Matching Items (18)

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Emerging Environmental Justice Issues in Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination

Description

Nuclear hazards, linked to both U.S. weapons programs and civilian nuclear power, pose substantial environment justice issues. Nuclear power plant (NPP) reactors produce low-level ionizing radiation, high level nuclear waste, and are subject to catastrophic contamination events. Justice concerns include

Nuclear hazards, linked to both U.S. weapons programs and civilian nuclear power, pose substantial environment justice issues. Nuclear power plant (NPP) reactors produce low-level ionizing radiation, high level nuclear waste, and are subject to catastrophic contamination events. Justice concerns include plant locations and the large potentially exposed populations, as well as issues in siting, nuclear safety, and barriers to public participation. Other justice issues relate to extensive contamination in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, and the mining and processing industries that have supported it. To approach the topic, first we discuss distributional justice issues of NPP sites in the U.S. and related procedural injustices in siting, operation, and emergency preparedness. Then we discuss justice concerns involving the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and the ways that uranium mining, processing, and weapons development have affected those living downwind, including a substantial American Indian population. Next we examine the problem of high-level nuclear waste and the risk implications of the lack of secure long-term storage. The handling and deposition of toxic nuclear wastes pose new transgenerational justice issues of unprecedented duration, in comparison to any other industry. Finally, we discuss the persistent risks of nuclear technologies and renewable energy alternatives.

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2016-07-12

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The resonance of place: music and race in Salvador da Bahia

Description

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the aural, though in no way leaving behind the visual, opens

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the aural, though in no way leaving behind the visual, opens the discipline to new areas of human and cultural geography invisible in ocular-centric approaches. At its broadest level, my argument in this dissertation is that music can no longer be simply an object of geographical research. Re-conceptualized and re-theorized in a geographical context to take into account its very real, active, and more-than-representational presence in social life, music provides actual routes to geographic knowledge of the world. I start by constructing a theoretical framework and methodological approach for studying music beyond representation. Based on these theoretical and methodological arguments, I present four narratives that unfold at the intersections of race and music in the northeast Brazilian city of Salvador. From the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to the troubled neighborhood of the Pelourinho, from the manic tempos of samba to the laid back grooves of samba-reggae, and in the year-round competition between the oppressive forces of ordinary time and the fleeting possibility of carnival, music emerges as a creative societal force with affects and effects far beyond the realm of representation. Together, these narratives exemplify the importance of expanding geographical considerations beyond a strictly visual framework. These narratives contribute to the musicalization of the discipline of geography.

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Date Created
2011

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A socio-ecological understanding of extreme heat vulnerability in Maricopa County, Arizona

Description

This dissertation explores vulnerability to extreme heat hazards in the Maricopa County, Arizona metropolitan region. By engaging an interdisciplinary approach, I uncover the epidemiological, historical-geographical, and mitigation dimensions of human vulnerability to extreme heat in a rapidly urbanizing region characterized

