement. A conspicuous example is Canal Convergence, a biannual art event held along the Arizona Canal located at the posh Waterfront Development in Scottsdale, Arizona. I illuminate Canal Convergence as aestheticized nature moving hand-in-glove with what Nigel Thrift (2012) calls expressive infrastructure in capitalist economies, in which affect and spectacular experience are colonized in the search for profit. It is atmosphere or Lifeworld, Inc. (Thrift 2011) that is experienced and imbibed at Canal Convergence, a spectacle in urban nature enhanced by dazzling nighttime displays of water + art + light. I argue that the trilogy—affect, atmosphere, art—provides new directions in sensing and rethinking urban natures.


Author: Nicole Nebitsi
Email Address: nicole.nebitsi@asu.edu

Abstract: This paper presents a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) procedure to derive a model of solar energy technical potential analysis. This approach is unique in integrating geographic data with assessing the technical potential of solar energy. This framework can be used by decision makers to increase solar energy production and consumption in residential areas. This approach is also important in the education of consumers on the many aspects that affect the installation and performance of a photovoltaic system. The methodology presented showed the total technical potential of solar radiation received on all residential rooftops in the City of Tempe study area during the month of June is 8,635.53 tWh/m2 and during the month of December is 1,908.10 tWh/m2. The average radiation for the month of June is 9.75 tWh/m2 and the average for December is 0.02 tWh/m2. There are 570 rooftops in the study area providing 103.29 km2 of open rooftop space. The results from this analysis are useful to professionals in the solar industry, consumers, and municipalities. Further development of this study could lead to powerful tools and software applications used in the industry and for sustainable strategic city planning.

Hidden Hunger: Political Ecology of Food and Nutrition Security in Uttarakhand, India

Author: Carly Nichols
Email Address: cnichols@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: Recently, India has come under scrutiny for its failure to improve food and nutrition security (FNS). Prominent governmental and nongovernmental strategies addressing FNS include promoting horticultural crops to increase incomes, distributing food, and providing nutritional education. These programs, however, have seen mixed results. Analyzing qualitative data collected in the summer of 2013, I examine programs in Uttarakhand, India where hunger has been eradicated, yet malnutrition persists. I suggest that state-led shifts in agricultural production that have resulted in shifting consumption practices, have also led to diminished perceptions of health. Respondents link this decline in health to increased chemicals in home-produced food, greater dependence on the market and government for food purchases, and generational changes in dietary preferences. Following Mansfield (2011) I employ the concept of food as a “vector of intercorporeality” (Stassart and Whatmore 2003:449) to unpack why health perceptions are entwined in shifting landscapes of agricultural production and food consumption. I bring this conceptualization into conversation with the notion of social reproduction, investigating the human and nonhuman bodies that produce economic, ecological, and health outcomes. I argue that who, or what, these bodies are and the relations in which they are entangled matter to both material and social concerns.

Los Angeles: Built on Rails

Author: Matthew Nordstrom
Email Address: matthew.nordstrom.75@my.csun.edu
Affiliation: California State University Northridge

Abstract: During the first half of the 20th century, the Greater Los Angeles area once had the world’s most extensive interurban railroad transportation system. This was a complete contrast from the automobile dominated infrastructure that defines today’s spatial landscape of the Southland. How can a region that owed its growth to the arrival of transcontinental railroads and local interurban railroads be completely transformed into an automobile dependent metropolis? Has the automobile been a success or hindrance to the development of transportation in the Los Angeles metropolitan region? This paper explores the transportation history of Los Angeles through the lens of Henry Huntington’s Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railways from their beginning, growth, decline, and demise, to the revival of their legacy through today’s Metro Rail System.

Impacts of Independence Day and New Year Fireworks on Ambient Air Quality in California Cities

Author: Segun Ogunjemiyo
Email Address: sogunjemiyo@csufresno.edu
Affiliation: California State University. Fresno
Co-Author(s):Alam Hasson
, Co-Author(s):Eric Melton
, Co-Author(s):Kevin Wichman
, Co-Author(s):Karen Jimenez

Abstract: Both the Independence Day (July 4) and the New Year are celebrated with fireworks display that release particulate and gaseous pollutants into the atmosphere. Among the pollutants emitted by the burning of fireworks is PM2.5 (particulate matter with aerodynamic area less than 2.5). Studies show that during fireworks display the hourly concentration of PM2.5 at urban centers can reach a value that is 10 times the normal level and high enough to be harmful to human health. The time for fireworks display vary from one city to another and so is the amount of pollutants emitted. In this study we examine the spatial variation of the impacts of fireworks on ambient air quality on July 4 and New Year over a 15 year period in California Cities using PM2.5 and meteorological data collected at 133 air quality monitoring stations located in 35 counties within the state.

