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Environmental Analysis

Watch Rebecca Pryor '11 Discuss Her Research

Cultivating Youth Earth Connections Summer Internship Program

Samuel Lewis ('11); Priscilla Bassett ('12 SCR); Juan Araya; Char Miller; Sergio Marin; Maria Tucker; Mentor: Heather Williams

Abstract: The main goal of the Cultivating Youth Earth Connections Summer Internship Program (YEC) was to open dialogue with high school students from under resourced communities about environmental injustices and to create and explore positive alternatives. The program included a group of 11 high school students from Pomona and Montclair who participated in YEC for six weeks, Monday through Friday, from 9am until 3pm. The hands-on farming program was guided by four principles: meaningful work, wholesome local food, appropriate technology, and intergenerational cross cultural knowledge transfers. The program was designed to consistently connect movements for food and environmental justice with the farming work that we did. Each week the interns were given surveys which asked questions to compare experiences at YEC with experiences at high school. The results of these surveys show how the lives of many of the youth interns changed over the course of the program.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation (SL), Davis Projects for Peace

Changing Tides: Implementing Rights-Based Management in Maine’s Commercial Groundfishing Industry

Eben Perkins ('11); Mentor: Rick Hazlett

Abstract: In response to decades of overexploitation and economic decline in New England’s fisheries, regional fisheries managers instituted a new rights-based system regulating the harvest of ground fish this past May. In Maine, the new regulatory regime, known as “sectors”, is by far the most significant change to the state’s rich fishing tradition in the last thirty years. Through a literature review and interviews with a range of stakeholders, my research determines to uncover why the old regulations failed to maintain a healthy fishery, what improvements sectors provide, and the potential challenges of implementing sectors. In addition, my research begins to delve into the overarching environmental issues of the effectiveness of conserving natural resources through privatization and the relationship between stewardship and conservation.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation

Sustainability Through Tourism in the South Pacific

Rebecca Pryor ('11); Tap Pryor*; Halatoa Fua†; Nane Teokotai Vainepoto Papa†; Stephen Pratt‡; Mentor: Rick Hazlett

*Titikaveka Growers Association, Cook Islands; †Cook Islands Tourism Corp, Cook Islands; ‡School of Tourism/Hospitality Mgmt, University of the South Pacific, Fiji Islands

Abstract: The allure of the pristine, isolated tropical idyll is precisely what attracts thousands of visitors to the shores of Pacific Islands each year, making tourism the leading contributor to the region’s GDP. That being said, problems surrounding waste management, energy generation and land overuse plight these small islands, and are exacerbated by an irresponsible, foreigner-dominated mass tourism industry. This summer I interned at the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation (CITC) and worked to implement more sustainable tourism practices. I reviewed and revamped CITC’s Accreditation Scheme, a system through which tourism operators comply with industry standards in order to receive accredited status. My suggestions aimed to provide incentives for companies to operate in ways which protect the Cook Islands’ environment, cultural integrity and community wellbeing. Sustainable tourism development is promising in that it has the potential to improve livelihoods in remote, geographically unique regions like the South Pacific through their preservation.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation

Trouble in Paradise? Cetacean Research in the South Pacific

Jamie Shannon ('11); Nan Hauser*; Mentor: Richard Hazlett
*Cook Islands Whale Research, Cook Islands

Abstract: Megaptera novaeangliae, or humpback whales, are among the most studied cetaceans, however, very little is known about humpbacks of the South Pacific, specifically their migratory patterns and biology. This summer I spent six weeks working with Nan Hauser, the founder and director of Cook Islands Whale Research, in Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands. As a member of her team, I assisted in collecting DNA, making behavioural observations as well as analyzing this year’s data along with data from the project’s past twelve field seasons. Over 30 DNA samples and numerous photo identifications were obtained, crucial to determining the population identity and status of the Cook Islands’ humpbacks. Data collected this summer will be added to a growing body of research, helping to achieve the project’s ultimate goals of putting a
stop to whaling in the Pacific, as well as developing effective conservation measures for this endangered species.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation

What is Argentine Environmentalism?

Ashton Wesner ('11); Mentor: Toni Clark

Abstract: This project aimed at recording the opinions and experiences of a professionally diverse sample of Argentine environmentalists regarding recent changes, and predicted sociopolitical trends, in environmentalism on national, provincial, and local scales. The goal was to develop a critical understanding of how Argentines see environmentalism in their country, and how they characterize changes in the movement in terms of public attention, political power, and orientation towards social justice. Information was collected through interviews, conferences and workshops, and published environmental news. Interviewees included individuals from neighborhood coalitions, NGOs, public and private universities, as well as national and provincial government officials. Research indicated that environmental conscientiousness has begun to grow rapidly in the past ten years. However, environmental regulations, legal opportunities, and financial resources are ignored by development-focused national government and corrupt local officials alike.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation

Research at Pomona