• The 1951 Bristol Bay salmon strike: isolation, independence and illusion in the last frontier

      McCullough, Nicole Susan (2001-12)
      Many people consider Alaska the last frontier, isolated and independent from the rest of the United States. An analysis of the salmon industry in Bristol Bay and a strike that occurred in 1951 cast doubt upon this belief. The labor dispute and preceding events paint a vivid picture of a population clearly dependent on a fishing industry controlled by absentee owners who manipulated events from Seattle and San Francisco. The strikers included Natives and Non-Natives who joined together to fight the powerful cannery owners and west coast unions who sought to expand their membership. Some of these unions had suspected communist members, and Alaska joined in the paranoia that seized the rest of the United States in their cold war fear of Communism. The strike and the actions of participants in the strike illustrate how Alaska's isolation and independence was but an illusion in the last frontier.
    • Adolph Murie: Denali's Wilderness Conscience

      Franklin, Linda S.; Gladden, James (2004)
      Denali National Park, Alaska substantially owes its stature as Alaska's premier wilderness park to Adolph Murie. Forty years after he retired as park biologist, Murie still influences the perception and management of Denali National Park. Murie's development from childhood to esteemed scientist and wilderness advocate followed a linear progression. His rural upbringing under the tutelage of his older brother, Olaus Murie, cultivated his desire to be a biologist and his appreciation for wild places. His academic training in animal ecology solidified his belief that the management of natural areas must consider all species as essential and equally valuable. His pioneering wildlife studies as one of the National Park Service's first biologists changed national opinion. He led the opposition against plans for extensive construction and development in Denali National Park during the Mission 66 era. In doing so he left the imprint of his wilderness ethic on the park.
    • Alaska Athabascan stellar astronomy

      Cannon, Christopher M.; Holton, Gary; Kaplan, Lawrence; Cole, Terrence (2014-12)
      Stellar astronomy is a fundamental component of Alaska Athabascan cultures that facilitates time-reckoning, navigation, weather forecasting, and cosmology. Evidence from the linguistic record suggests that a group of stars corresponding to the Big Dipper is the only widely attested constellation across the Northern Athabascan languages. However, instruction from expert Athabascan consultants shows that the correlation of these names with the Big Dipper is only partial. In Alaska Gwich'in, Ahtna, and Upper Tanana languages the Big Dipper is identified as one part of a much larger circumpolar humanoid constellation that spans more than 133 degrees across the sky. The Big Dipper is identified as a tail, while the other remaining asterisms within the humanoid constellation are named using other body part terms. The concept of a whole-sky humanoid constellation provides a single unifying system for mapping the night sky, and the reliance on body-part metaphors renders the system highly mnemonic. By recognizing one part of the constellation the stargazer is immediately able to identify the remaining parts based on an existing mental map of the human body. The circumpolar position of a whole-sky constellation yields a highly functional system that facilitates both navigation and time-reckoning in the subarctic. Northern Athabascan astronomy is not only much richer than previously described; it also provides evidence for a completely novel and previously undocumented way of conceptualizing the sky--one that is unique to the subarctic and uniquely adapted to northern cultures. The concept of a large humanoid constellation may be widespread across the entire subarctic and have great antiquity. In addition, the use of cognate body part terms describing asterisms within humanoid constellations is similarly found in Navajo, suggesting a common ancestor from which Northern and Southern Athabascan stellar naming strategies derived.
    • Alaska Native perceptions of food, health, and community well-being: challenging nutritional colonialism