River Behavior on a deforming landscape

Author: Amalie Orme
Email Address: amalie.orme@csun.edu
Affiliation: California State University Northridge

Abstract: River channel patterns respond to environmental disturbances including tectonic forcing, changes in climate and water supply, and human interference. Responses may include channel deepening, abandonment of the mainstream channel, lateral migration, and altered sediment load. The upper Owens River in eastern California is characterized by a complex meandering system experiencing rapid change in channel behavior, including incision, meander elongation and contraction, and increases in gradient. These changes are superimposed on a landscape which experiences deformation owing to doming and subsidence of the Long Valley Caldera. Building on the leveling surveys of the 19th and 20th centuries together with repeat channel cross sections, this study reveals a river system in geomorphic flux with spatially variable meander patterns adjusting to changes in baselevel and gradient.

Geographical Diffusion of the Korean Pop Culture in International Markets

Author: Jonghyun PARK
Email Address: pakugen69@gmail.com
Affiliation: Hosei University

Abstract: This study analyzes the characteristics of Geographical diffusion of the Korean pop culture in international markets through the Korean TV programs during 1980-2010. The results summarizes as follows: In this study, based on the total amount of the export, the patterns of the exported TV programs would be divided into five periods. In the 1980s, the number of exported TV programs was infinitesimal, and it lasted until the late 1990s.From 1997, the Korean TV programs started to be distributed in the global market with Taiwan, Singapore, China, and Hong Kong. China consumed the largest number of exported Korean TV programs, followed by a slight difference of Taiwan and Hong Kong and those patterns continued until 2001. Japan dominated the international distribution of the Korean TV programs and retained its leading position since the Japanese market surpassed the Chinese one in 2003, and the dominance of the Japanese market lasted for 7 years. The Korean TV dramas have been greatly distributed to Asian countries, making up 91% of the total export in 2010, and it shows that there are still striking differences between Asian and Non-Asian countries.

Governing swarms, developing government: expertise and ecological indeterminacy in West African Desert locust control

Author: Claude Peloquin
Email Address: cpeloquin@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: Swarms of desert locusts occasionally travel across vast parts of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and South Asia, where they severely deplete crops and pastures. The extremely stochastic nature of the insect’s population dynamics and migration patterns severely challenge the management of this agricultural pest hazard. Environmental social scientists have documented and explained why states and supranational organizations mandated with the management and governance of natural resources and hazards often favor models and management regimes that simplify the complexity produced by the non-linear, stochastic, and emergent, properties of ecological dynamics over approaches that adapt to and work with these properties. This literature invites the hypothesis that organizations mandated with the monitoring and control of desert locusts would favor approaches that are better attuned to the highly schematized and static tendencies of state-vision and reductionist science. Interviews with scientific advisors and technicians involved in locust management in West Africa, however, indicate that the political economy of locust-related scientific and technical expertise in development networks favors approaches that work at the “complex end” of the locust management spectrum. This paper explains the socio-political processes underlying this selection and discusses its implications for our understanding of the ecological engagement produced by developmentalist power-knowledge.

Geographies of nature and society: Assessing human behavioral response to ambient environmental conditions at the Phoenix Zoo

Author: David Perkins
Email Address: drperkin@uncg.edu
Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Abstract: Attendance decisions involving outdoor activities require people to understand and interpret the weather. One sector of the economy vulnerable to the impact of weather conditions is zoos and aquariums. In 2012 zoos and aquariums contributed over $16 billion to the U.S. economy, supported 142,000 jobs, and attracted 175 million visitors (AZA 2013). This presentation focuses on the Phoenix Zoo, the largest privately owned non-profit zoo in the United States located in the Papago Park area of Phoenix. My research assesses how ambient environmental conditions coincide with daily visitor attendances from 2001 to 2011. Attendances at the Phoenix Zoo are paired with Hoppe’s Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) which equates human heat balances to temperatures. PET is then categorically classified with a nine-point thermal sensation scale established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) using thermal thresholds defined by Matzarakis & Mayer. Analysis of the Phoenix Zoo is part of the broader spatial comparison “Weather impacts on visitor behavior: a spatio-temporal study of select U.S. metropolitan zoos” which expands this research to Atlanta, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Results show unique weather-attendance relationships in Phoenix that provide geographical context and help remove confirmation bias in data analysis.

Economies of Scale in American Counties

Author: Gardner Perry
Email Address: magperry@alum.mit.edu
Affiliation: Retired

Abstract: This brief look at 948 counties in the center of the United States shows that economies of scale in these counties do exist whether measured against population or density. From the smallest counties per capita expenses decrease up to a population of about 40,000; diseconomies of scale begin to appear above a population of about one million. For density the points are 35 and 1,000 people per square mile.