This dissertation explores vulnerability to extreme heat hazards in the Maricopa County, Arizona metropolitan region. By engaging an interdisciplinary approach, I uncover the epidemiological, historical-geographical, and mitigation dimensions of human vulnerability to extreme heat in a rapidly urbanizing region characterized by an intense urban heat island and summertime heat waves. I first frame the overall research within global climate change and hazards vulnerability research literature, and then present three case studies. I conclude with a synthesis of the findings and lessons learned from my interdisciplinary approach using an urban political ecology framework. In the first case study I construct and map a predictive index of sensitivity to heat health risks for neighborhoods, compare predicted neighborhood sensitivity to heat-related hospitalization rates, and estimate relative risk of hospitalizations for neighborhoods. In the second case study, I unpack the history and geography of land use/land cover change, urban development and marginalization of minorities that created the metropolitan region's urban heat island and consequently, the present conditions of extreme heat exposure and vulnerability in the urban core. The third study uses computational microclimate modeling to evaluate the potential of a vegetation-based intervention for mitigating extreme heat in an urban core neighborhood. Several findings relevant to extreme heat vulnerability emerge from the case studies. First, two main socio-demographic groups are found to be at higher risk for heat illness: low-income minorities in sparsely-vegetated neighborhoods in the urban core, and the elderly and socially-isolated in the expansive suburban fringe of Maricopa County. The second case study reveals that current conditions of heat exposure in the region's urban heat island are the legacy of historical marginalization of minorities and large-scale land-use/land cover transformations of natural desert land covers into heat-retaining urban surfaces of the built environment. Third, summertime air temperature reductions in the range 0.9-1.9 °C and of up to 8.4 °C in surface temperatures in the urban core can be achieved through desert-adapted canopied vegetation, suggesting that, at the microscale, the urban heat island can be mitigated by creating vegetated park cool islands. A synthesis of the three case studies using the urban political ecology framework argues that climate changed-induced heat hazards in cities must be problematized within the socio-ecological transformations that produce and reproduce urban landscapes of risk. The interdisciplinary approach to heat hazards in this dissertation advances understanding of the social and ecological drivers of extreme heat by drawing on multiple theories and methods from sociology, urban and Marxist geography, microclimatology, spatial epidemiology, environmental history, political economy and urban political ecology.

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Date Created
2013

Environmental justice issues in communities hosting US nuclear power plants

Description

This study explores the potential risks associated with the 65 U.S.-based commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs) and the distribution of those risks among the populations of both their respective host communities and of the communities located in outlying areas. First,

This study explores the potential risks associated with the 65 U.S.-based commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs) and the distribution of those risks among the populations of both their respective host communities and of the communities located in outlying areas. First, I examine the relevant environmental justice issues. I start by examining the racial/ethnic composition of the host community populations, as well as the disparities in socio-economic status that exist, if any, between the host communities and communities located in outlying areas. Second, I estimate the statistical associations that exist, if any, between a population's distance from a NPP and several independent variables. I conduct multivariate ordinary least square (OLS) regression analyses and spatial autocorrelation regression (SAR) analyses at the national, regional and individual-NPP levels. Third, I construct a NPP potential risk index (NPP PRI) that defines four discrete risk categories--namely, very high risk, high risk, moderate risk, and low risk. The NPP PRI allows me then to estimate the demographic characteristics of the populations exposed to each so-defined level of risk. Fourth, using the Palo Verde NPP as the subject, I simulate a scenario in which a NPP experiences a core-damage accident. I use the RASCAL 4.3 software to simulate the path of dispersion of the resultant radioactive plume, and to investigate the statistical associations that exist, if any, between the dispersed radioactive plume and the demographic characteristics of the populations located within the plume's footprint. This study utilizes distributive justice theories to understand the distribution of the potential risks associated with NPPs, many of which are unpredictable, irreversible and inescapable. I employ an approach that takes into account multiple stakeholders in order to provide avenues for all parties to express concerns, and to ensure the relevance and actionability of any resulting policy recommendations.

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Date Created
2014

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Managing land, water, and vulnerability on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Description

The manner in which land and water are used and managed is a major influencing factor of global environmental change. Globally, modifications to the landscape have drastically transformed social and ecological communities. Land and water management practices also influences people's

The manner in which land and water are used and managed is a major influencing factor of global environmental change. Globally, modifications to the landscape have drastically transformed social and ecological communities. Land and water management practices also influences people's vulnerability to hazards. Other interrelated factors are compounding problems of environmental change as a result of land and water use changes. Such factors include climate change, sea level rise, the frequency and severity of hurricanes, and increased populations in coastal regions. The implication of global climate change for small islands and small island communities is especially troublesome. Socially, small islands have a limited resource base, deal with varying degrees of insularity, generally have little political power, and have limited economic opportunities. The physical attributes of small islands also increase their vulnerability to global climate change, including limited land area, limited fresh water supplies, and greater distances to resources. The focus of this research project is to document place-specific - and in this case island-specific - human-environmental interactions from a political ecology perspective as a means to address local concerns and possible consequences of global environmental change. The place in which these interactions are examined is the barrier island and village of Ocracoke, North Carolina. I focus on the specific historical-geography of land and water management on Ocracoke as a means to examine relationships between local human-environmental interactions and environmental change.