      Lindholm, Melanie; Anahita, Sine; Richey, Jane; Demientieff, LaVerne (2014-12)
      Alaska Native populations have undergone relatively rapid changes in nearly every aspect of life over the past half century. Overall lifestyles have shifted from subsistence-based to wage-based, from traditional to Western, and from self-sustainability to reliance on Outside sources. My research investigates the effects of these changes on health and well-being. The literature appears to lack concern for and documentation of Native peoples' perceptions of the changes in food systems and effects on their communities. Additionally, there is a lack of studies specific to Alaska Native individual perceptions of health and well-being. Therefore, my research aims to help identify social patterns regarding changes in the food that individuals and communities eat and possible effects the changes have on all aspects of health; it aims to help document how Alaska Native individuals and communities are adaptive and resilient; and it aims to honor, acknowledge, and highlight the personal perspectives and lived experiences of respondents and their views regarding food, health, and community well-being. I conducted interviews with 20 Alaska Native participants in an effort to document their perspectives regarding these changes. Many themes emerged from the data related to subsistence, dependency, and adaptation. Alaska Natives have witnessed what Western researchers call a "nutritional transition." However, Alaska Native participants in my research describe this transition as akin to cultural genocide. Cut off from traditional hunting and fishing (both geographically and economically), Alaska Natives recognize the damage to individual and community health. Studies attribute rising rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and mental illness to the loss of culture attached to subsistence lifestyles and subsistence foods themselves. Alaska Natives report a decrease in cultural knowledge and traditional hunting skills being passed to the younger generations. Concern for the future of upcoming generations is a reoccurring theme, especially in regard to dependence on market foods. When asked what changes should be made, nearly all respondents emphasized education as the key to cultural sustainability and self-sufficiency. The changes sought include means and access to hunting and fishing. This is seen as the remedy for dependence on Outside resources. From a traditional Alaska Native perspective, food security cannot be satisfied with Western industrial products. When considering Arctic community health and cultural sustainability, food security must be considered in both Western and Indigenous Ways. Control over local availability, accessibility, quality, and cultural appropriateness is imperative to Native well-being. Many participants point to differences in Western and Native definitions of what is acceptable nourishment. Imported processed products simply cannot fully meet the needs of Native people. Reasons cited for this claim include risky reliance on a corporate food system designed for profit with its inherent lack of culturally-appropriate, nutrient-dense, locally controlled options. Respondents are concerned that junk food offers dependable, affordable, available, and accessible calories, whereas traditional foods often are not as reliably accessible. Based on these findings, I named the concept of "nutritional colonialism." Respondents expressed a desire to return to sustainable and self-sufficient subsistence diets with their cultural, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical benefits. Although they expressed concern regarding climate change and environmental pollutants, this did not diminish the significance of traditional foods for respondents.
    • Alaska sourdough: bread, beards and yeast

      Dowds, Susannah T.; Cole, Terrence; Ehrlander, Mary; Lee, Molly (2017-08)
      Sourdough is a fermented mixture of flour and water used around the world to leaven dough. In this doughy world wide web of sourdough, one thread leads to Alaska and the Yukon Territory. Commonly associated with the gold rush era, sourdough is known both as a pioneer food and as a title for a long-time resident. Less well known is the live culture of microbes, yeasts and bacteria that were responsible for creating the ferment for nutritious bread, pancakes, and biscuits on the trail. Through the lens of sourdough, this study investigates the intersection of microbes and human culture: how microbes contribute taste and texture to baked goods; why sourdough, made from imported ingredients, became a traditional food in the North; and how "Sourdough" grew to signify an experienced northerner. A review of research about sourdough microflora, coupled with excerpts from archival sources, illuminates how human and microbial cultures intertwined to make sourdough an everyday food in isolated communities and mining camps. Mastery of sourdough starter in primitive kitchens with fluctuating temperatures became a mark of accomplishment. Meanwhile, as transient fortune seekers ushered in the gold rush era, experienced Sourdoughs continued to take pride in a common identity based on shared experiences unique to northern living.
    • Alcohol-affected offenders: Alaska's crime conundrum

      Harwood, Maureen Frances (2002-05)
      Offenders with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) are being inadequately identified and addressed in Alaska's criminal justice system. Without recognition of the problems associated with FAS (e.g., slow cognitive pacing, language impairments, impaired ability to deal with abstract concepts such as time) the alcohol-affected individual's ability to understand and effectively participate in the criminal justice process is compromised. This thesis examines the challenges that people with FAS and other prenatal alcohol exposure conditions present for Alaska's criminal justice system. Ways of protecting people prenatally exposed to alcohol against poor life outcomes, like trouble with the law are explained. Additionally, I present effective steps that criminal justice system entities utilize to assist people with disabilities who commit crimes and discuss their adaptation to the problems of people with FAS.
    • Alessandro Malaspina and the voyage of disenchantment