Organized Insecurity: The Construction of Spaces of Manipulation of Central American Migrants in Mexico

Author: Ian Philabaum
Email Address: patoloco@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: This study examines how Central Americans migrants in Mexico receive and share information about spaces of risk and security, and how they use this information to make decisions on their journey. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with migrants, key informants, and aid workers in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco in the summer of 2014. Although recent media focus has been on the child migrant crisis at U.S.-Mexico border, Central American migrants travelling through Southern Mexico have been victims of human rights violations for over a decade, suffering extortion, kidnapping, rape, and murder. Federal institutions charged to protect the human rights of migrants remain impotent, civil associations that aid Central American migrants are have limited access to resources, and organized crime remains highly adaptable. Central American migrants are forced to make decisions that put them at risk, often knowing the dangers that await them on the trail but willing to take the risk because of the violence and poverty they face at home. I argue that the increased security measures taken by the Mexican government to deter the migration of Central Americans pushes migrants into more invisible spaces, resulting in the coordinated opportunism of organized crime’s migrant economy.

Public Radio as a Tool in Qualitative Geographic Research

Author: Brian Pompeii
Email Address: bpompeii@asu.edu
Affiliation: Arizona State University and Phoenix College

Abstract: In this paper I detail the use of regular radio broadcasts as an experimental tool in qualitative geographic research. I detail a case study that offers examples of the use of public radio while in the field. The case study is based on research I conducted in Ocracoke, North Carolina that examines the relationships amongst local environmental knowledge, cultural practices, and socioenvironmental change. The criteria used to evaluate the use of public radio as a qualitative tool involves assessing the techniques ability to enhance credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. These categories are borrowed from a comparison study conducted by Baxter and Eyles (1997) that evaluated rigor in qualitative geographic research. I close by considering how my project addresses some of the recent calls in human geography to include phonographic methods alongside visual and textual modes of inquiry (e.g. Gallagher and Prior 2014). The major claim of this paper is that the use of audio media has the potential to contribute to qualitative geographic research in ways that visual and textual representations cannot.

Not In Portland's Back Yard: The Production of a Self-Organized Homeless Space

Author: Stephen Przybylinski
Email Address: przyb@pdx.edu
Affiliation: Portland State University

Abstract: The continued increase in homelessness in Portland, Oregon and nearly every metropolitan area in the U.S. is in part a result of the systemic restructuring of the welfare state as well as a shift in local governance purviews. Primarily this has eradicated the affordable housing stock. But its effects also derive from cuts in other social programs that have collectively supported the homeless. This has left a depleted service support system to cover a rising homeless problem. As reversions to sufficient HUD budget levels do not seem likely in an era of austerity, traditional capacities for mitigating homelessness are becoming dire. This study, therefore, examines a self-organized homeless rest site in downtown Portland, which has become a critical resource in homeless emergency service provisioning. While NIMBYism surrounding this project has been ongoing since its inception in late 2011, the question of where to locate a homeless rest site has more recently come to the political forefront. Drawing on ethnographic work and archival data, I analyze the multiple spatialities of this self-managed space to better understand homeless individuals’ connection to place and space. I argue this perspective is essential for mitigating homelessness in Portland and informing the decision-making surrounding its relocation.

Dams and Development, Understanding Hydropower in Far Western Yunnan Province, China.

Author: Thomas Ptak
Email Address: tptak@uoregon.edu
Affiliation: University of Oregon

Abstract: Studies of hydropower in China examining the complex array of socioeconomic, political and environmental dimensions have focused disproportionally on macro-scale projects, specifically mega-dams. The very size of these projects should not, however, obscure other developments also of significance; small hydropower, dams with an operating capacity of 50 Megawatts or less. Recently, development of small dams has increased rapidly, especially in China. Driving this push is a belief that small dams are an environmentally sound alternative to burning coal, which contributes to China’s much publicized air quality issues and global climate challenges. However, despite the significance of small-scale projects, research to date has overwhelmingly focused on mega projects. As a result of this ‘tunnel vision’, an integral component of China’s hydropower network has received inadequate attention, remaining little known or understood. This research investigates small hydropower development in a rural and remote corner of China’s Nu River valley, located in far Northwest Yunnan Province. Research objectives evaluate small dam’s effectiveness in promoting socioeconomic development for rural and remote communities while contributing to China’s broader energy security demands. Furthermore, this research analyzes drivers shaping small dam construction in China’s rural and remote frontier province, while assessing implications on local environmental conditions.

Media, Misogyny and Murder.

