The Limits of Environmentalism at Earth’s End: Reindeer Eradication and the Heritage of Hunting in the Sub-Antarctic

By James J. A. Blair, Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY) § In the Arctic Circle, a Russian public health plan to cull hundreds of thousands of reindeer—in order to cleanse the landscape of anthrax-carrying bacteria—has triggered tense debate among policymakers, scientists and indigenous Nenet reindeer herders. The Nenets are refusing to allow the … More The Limits of Environmentalism at Earth’s End: Reindeer Eradication and the Heritage of Hunting in the Sub-Antarctic

Settler Colonialism and Weed Ecology

By Timothy Neale, Deakin University § *All photographs are by the author Two propositions to start: there is a significant parallel (or companionship) between settlers and weeds; and, there is also a significant parallel (or companionship) between the structures of settler colonialism and those of weed ecology. These are the propositions that I want to work through … More Settler Colonialism and Weed Ecology

Infrastructural Recursions: Volcanic Landscapes, Instability and Energy Production

By James Maguire, IT University of Copenhagen § Walking through the Hengill volcanic zone (figure 1) with my geologist companions in the southwest of Iceland is a powerful experience. Dark basaltic lava-encrusted rocks are strewn all about us. Diminutive craggy structures blend together like multi-layered mobius strips such that it’s hard to distinguish where one rock … More Infrastructural Recursions: Volcanic Landscapes, Instability and Energy Production

Excavating the Chesapeake: Exploring the Intersecting Geological, Political, and Technical Layers that Constitute a Watershed

By Jeremy Trombley, University of Maryland, College Park § My research looks at the entities and interactions that constitute the Chesapeake Bay watershed – specifically the role that computational models have played in the process. In this post – departing somewhat from my comfort zone talking about lines and knots and rhizomes – I want to engage … More Excavating the Chesapeake: Exploring the Intersecting Geological, Political, and Technical Layers that Constitute a Watershed

Walking over Water: Piers, Docks, and Coastal Infrastructure

By Barbara Quimby, San Diego State- UC Santa Barbara § The coral reefs and islands of Pulau Banyak Barat (West Pulau Banyak) To enter the village of Haloban, a fishing community of about 1,500 people in the islands of Pulau Banyak in Aceh, Indonesia, you must step from your swaying boat onto the stable wooden planks … More Walking over Water: Piers, Docks, and Coastal Infrastructure

Tactics of Power and Empowerment in Knowledge-Making Infrastructures

By Kirk Jalbert, Manager of Community Based Research & Engagement, FracTracker Alliance and Visiting Research Professor, Center for Science, Technology and Society, Drexel University § Energy extraction has become a topic of contentious debate due to the use of unconventional drilling practices known as hydraulic fracturing—often referred to as “fracking”—to retrieve oil and gas from shale bed formations. Along … More Tactics of Power and Empowerment in Knowledge-Making Infrastructures

Call for Posts: The Nature of Infrastructure

The concept of infrastructure draws attention to as-yet-unseen synergies between technology, culture, and materiality. What does this concept have to offer environmental anthropology? While we can safely say that infrastructures shape the natural world, they surely do so in ways particular to their times and places. The Engagement blog calls for submissions that can help … More Call for Posts: The Nature of Infrastructure