      Letzring, Michael James (2012-05)
      Between 1775 and 1792 the shores of what is now Alaska and British Columbia were opened to European reconnaissance by a series of mostly Spanish expeditions. The most ambitious and prestigious of the Spanish expeditions was also one of the last; the Spanish hydrographic expedition of 1789-1794 --the Viaje Politico-Cientifico Alrededor del Mundo, created and commanded by Alessandro Malaspina. The Malaspina expedition was a technical tour-de-force that was meant both materially and symbolically to assert Spain's program of reform and modernization under the Bourbon monarchs, but Malaspina's liberal Enlightenment philosophy would in the end isolate him from the absolutist monarchy he served, dooming the results of the expedition to more than a century of obscurity and Malaspina to imprisonment and banishment. This thesis examines how European state cartography contributed to a competition for imperial space on the Northwest Coast and particularly how that space was shaped through the efforts of the Malaspina Expedition. A close examination of the Malaspina expedition and Malaspina's personal narrative opens a window on the distinctive Spanish imperialism of the late 18th century, and how the cartography of the region contributed to the territorial delineation of modern Alaska and British Columbia.
    • Arctic paradox: polar bears, climate change and American environmentalism

      Loeffler, Carolyn Kozak; Ehrlander, Mary; Cole, Terrence; Boylan, Brandon; Woodward, Kesler; Hirsch, Alexander (2018-08)
      By virtually any standard of measurement, the Arctic is hotter than ever before, physically, politically and emotionally. Rising ocean temperatures, opening sea lanes, disappearing pack ice and global fear of environmental devastation have combined to make the Arctic Ocean the great question mark about the future of the human species with ursus maritimus, the "sea bear," standing as perhaps the most evocative symbol of our global responsibility and fate. In human eyes the polar bear has long been a paradoxical creature, mirroring a dilemma at the center of America's relationship to the Arctic today. The region's stretches of uninterrupted ecosystems and wilderness areas inspire strikingly disparate visions: a resource warehouse to some, and a sacred environmental preserve to others, pitting historical frontier identities against moral obligations to future generations. These conflicting visions of the Arctic ice pack and the bears who live there also symbolize the tension between the realities of consumerism and the ideals of global citizenship. In the last 150 years, our understanding of the polar bear has transitioned from ferocious to vulnerable, from a symbol of cold to a symbol of melt. An analysis of this change illuminates shifting historical perspectives and the roots of this ideological divide. This thesis demonstrates how polar bears first entered the American public consciousness as ferocious and sublime Arctic predators, before being commercialized, commodified, and eventually codified into the symbols they are today. Applied discourse analysis deconstructs how industrialization mediated the cultural shift of the polar bear from feared predator to vulnerable and politically contentious climate victim. Images and image analysis support the historical narrative, and act as entry points to our historic and contemporary understandings of American environmentalism.
    • Ataam Taikina: traditional knowledge and conservation ethics in the Yukon River Delta, Alaska

      Cook, Chad M.; Plattet, Patrick; Charles, Walkie; Koskey, Michael; Schneider, William (2013-12)
      This research was conducted in collaboration with rural Yup'ik residents of the Yukon River delta region of Alaska. The thesis explores traditional knowledge and conservation ethics among rural Yup'ik residents who continue to maintain active subsistence lifestyles. From the end of July through August of 2012, ethnographic field research was conducted primarily through participant observation and semi-structured interviews, documenting Yup'ik subsistence hunting and fishing practices. Research participants invited me beluga whale hunting, seal hunting, moose hunting, commercial and subsistence fishing, gathering berries, and a variety of other activities that highlights local Yup'ik environmental knowledge, practices, and ethics. Through firsthand examples of these experiences, this thesis attempts to explore what conservation means through a Yup'ik cultural lens. Documenting Yup'ik traditional knowledge offers an opportunity to shine a light on the stewardship of local people's relationship with their traditional lands. The importance of maintaining direct relationships with the natural world, eating Native foods, and passing on hunting and gathering skills to future generations help develop the narrative of my analysis. In many ways, the cultural heritage of the Yup'ik people are embodied in such practices, providing a direct link between nature and culture.
    • Birthing change: an ethnographic study of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center in Fairbanks, Alaska

      Bennett, Danielle M. Redmond (2013-05)
      This study examines the practices of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center in order to understand how midwives help clients navigate the process of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period with a high rate of success, as defined by a low cesarean rate, low mortality and morbidity, and high maternal satisfaction. How do the midwives prepare mothers to navigate the transformation and how do they address failure to progress during birth? This study analyzes birth as a rite of passage, which incorporates a culture's worldview and its practices. These outcomes are achieved by employing a positive, holistic view of the natural, physiological process, by using practices that support the physiological process and minimize intervention, and by keeping the space in which out-of hospital birth takes place. The fact that parents are choosing an alternative ritual for birth at an increasing rate nationwide reflects a change happening in American culture.
    • Bounty in the Bering Strait: a case for proactive regulation in the world's next chokepoint