Author: Sumner Ray
Email Address: rsumner@lbcc.edu
Affiliation: Long Beach City College

Abstract: This study examines the contemporary representation through image and text of a nineteenth century explorer-naturalist. The manipulation of images is now an everyday and profitable experience, but a great danger can also lie in to the creation of inauthentic and irresponsible narratives. Through their transformative power a complete recontextualization is achieved, and an admired person becomes a thing, a mere symbol now of great evil. This situation brings into question social and cultural values, the role of the outsider (other), structures of power, and the responsibility of a researcher to preserve an epistemological and ethical representation.

The Dawn of the Greenhouse on Rural Tibetan Landscapes

Author: Lucas Reyes
Email Address: lyr6@humboldt.edu
Affiliation: Humboldt State University

Abstract: This field study explores the changing agricultural conditions and practices on the Tibetan Plateau. China faces problems feeding a growing population of over a billion. Beijing is pushing west. The land is harsh, traditionally inhabited by cultural minorities. As Ethnic Hans migrate to Tibet the immediate problem of how the rugged landscape, historically isolated by great mountains, will support this migration surfaces. How will this landscape sustain the incoming Han Chinese? Through textual discourse that is supported by field research, agricultural practices are assessed and the marginalization and degradation of both land and culture are analyzed. The Chinese government addresses this nourishment problem through policy, an intricate display of governmentality. The rural Tibetan livelihood is marginalized and degraded through these Chinese government policies designed to bring the greater Tibetan population into a market driven economy. Rural Tibetans are encouraged to grow more grains through subsides, to abandon the use of the yak as a beast of burden and to adopt more green revolution technologies. While rural farmers adopt green revolution technologies and weigh the economic benefit of grain subsides I assert that greenhouses will become common place, a result of Chinese governmentality.

Negotiating Indigenous payments for cultural ecosystem services

Author: Cathy Robinson
Email Address: catherine.Robinson@csiro.au
Affiliation: CSIRO Australia

Abstract: This paper draws on research conducted with Indigenous land and sea managers across northern Australia to critically consider Indigenous payments for cultural ecosystem services and identify the most important challenges they face. I begin by sketching the historical context by which Indigenous communities in Australia have sought to have their land and sea management knowledge and practices recognised and supported by environmental and natural resource markets and programs. Recently this includes a concerted effort by Indigenous communities to engage in payment for ecosystem service (PES) schemes. I draw on Indigenous perspectives and aspirations for PES activities and partnerships to consider the possibilities for re-shaping the logic and assessment of PES schemes negotiated with Indigenous communities. This not only requires valuing Indigenous notions of social-ecological systems and what is required for their stewardship but also requires a collaborative approach to negotiate the ‘service’ PES schemes should deliver

'From those who wish the Irrawaddy to flow forever': the evolution of the perceptions of the Irrawaddy River Valley by its Inhabitants

Author: Marion Sabrie
Email Address: sabrie.marion@gmail.com
Affiliation: EHESS. Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CASE). Paris. France

Abstract: For centuries, Myanmar has been considered the land of the Valley of the Irrawaddy River by the ethnic majority, and also by their successive sovereigns, the British colonizers, the Inhabitants, the researchers. The river has always given water for irrigation and transportation and fish for food, etc. Today, the perception of the centrality of the River Valley on the Myanmar territory not only belongs to the Bamars, but is shared by the Kachins who live at the river's sources in the northern State. Based on local interviews made in Myanmar language, my talk focuses on the evolution of the Irrawaddy's role in the territorial organization beyond perceptions. Although its central role seems to have decreased, the perception of its greatness has never been so strong. Because of the recent democratization process and economic openness of Myanmar, the economic pressure on the River has never been so important and its protection has never been so defended by political and intellectual elite, the riparian Inhabitants and the NGOs supporting them. This vision is developed and shared among various discourses such as 'Save the Irrawaddy'. Myitsone hydro-electrical plant project, situated at the river sources, embodies the perception gap among stakeholders

“I risk everything because I have already lost everything.” Las Mujeres Luchadoras: Central America Women and Girls Speak Out on the Migrant Trail in Oaxaca, Mexico

Author: Leigh Anne Schmitt
Email Address: leigh1@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: UA Graduate Student
Co-Author(s):Dr. Stephanie Buechler

Abstract: The goal of this research is to humanize the female Central American migrant experience by shifting the discourse on migration away from portraying these women as a threat to national security. Twenty in-depth interviews with female migrants (19 to 46 years of age) were conducted between June and August 2014 in the migrant shelter ‘Hermanos en el Camino’ in Ixtepec, Oaxaca.  The exact words of the women interviewees were recorded and incorporated in order to bring their voices to a larger public. While many relayed that physical insecurity was a factor for migrating, most focused on economic factors and their commitment to better provide for their children. This study revealed the risks of being a female migrant and their courageous fight for a better future for themselves and their family members. As one woman interviewee said: “Every obstacle that gets in my way is just another thing that gives me strength on this road”. By humanizing the female migrant through highlighting the bold and strategic nature of her decisions and actions, this study complements prior migration studies that focused on increased violence against women on the migrant trail. To conclude, the policy implications that this study generated are discussed.