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Date Created
2014

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Unveiling water (in) justice in Arequipa: a case study of mining industry in urban space

Description

Following harsh economic and political reforms in the 1990s, Peru became a model of a neoliberal state based on natural resource extraction. Since then social and environmental conflicts between local communities and the extractive industry, particularly mining corporations, have multiplied

Following harsh economic and political reforms in the 1990s, Peru became a model of a neoliberal state based on natural resource extraction. Since then social and environmental conflicts between local communities and the extractive industry, particularly mining corporations, have multiplied resulting in violent clashes and a shared perception that the state is not guaranteeing people's rights. At the crossroads of the struggle between mining corporations and local communities lay different ways of living and relating to nature. This research concerns water conflict in an urban mining setting. More precisely, this research critically analyzes water conflict in the city of Arequipa as a backdrop for revealing what water injustices look like on the ground. With one million inhabitants, Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru. Arequipa is also home to the third largest copper mine in Peru. On June 2006, social organizations and political authorities marched in protest of the copper mine's acquisition of additional water rights and its use of a tax exemption program. In the aftermath of large protests, the conflict was resolved through a multi-actor negotiation in which the mine became, through a public-private partnership, co-provider of urban water services. Through a unique interdisciplinary theoretical approach and grounded on ethnographic methods I attempt to expose the complexity of water injustice in this particular case. My theoretical framework is based on three large fields of study, that of post-colonial studies, political ecology and critical studies of law. By mapping state-society-nature power relations, analyzing structures of oppression and unpacking the meaning of water rights, my research unveils serious water injustices. My first research finding points to the existence of a racist and classist system that excludes poor and marginal people from water services and from accessing the city. Second, although there are different social and cultural interpretations of water rights, some interpretations hold more power and become hegemonic. Water injustice, in this regard manifests by the rise in power of the economic view of water rights. Finally, neoliberal reforms prioritizing development based on the extractive industries and the commodification of nature are conducive to water injustices.

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Date Created
2012

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Matter and matterings in historic habitation

Description

Residential historic preservation occurs through inhabitation. Through day-to-day domesticities a suite of bodily comportments and aesthetic practices are perpetually at work tearing and stitching the historic fabric anew. Such paradoxical practice materializes seemingly incompatible relations between past and present, people

Residential historic preservation occurs through inhabitation. Through day-to-day domesticities a suite of bodily comportments and aesthetic practices are perpetually at work tearing and stitching the historic fabric anew. Such paradoxical practice materializes seemingly incompatible relations between past and present, people and things. Through a playful posture of experience/experiment, this dissertation attends to the materiality of historic habitation vis-à-vis practices and performances in the Coronado historic neighborhood (1907-1942) in Phoenix, Arizona. Characterized by diversity in the built and social environs, Coronado defies preservation's exclusionary tendencies. First, I propose a theoretical frame to account for the amorphous expression of nostalgia, the way it seeps, tugs, and lures `historic' people and things together. I push the argument that everyday nostalgic practice and performance in Coronado gives rise to an aesthetic of pastness that draws attention to what is near, a sensual attunement of care rather than strict adherence to preservation guidelines. Drawing on the institutional legacy of Neighborhood Housing Services, I then rethink residential historic preservation in Coronado as urban bricolage, the aesthetic ordering of urban space through practices of inclusivity, temporal juxtaposition, and the art of everyday living. Finally, I explore the historic practice of home touring in Coronado as demonstrative of urban hospitality, an opening of self and neighborhood toward other bodies, critical in the making of viable, ethical urban communities. These three moments contribute to the body of literature rethinking urbanism as sensual, enchanted, and hospitable.