      Russell, Emily Clarke; Ehrlander, Mary; Cole, Terrence; Meek, Chanda (2015-08)
      This thesis analyzes trends in waterborne trade throughout history to demonstrate that the Bering Strait will soon become a chokepoint of international trade. Scientific studies suggest that the accelerating effects of global warming in the Arctic will result in ice-free routes in the coming decades. Given the likelihood that vessel traffic through the Bering Strait will rise, this thesis assesses the region's ecological vulnerability, along with its significant commercial and cultural values. The history of shipping regulation worldwide and commercial regulation in the Bering Sea reveals a tendency to enact regulation in response to a major oil spill or species depletion. To ensure the food security of Native coastal communities and the productivity of commercial fisheries in the Bering Sea, this thesis argues for a proactive approach to vessel traffic regulation in the Bering Strait. It examines several current regulatory regimes to identify which could be enacted to protect the region's resources. This thesis concludes that, despite barriers to cooperation between Russia and the U.S., a cross-border management regime that promotes safe shipping through the Bering Strait would further both nations' economic interests and safeguard the Bering Sea's valuable yet vulnerable marine resources.
    • Change of heart among aboriginal Canadians toward the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Project, 1970-2003

      Kirsanova, Galina V. (2004-05)
      The last three decades witnessed an astonishing change of heart among the Mackenzie Valley and Delta's aboriginal groups toward the reemerged Mackenzie Valley Pipeline project and associated industrial development. Vehement confrontation between indigenous residents of the northern Homelands and proponents of a new industrial Frontier has given way to mutually beneficial cooperation. This thesis examines the factors of this attitudinal change. First, the Berger Report and aboriginal testimonies are used to reveal the roots of the previous native opposition to the project, i.e., lack of control, inadequate capacities, and possible threats to subsistence. Next is the analysis of the current aboriginal support of industrial development, particularly anticipated revenues, business and employment opportunities, and the prospect of effective resource co-management, which are ensured by various aboriginal-industrial-governmental agreements, as well as by modem needs of the indigenous societies. This longitudinal analysis leads to the emergence of the factors which have prompted native people to change their attitudes (demographic and cultural changes) and empowered them to undertake the proposed development for the sake of their own sustainability (native legal, political, economic and informational capacity-building). The findings suggest that these same factors could contribute to a similar evolution in other Homeland- Wilderness-Frontier regions.
    • The common good: salmon science, the conservation crisis, and the shaping of Alaskan political culture

      Robinson, Matthew J.; Di Stefano, Diana; Rosenberg, Jonathan; Ehrlander, Mary (2015-08)
      Without a doubt, the salmon fishery in Alaska has been at the forefront of natural resource debates and has served as an example of ineffective, misunderstood, and controversial policies, as well as many missed opportunities to better understand the resource. Management of Alaska's longest lasting natural resource industry is contingent upon an evolving scientific understanding of salmon. At the same time, policy has been shaped by political, economic, cultural, and social phenomena. Considering these parts of the historical narrative of the Alaska salmon industry demonstrates the fundamental challenges of fisheries management: reconciling biological limitation, economic demands, and cultural practices. This study contextualizes modern salmon management in Alaska by analyzing early- to mid-twentieth century conservation efforts within these constraints. To begin, some fundamental questions arise in the analysis of salmon management: why did managers make the decisions they did? What were limits faced by managers and the science they relied on? Also, how did political, economic, and cultural forces impact these decisions? By addressing these questions in a historical analysis, a fuller understanding of modern salmon management in Alaska is found. Answering these questions shapes this thesis and supports the argument that economic, political, and cultural factors often influenced changing policies as much as technological advances and ecological understanding did. In particular, Alaska's unique transition to statehood in the mid-twentieth century - a period when huge advances in ecology were underway - highlights how science often took a backseat to other concerns.
    • Communities' reflections on oil companies' corporate social responsibility activities in Utqiagvik, Alaska