“Não vou ficar olhando da janela e olhando a rua”: Children negotiating power and exclusion in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro

Author: Pamela Sertzen
Email Address: pksertze@syr.edu
Affiliation: Syracuse University

Abstract: This article analyzes the negotiations of territoriality that lock favela residents, and more importantly, children living in the favela, into relationships of power and exclusion. Drawing on research conducted in Rocinha in 2011, this work draws on participant observation, a mini questionnaire, and photo-voice technique with children aged 10-13. Although children’s movements are generally more restricted than those of adults in these areas, they are actively negotiating territory and the social relations embedded within it. Children’s relationships vis-à-vis their families, the traffickers, the ‘absent’ state, non-governmental organizations, Rocinha and Rio de Janeiro demonstrate their agency in navigating territory. I draw from Sack (1983), da Matta (1997) and Machado da Silva (2004) to work out the ways in which children conceptualize their experience in the favela and the urban spaces around it as sites of simultaneous violence, ‘calm,’ and resistance. More specifically, I ask, how do children and youth understand the spaces of violence that they encounter? And, in what ways do children and youth negotiate spaces of socialization (i.e. play) within and outside of their community?

Keepin’ it Real: Toward an Embodied Ontology of Film and Media

Author: Laura Sharp
Email Address: laurasharp@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: The University of Arizona

Abstract: With this paper I review past works that have established film geography as a sub-discipline, focusing on the appearance of the “real/reel binary.” This lurking epistemological trap conceives of the reel, onscreen world as a representation of the real, offscreen world. This manner of thinking has significant implications for how geographers approach film. First, there is a continual deferral of meaning production away from film and onto seemingly more important thematic areas like gender, sexuality, race, colonialism, or class. Second, the emphasis placed on epistemology by post-structuralism reinforces hermeneutics as the dominant mode of film analysis, thus keeping the focus of film geography on reading narratives and exposing films’ constructed meanings and the power relations that produce them. Attempts to negate the binary have been made by deploying dialectics, simulacra, and haptics. I argue that, where dialectics and simulacra maintain the conceptualization of film as text, haptics moves the discussion away from text and optics and onto a reconceptualization of film as an embodied and emotional event.

Origin and Demise of the Extraterritorial Application of NEPA, 1970-2017

Author: Terry Simmons
Email Address: terry@environment-lawyer.com
Affiliation: Center for Global Policy Studies

Abstract: International law discussions held in the 1960s and 1970s explored the environmental implications of American national security and foreign policies. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 created, almost by accident, the environmental impact statement. Formal regulatory inclusion of extraterritoriality occurred in 1979. Federal agencies coordinate domestic aspects of international situations with Department of State, and exchange information with “host” or foreign countries. The first extraterritorial application was managed successfully by the International Joint Commission in 1970-1971, on behalf of the Federal Power Commission, after Seattle City Light failed to evaluate its proposed Ross Lake reservoir in British Columbia. The IJC requested written submissions from all parties and held hearings in Seattle and Vancouver. The extraterritorial application for the Keystone XL pipeline is in its sixth year of inept EIS studies. Canadian oil is being diverted to Asian and European markets. The White House uses NEPA to filibuster the regulatory process for partisan political purposes without regard to negative environmental consequences. In the absence of honest cooperation with the host country, the regulatory process metamorphoses into mush; ineffective, bureaucratic boiler plate. The extraterritorial application of NEPA can be a sound concept on paper, but it rarely works well in reality.

Desirable Subjects: Capitalizing Sanctuary in the Revanchist City

Author: Shelby Smith
Email Address: shelbys@email.arizona.edu

Abstract: Over the past decade, the United States has seen an escalation of local and state immigration policies. While many have been restrictive, others are situated vis-à-vis a rising activist movement for immigrant rights and legal reforms. This paper explores the relationships between immigration status and subject formation, sanctuary and urban political economy, and race, ethnicity, and belonging in Dayton, Ohio, which recently implemented “Welcome Dayton,” a comprehensive plan to improve immigrant integration into the municipal community through local business and social service initiatives. Based on research conducted during the summer of 2014, the paper will illuminate the ways in which legal statuses produce - and then continue to reinforce/enforce - relationships of power, both through disparate abilities to access community resources, as well as create (im)mobility within urban spaces. Given the objectives set by the city – to improve the material conditions of the immigrant population while also attracting new, desirable labor - I will assess the politico-material effects discourses of racially and ethnically distinct communities in Dayton have in (re)producing a particular industrial narrative of the city, concomitant with the racial politics of immigration status, labor precarity, and capital investment.

