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Science Studies Research Workshop: Lourdes Vera, “Environmental Data Justice: Developing Civically Valid Air Monitoring Methods with Oil and Gas Fenceline Communities”
October 29 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Environmental Data Justice: Developing Civically Valid Air Monitoring Methods with Oil and Gas Fenceline Communities
Speaker: Lourdes Vera, Northeastern University
Presented by: The Humanities Institute Science Studies Workshop
CLICK HERE to register
This is the story of how a group of residents, community organizers, and I learned to monitor the air for hazardous chemicals at homes neighboring oil and gas facilities in Karnes County, TX. Residents reported a number of problems: including dead livestock, rotten egg smells, nosebleeds, and respiratory health problems, eventually suspecting that industry-produced compounds, namely hydrogen sulfide and volatile organic compounds, have likely contributed to these health impacts. Moreover, these problems had gone unheard by regulators and state agencies. In this talk I describe my and the resident’s collective process developing the data that we use to capture what it is like to be exposed to these pollutants. I call this framing “environmental data justice (EDJ)” as it recognizes the embodiment and materiality of environmental data while considering its role in perpetuating and/or challenging the matrix of domination- interlocking forms of oppression like racism, heteropatriarchy, and colonialism- that are perpetuated by conventional scientific practices.
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