      Cao, Yu; Hirsch, Alexander; Ehrlander, Mary F.; Jeremy, Speight (2018-08)
      This thesis explores the reflections of Utqiaġvik community members on British Petroleum's Corporate social responsibility activities within the region of North Slope, Alaska. The term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to actions taken by corporations to improve the quality of life for its employees, local community members, and the environment, while also contributing to its own economic development. The thesis is driven by a guiding research question: how have the people of Utqiaġvik responded to the CSR activities of oil companies whose oil extractive industry operations impact the region's social, economic, and environmental welfare? In particular, this thesis seeks to understand why CSR activities sometimes fail to achieve their purported goals. By interviewing residents from the community of Utqiaġvik, I obtained perspectives on the impacts of oil development on the local environment and community, bringing to light the limits of current CSR activities, such that I might provide recommendations for rectifying CSR shortfalls. I argue that while oil companies' profit motives tend to restrict the potential of CSR activities, local people should be able to influence the types of CSR activities corporations pursue, given that they experience the local impacts of the industry. Based on my respondents' perspectives, I suggest that oil companies improve their risk-management approaches and communicate and discuss more effectively with local communities their current and planned developments and their intentions to minimize impacts, respect local culture and hire more local employees. The thesis concludes by offering recommendations to the oil companies regarding the nature and desired impacts of their CSR activities.
    • Community Development Quota Program: community sustainability and the Bering Sea

      Krueger, Lauren A. (2006-12)
      Sustainability and resilience are worthwhile goals for western Alaskan communities. From shifting global markets to climate change, these communities face numerous novel threats to their survival that increased resilience can mitigate. This thesis examines how an innovative community management scheme, the Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program, can contribute resilience to its communities, how those resilience-lending aspects can be better utilized, and what obstacles prevent sustainability in western Alaska. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews with ten community residents from four of the six CDQ groups were conducted and CDQ relevant documents and reports were evaluated to measure eight indicators of sustainability and resilience: community demographics, job creation, education rates, per capita incomes, flexibility, monitoring and feedback mechanisms, communication, and evidence of learning. While building sustainability and resilience has not been the primary focus of the program to date, progress has been made. Much intergroup variation exists within the indicators and much work remains for sustainability and resilience. The capacity for much greater success exists within the program. An adaptive co-management approach focused on creating sustainable and resilient communities is a viable path to this success. The experience of the CDQ program can inform other Arctic communities working toward sustainability and resilience.
    • Community space for decolonization and resistance: Kodiak Alutiiq language club participant perspectives

      Bach, Michael James; Marlow, Patrick E.; Meek, Chandra L. (2014-05)
      Language Club is one of many Language Revitalization initiatives currently being used to reclaim space for Alutiiq, a highly endangered Alaska Native language. Since 2003, Language Club has been a site of learning and sharing for both Alutiiq language learners, and Elders. The study draws upon eight semi-structured interviews, numerous post-data discussions, field notes, and observations in order to understand Language Club participants' spoken and unspoken goals. Data was analyzed using Constructivist Grounded Theory. Themes and subthemes identified include: community, family-like structure, culture and tradition and healing. Using Tribal Critical Race Theory (TribalCrit) to better understand these themes, we find that Language Club functions as carved out space within the broader community where participants are able to engage in decolonization and resist hegemonic domination by the broader community.
    • A comparative analysis of fish and wildlife enforcement in Alaska from the passage of the 1902 Alaska game law to 2011

      Woldstad, Kenneth J.; McBeath, Gerald; Cole, Terrence; Klein, David R. (2011-08)
      This study examines the institutional evolution of wildlife enforcement in the context of Alaskan history and politics from 1902 to the present. Balancing competing demands for expertise in fish and wildlife matters on one hand, with a technical knowledge of law enforcement on the other, has long been the central institutional challenge facing those protecting Alaska's living resources. Following enactment of the first Alaska Game Law in 1902, responsibility for enforcement was initially left to already over-burdened law enforcement officials, with ultimate authority remaining under the U.S. Agriculture Department. Passage of the 1925 "Alaska Game Law" and establishment of the Alaska Game Commission saw the creation of professional wardens. Following statehood the Department of Fish and Game assumed the enforcement responsibility from 1960 to 1972, until Governor William Egan shifted the protection personnel to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), thereby transforming them into state troopers, although in a separate division. As a result of the transfer to DPS, conservation of fish and wildlife was in the hands of professional law enforcement. Many resource users opposed the transfer, certain that the emphasis on general law enforcement came at the expense of wildlife expertise, a tension that continues to persist today.
    • Confronting 'Kymlicka's dilemma': settler voting rights, indigenous representation and the 1998-99 electoral reapportionment in Canada's Northwest Territories