“No abiding city”: Defining Presence of Absence in the American West

Author: Paul F. Starrs
Email Address: starrs@unr.edu
Affiliation: University of Nevada

Abstract: Referred to by Walter Prescott Webb as “an oasis civilization,” the American West raises rich complications in ambiguous 21st century definitions of where people are not. Granted, as the North American continent slowly filled through the 19th and 20th centuries, an evolving taxonomy of concern about presence and absence loomed. But beyond allusions to “the country and the city,” as Raymond Williams had it, barren vocabulary bogged down British English, which in the 1800s referred vaguely to the “Great American Desert,” as geographer Martyn Bowden notes. Scholars and practitioners from Henry Gannett and Francis Walker to FJ Turner, Yi-Fu Tuan, the Poppers, and Robert Lang — and agencies galore — struggle with what to call sparsely populated areas: backwoods, “desert,” frontier, exurbia, rural, penurbia, the void. Prominent issues for rural residents include foundered access to the knowledge economy, food deserts, unaffordable resort worker housing, newly legalized crops, poor hospital and health resources, nonexistent county or state services, and the like. This work maps varied and evolving definitions of people sparsely settled through space. A quandary for the demographers, urbanists, population geographers, and experts in community well-being and rural development are profoundly rural populations that exist amid squishy and imprecise terminology.

The Distribution of Pediments in the Coyote Range, Southern California

Author: Belinda Stevens
Email Address: stevensbbt@comcast.net
Affiliation: California State University, Chico

Abstract: The Coyote Range is part of the southwestern Basin and Range geological province and a subarea of the Salton region. The Range lies across the boundary of the San Diego and Imperial Counties of southern California, and bounded on the southern flank by the active right lateral strike-slip Elsinore Fault. The active San Andreas Fault system has caused the Coyote Range to be uplifted resulting in the formation of erosional landforms such as pediments. Inaccessibility and rugged terrain has deterred intricate pediment research that may reveal local interactions and regional correlations. During the winters of 2012 and 2013 manual mapping of pediments was done on aerial photographs along with photos and handwritten field notes to capture the specific locations and geology of the pediment surfaces. Analysis of the data resulted in the categorization of over 500 pediments, the identification of pediment relationships, comparison of measured gradients, and the identification of formational and/or modifying agents. Results have determined pedimentation is not affected by underlying geology, and some processes are active singularly or in dual roles of pediment formation and modifications. It is possible that pediments can be used in determining rate and timing of uplift and areas with more uplifted activity.

Sustainable development without environmental justice? A case study of wetland development in Arzaq, Jordan.

Author: Zackery Thill
Email Address: zackeryt@uoregon.edu
Affiliation: University of Oregon

Abstract: It is argued that the growing trend of non-state actors participating in sustainable development projects has empowered civil society and fostered environmental justice movements in the Global South. Yet, others have cited the proliferation of non-state actors in sustainable development as an example of the weakening of the state and an expansion of neoliberal ideals. Using a project carried out in Azraq, Jordan, as a case study, I examine the extent to which sustainable development: 1) has fit into the neoliberal model, and 2) corresponds with environmental justice goals. I conclude that sustainable development programs have contributed to more efficient use of scarce resources and the creation of economic opportunities for locals. Yet, the causes of environmental degradation are often related to the unique functioning of the state apparatus, and projects that provide market-based and civil society solutions to environmental problems have been unable to deal with the underlining causes of environmental degradation in the region.

The Landscape of Urban Agriculture in California’s Capital City

Author: Stacie Townsend
Email Address: satownsend@ucdavis.edu
Affiliation: UC Davis, Geography Graduate Group
Co-Author(s):N. Claire Napawan

Abstract: This paper makes an argument for the increased role local policy might play in support of the rise of urban agricultural practice in California’s capitol. The resurgence of interest in small scale, urban food production in Sacramento is clearly evidenced by the growing number of projects and advocates within recent years. Three veins of inquiry investigate the current landscape of urban agricultural practice in Sacramento: First, past and present urban agricultural projects and advocacy within the city are detailed, offering a narrative of urban agriculture’s role within Sacramento’s development. Secondly, city and state policies that have both promoted and prevented the practice within the city are examined. Finally, the authors investigate the potential for strategies and plans for the future of urban agriculture in Sacramento. The authors conclude that community interest is out-pacing local policies, and city-wide initiatives might improve efforts at increasing opportunities for new projects.