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Date Created
2013

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A comparative assessment of community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in Buckeye and Cave Creek, Arizona

Description

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand may outgrow supplies or outpace the capacity of the community

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand may outgrow supplies or outpace the capacity of the community water systems. Community water system managing entities and the biophysical and social characteristics of a place mediate communities' vulnerability to hazards such as drought and long-term climate change. The arid southwestern Phoenix metropolitan area is illustrative of the challenges that developed urban areas in arid climates face globally as population growth and climate change stress already fragile human-environmental systems. This thesis reveals the factors abating and exacerbating differential community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in communities simultaneously facing drought and rapid peri-urban growth. Employing a grounded, qualitative comparative case study approach, this thesis explores the interaction of social, biophysical and institutional factors as they effect the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of community water systems in Cave Creek and Buckeye, Arizona. Buckeye, once a small agricultural town in the West Valley, is wholly dependent on groundwater and currently planning for massive development to accommodate 218,591 new residents by 2020. Amid desert hills and near Tonto National Forest in the North Valley, Cave Creek is an upscale residential community suffering frequent water outages due to aging infrastructure and lack of system redundancy. Analyzing interviews, media accounts and policy documents, a narrative was composed explaining how place based factors, nested within a regional institutional water management framework, impact short and long-term vulnerability. This research adds to the library of vulnerability assessments completed using Polsky et al.'s Vulnerability Scoping Diagram and serves a pragmatic need assisting in the development of decision making tools that better represent the drivers of placed based vulnerability in arid metropolitan regions.

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Date Created
2011

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The Belly Dancer Project: a phenomenological study of gendered identity through documentary filmmaking

Description

In this study, the researcher develops a documentary-driven methodology to understand the ways four women in the United States use their involvement in the belly dance phenomenon to shape their ongoing individual identity development. The filmmaking process itself and its

In this study, the researcher develops a documentary-driven methodology to understand the ways four women in the United States use their involvement in the belly dance phenomenon to shape their ongoing individual identity development. The filmmaking process itself and its efficacy as a process to promote self-understanding and identity growth among the participating belly dancers, are also investigated phenomenologically. Methodological steps taken in the documentary-driven methodology include: initial filmed interviews, co-produced filmed dance performances, editorial interviews to review footage with each dancer, documentary film production, dancer-led focus groups to screen the film, and exit interviews with each dancer. The project generates new understandings about the ways women use belly dance to shape their individual identities to include: finding community with other women in private women's spaces, embodying the music through the dance movements, and finding liberation from their everyday "selves" through costume and performance.

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Date Created
2012

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Phoenix's place for the homeless: stories from the Maricopa County Human Services Campus

Description

This thesis investigates how homeless men and women who use one of only six human services campuses (hscs) in the nation negotiate the stigmatization they may feel as homeless people living in Phoenix, Arizona. An hsc centralizes services to one

This thesis investigates how homeless men and women who use one of only six human services campuses (hscs) in the nation negotiate the stigmatization they may feel as homeless people living in Phoenix, Arizona. An hsc centralizes services to one area of the city to decrease the run around of scattered-site service delivery. It also creates a legitimized space for the homeless in the city. A place for the homeless can be a rarity in cities like Phoenix that have a history of implementing revanchist policies and neo-liberal land use planning, most notably found in its downtown revitalization efforts. During Phoenix's development as a major metropolitan area, the homeless population emerged and lived a life on the margins until the 2005 creation of the Human Services Campus. This research unearths the experiences of homeless men and women who use the HSC today. I used qualitative methods, including document review, 14 in-depth interviews with homeless men and women, 7 interviews with service providers, informal conversations with additional homeless clients, and 14 months of field observations at the HSC to collect the data presented in this thesis. The results of this research illustrate reasons why the homeless clients interviewed were sensitive to the stigmatization of their social status, and how they managed their stigmatization through relationships with homeless peers and staff on the HSC. The presence of an action plan to exit homelessness was critical to the nature of these relationships for clients, because it influenced how clients perceived their own stigmatization as a homeless person.

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Date Created
2011