      Spitzer, Aaron; Ehrlander, Mary; White, Graham; Lovecraft, Amy; Brock, David (2015-08)
      "Settler colonialism" presents a vexing challenge to voting rights theory and praxis in liberal-democratic states. I call this challenge "Kymlicka's dilemma," after Will Kymlicka, the political theorist who has led contemporary discourse on "minority nation" rights. As Kymlicka observed, members of a state's dominant cultural nation, or staatsvolk, may, by exercising universal mobility rights, numerically "swamp," and then, by using universal voting rights, democratically dominate, an Indigenous minority nation in its homeland. To prevent this, an Indigenous minority nation may seek to exercise group-based voting protections, such as guaranteed representation. Where "Kymlicka's dilemma" arises - i.e., where minority group-differentiated voting protections challenge the voting powers of individual staatsvolk and vice versa - a constitutional conflict seems certain. In Canada's Northwest Territories, from at least the 1970s until the separation of Nunavut in 1999, the specter of "Kymlicka's dilemma" (mis)shaped the constitutional evolution of the territorial government. There, in what was long Canada's last Indigenous-majority jurisdiction, decades of Indigenous political resistance to settler control hinged on the permissibility of Indigenous overrepresentation in the territorial legislature. In the 1990s, three developments portended changes to Indigenous overrepresentation in that legislature: Charter of Rights-inspired limits on electoral-district malapportionment, constitutional recognition of Indigenous group-based protections, and the amplified danger of settler "swamping" that would result from Nunavut's separation. As if in a natural experiment, these developments created conditions for a potentially volatile constitutional conflict. This thesis analyzes the results of that experiment. It shows that a constitutional conflict did ensue, catalyzed by the territorial electoral reapportionment of 1998-99. This conflict involved a yearlong political clash over Indigenous versus individual rights. This thesis further shows that a controversial court ruling, and equally controversial political decisions, resolved this conflict, deciding "Kymlicka's dilemma" by rejecting Indigenous group-differentiated voting protections in the territorial legislature.
    • Constitutional Change In The Circumpolar Periphery: A Comparative Case Study

      Smyth, Steven Eric Ronald; McBeath, Gerald (2005)
      This dissertation probes the origins of intercultural conflict and regional disparity in the circumpolar North. The dissertation asserts that the national governments of Denmark, the United States and Canada have utilized policies of internal colonialism in Alaska, Greenland and the Yukon Territory, and that those policies have shaped inter-cultural relations and contributed to regional disparities in their northern jurisdictions. Michael Hecther's and Dale Johnson's definitions of internal colonialism are utilized for the purposes of this study. The dissertation uses a comparative case study approach, reviewing how national government policies evolved and were applied in Alaska, Yukon and Greenland. It treats Alaska and the Yukon as similar cases, while Greenland is examined in a separate chapter as a dissimilar case. The dissertation provides an historical analysis and comparison of national policies towards aboriginal peoples, and shows how those policies were applied differently in Alaska and the Yukon than they were in the southern United States and Canada. These policies exacerbated conflict between the aboriginal and non-aboriginal populations due to the cultural division of labor that was created. The dissertation then examines the impact of federal policies on the economic development of Alaska and the Yukon. Thirdly, the dissertation examines the history of constitutional change, and compares the struggle for Alaska statehood with efforts to achieve provincial status for the Yukon. The dissertation concludes that policies of internal colonialism have been detrimental to the social and economic well-being northern peoples, but that responses to these policies have generated creative new approaches and agreements.
    • Contaminating space: Project West Ford and scientific communities, 1958-1965

      Levin, Tanya J. (2000-05)
      From 1958 until 1965 the MIT Lincoln Laboratory worked on a military communications experiment which involved injecting a belt of copper dipoles into earth orbit. The US Air Force and Defense Department supported this project, called West Ford, because the project promised to deliver a secure and reliable system to transmit messages. Some optical and radio astronomers protested the belt because they feared that the dipoles would interfere with research. Other astronomers and scientists looked positively upon the project primarily because of the fields in which they worked, the funding they received, and the contacts they maintained. West Ford casts light upon the struggle between different scientific communities, the way in which scientists compartmentalize state and professional responsibilities, and the nature of scientific advising during the Cold War. The project also points to a strand of environmental consciousness, different from, and earlier than, the mid-1960s popular movement.