Communities and Forests: Payments for Ecosystem Services in the Guatemalan Highlands

Author: Niki vonHedemann
Email Address: nvonhedemann@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: Many payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs in Latin America aim to provide motivation for environmental protection as well as funds for local development. State-run Guatemalan forestry incentive programs are rapidly expanding as landowners’ interest grows and forest growth and conservation are sought by the Guatemalan government. Participants in the Western Highlands have often worked on forest conservation for decades, seizing the opportunity to receive payments for their efforts and mobilizing community organization to enroll. These compensations for ecosystem service provision are growing at the same time that Guatemala is also introducing Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiatives, which seek to provide international funds for forest carbon sequestration. This paper analyzes the differences and similarities in the structures of these two programs and argues that the national, development-focused incentive program can potentially provide more benefits to recipients than market-based, international exchanges of quantified ecosystem services. These various emerging forms of environmental governance are shifting the forestry landscape in Guatemala, inserting state control into forested spaces but also providing individuals and communities with room for contestation.

Fetal Citizens? Local Responses to Chinese Birth Tourism in Southern California

Author: Sean H. Wang
Email Address: shwang13@syr.edu
Affiliation: Syracuse University

Abstract: In September, 2012, residents of Chino Hills, California, exposed a maternity hotel disguised as a hillside mansion. Part of an emergent shadow industry of birth tourism, it catered to pregnant Chinese women who traveled to the US to give birth. This controversy received wide-spread media attention, as organized resident protests against this maternity hotel argued that Chinese birth tourism represents an immigration loophole, where foreigners were taking advantage of the jus soli birthright citizenship guaranteed by the US Constitution. This paper analyzes media reports and interview transcripts after this controversy in order to understand how debates about Chinese birth tourism became a lightning rod in anti-immigration debates nationally. Drawing from Edelman's (2004) concept of reproductive futurism and Luibhéid's (2013) application of it to theorize migration controls, this paper argues that all parties involved in these debates mobilized the figure of the (fetal) child and her future citizen-ness to construct their political arguments. Thus, not only does the panic over Chinese birth tourism constitute a racialized violence by resurrecting anti-Asian fear, it ironically forces certain migrant women to resort to a pro-life defense to secure a universal women's right - the right to give birth under safe conditions without threat of deportation.

Defining Seasons: Identifying Synoptic Weather Patterns and Interpreting Their Temporal Variability

Author: Gregory Weisberg
Email Address: gweisberg@csu.fullerton.edu
Affiliation: California State University of Fullerton
Co-Author(s):James Miller

Abstract: This paper examines the temporal variability of synoptic weather patterns in Southern California for a 66-year period, 1948-2013. The objective was two-fold: first, to identify regional synoptic patterns and their seasonality, and second, to analyze the temporal variability of the derived synoptic patterns. We derived 18 synoptic patterns using principal components analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis on gridded atmospheric variables obtained from the National Center for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis product. Results indicate that certain synoptic patterns are highly seasonal. Six synoptic patterns are identified as becoming more or less frequent. Two common summer weather patterns have become more frequent, and have been lasting later into the year – these synoptic patterns are identified by their weak winds, high temperatures, and a stable, stratified atmosphere. Four synoptic patterns, each associated with transitional and winter months, are becoming less frequent. The daily weather type classification can be used to better understand synoptic controls on a wide variety of local-to-regional scale atmospheric phenomena.

Rural Protest, Environmental Activism, and “Sacred Water”: A Case Study of the Las Vegas/Snake Valley Rural-Urban Water War

Author: Jared Whear
Email Address: jcwvf6@mail.missouri.edu
Affiliation: University of Missouri

Abstract: Frequently as a response to an external threat, social movements unite disparate groups of stakeholders who share in the desire to achieve a common goal. This paper explores how an unlikely coalition of rural residents, ranchers, Native American tribes, and environmental activists have successfully created, used, and negotiated a sense of place to resist the construction and implementation of a large-scale, rural-to-urban, water transfer project. The project, first proposed in 1989 and later revived in 2004, is an effort by Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) to obtain water for the rapidly expanding Las Vegas metropolitan area. The so-called “Ground Water Development Project” would extract water from underground wells and aquifers in rural eastern Nevada and western Utah, and pump it nearly 300 miles south to urban Las Vegas. However, in the face of fierce resistance, led by the aforementioned coalition—which is centered around Snake Valley on the Nevada/Utah border—SNWA has yet to be granted the legal precedent to complete the multibillion dollar pipeline project, showing that the manipulation and social construction of place is a powerful tool in coalition politics and environmental activism.

The Changing Face of Tourism in Death Valley

Author: Tina White
Email Address: thalwegtina@gmail.com
Affiliation: Pasadena City College, Cypress College

Abstract: This research examine patterns of visitation to Death Valley National Park (DVNP) from 1990 through 2011 to determine if changes have occurred, what those changes are, how they reflect upon DVNP and the U.S. National Park System, and if they mirror trends in global tourism. Three surveys distributed during the 1990s and one from 2010/11 were compared to identify differences in visitor demographics and interests; initial impressions that these had changed significantly over the subject period were not borne out by the data. However, other unexpected patterns were revealed and examined; in particular, the overwhelming number of foreign tourists visiting the Park, primarily Western Europeans, and especially during the summer season. As global tourism is increasing, Asia is becoming a major source of such travelers, but data reviewed in this thesis indicates that DVNP is not a popular destination for these international visitors. This phenomenon warrants attention in terms of the continued attraction and sustainability of this unique environment and invaluable part of the U.S. National Parks System.

Temporal study of cienegas at Cienega Creek using multispectral satellite imagery.

Author: Natalie R. Wilson
Email Address: nrwilson@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona
Co-Author(s):Laura M. Norman
, Co-Author(s):Miguel Villarreal
, Co-Author(s):Leila Gass
, Co-Author(s):Ron Tiller
, Co-Author(s):Andrew Salywon

Abstract: Desert wetlands, in particular those slow moving bodies of water known as cienegas, like those at Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in southeastern Arizona, are important sites for biodiversity in arid landscapes and serve as sensitive indicators of hydrological functioning on the landscape level. Satellite imagery analysis is often used to determine landscape level trends but cienegas present a challenge to traditional analysis methods. NDVI, the classic measure of vegetation greenness, reacts counterintuitively to open water and is affected by bare ground, both common occurrences in cienega habitats. Other remote sensing indices balance sensitivity to these environmental elements: vegetation indices include the SAVI and SATVI, water indices include the NDWI, NDII6 and NDII7, and one wetness index is TWI. This research explores these satellite-image algorithms and indices, applying them to Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery from 1984 to 2011. The indices were compared for suitability of measuring productivity of desert wetlands and trends were plotted. This research is valuable for scientists studying cienegas in other arid land ecosystems and for local BLM land managers seeking to restore or conserve local landscapes.

Collaborative Research on Upper Colorado River Basin Streamflow and Drought

Author: Connie Woodhouse
Email Address: conniew1@email.arizona.edu
Affiliation: University of Arizona

Abstract: Droughts and their impacts on surface water supplies in the western US have become both a topic of research and a major management challenge over the past few decades. Often the two have taken parallel but non-intersecting paths, but increasingly, scientific research and management questions are informing each other. This presentation describes a collaborative effort between academic and government researchers and water management professionals to carry out research that addresses Upper Colorado River basin (UCRB) drought. Specifically, we seek a better understanding of the extent to which hydroclimatic factors including prior summer/fall soil moisture, cool season precipitation, and spring temperatures, contribute to low annual flows on the Colorado River. This understanding is critically important to resource managers who are currently anticipating the impacts of climate variability and change on limited water supplies in the UCRB. Preliminary results suggest an increasingly important role for temperature in recent droughts. Paleoclimatic data will provide context for this finding over past centuries, and climate change projection analyses will assess the sensitivity of annual low flows to different scenarios of hydroclimatic. A water management advisory board is an integral part of this project, guiding the research to ensure results are applicable to management questions.

The Speculative Geography of Orson Welles

Author: Keith Woodward
Email Address: kwoodward@wisc.edu
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin–Madison

Abstract: Orson Welles’s experimental ‘essay film’, F for Fake (1973), captures in short form what the prodigious director’s biography expresses in grander gestures: a speculative geography for a materialist cinema. Documenting the fakery techniques of famed twentieth century art forger Elmyr de Hory and his biographer – and fellow forger – Clifford Irving, the film has often been read as a venue for showcasing the director’s own ‘charlatanism’. Deleuze’s philosophy of cinema, for example, identifies the repetition of the typical Wellesian ‘character’ – the forger, the faker, the double-dealer – as Welles’s embrace of the ‘powers of the false’. But F for Fake, along with Welles’s other late-life essay films, also offers a pragmatic strategy for theorizing the sites of cinematic production on the basis of their constituent contingencies. For Welles the independent filmmaker, these uncertainties unfailingly manifested in financial, technological, and geographical disasters – problems that, I argue, he harnessed and sutured to cultivate a unique cinematic ‘style’. The resulting ‘Wellesian continuum’ sheds important light upon the ways that accident conspires with perception and thought to produce cinematic space. A ‘how to’ in forging series from the contingencies of production, Welles’s meditation on fakery models the creation of such speculative spaces.

Internationalization Programs in U.S. Higher Education

Author: Jenny Zorn
Email Address: jjz48@humboldt.edu
Affiliation: Humboldt State University

Abstract: Internationalization of higher education in the U.S. includes several aspects to fully develop: international academic programs, faculty teaching and research exchanges, study abroad, and international students on the campus. Faculty are the core for developing all of these programs. This session discusses how faculty can develop international programs and begin to internationalize their campus or help to internationalize it further.