My CLIMAS fellowship project was geared towards building a web platform called “Regenerate Hub” that provides data visualization and collaborative tools to enable diverse stakeholders to take action on interconnected social, environmental, and infrastructural problems. I am a doctoral candidate in anthropology and I met my community partners for this project, Recycle Lebanon, through my preliminary dissertation research. This research was investigating how people were intervening in Lebanon’s greatest challenges through altering and repairing infrastructural systems such as waste management. Recycle Lebanon is a small Lebanese nonprofit organization that emerged in response to the garbage crisis in Lebanon that peaked in 2015. They began by designing campaigns to clean garbage from coastlines, waterways, and forests, a movement which grew to include establishing the first zero waste shop in the Middle East (the EcoSouk) and innovating ways to reuse waste such as cigarettes through creating the first cigarette recycling initiative in the country. (read more)
For the last twelve months, I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions; but, as my friends tell me, I am pretty much always on that rollercoaster of emotions, pandemic or not. So, as we near the one-year marker of social distancing in the U.S., I am reflecting on my turbulent feelings and experiences. I spent the majority of the pandemic 3,000 miles away from my family, oscillating between missing them, being scared for them living so close to New York City, and grateful I wasn’t cooped up alongside everyone in our small New Jersey apartment. In Tucson, I was able to keep working, keep getting paid, keep spending time outside, and keep my basic needs met. This came with a lot of guilt as I heard from friends and acquaintances all the struggles they faced with unemployment, food insecurity, immigration, being an essential worker, getting sick with COVID-19, and more.
I think I am still sitting in that guilt, but I also know I have a responsibility to fighting the systems that cause and exacerbate the hardships we are facing. Capitalism, white supremacy, and colonialism undercut almost every choice we make, and we have to be vigilantly anti-racist, anti-capitalist, decolonial, etc. if we ever hope to see a brighter future. This year I learned and engaged with organizing and direct action in a significant way for the first time since undergrad. I was a part of powerful gatherings for Black lives, rallied against police brutality, saw local progressive candidates for office I helped campaign for win their elections, redistributed some of my wealth via mutual aid, and tried to give myself emotional space to process instead of running away from my thoughts. I know it was not enough and that I could always do more, but I think it is important to recognize the small triumphs in the fight for liberation.
In this spirit, food has grounded me. Even though my grand and luscious raised garden bed dreams never came to fruition (not for lack of trying…), I took solace and rejuvenation in the form of cooking, sharing photos of meals in WhatsApp chats, calling distant family members for recipes, and using the kitchen as a space to slow down and intentionally reflect on the world. With all of this in mind, I present a summary of my work with the CLIMAS fellowship program. (read more)
Nestled in the valleys between Iisaxpúatahchee Isawaxaawúua/The Bighorn Mountains and the rolling plains of the Powder River Basin, Apsáalooke people make their home within the Iisaxpúatahcheeaashe/Big Horn River, Iisaxpúatuahcheeaashiakaate/Little Bighorn River (Figure 1), and Alúutaashe/Arrow Creek watersheds. I do not have a first memory of the Little Bighorn River because it is all I have ever known. I was raised along this river that has taken care of my people for many generations. It flows north from the heart of the Big Horn Mountains which begins in Wyoming – traditional Apsáalooke territory – into the crevices of the Cheétiish/Wolf Mountains eventually joining the Big Horn River at the northern end of our reservation. My people have always relied on our water resources and remained connected to the water as an element and buluksée/water creatures. We have been instructed on how to care for the river and use the river for ceremonial practices such as Tobacco Society, Sundance, sweat lodges, and bundle ceremonies. We are told to feed the river when the cotton first falls in the spring, and to ask for protection for our children as we interact more with the river due to the warmer months. The Little Bighorn River has always provided for my people and, for that, we are forever grateful. (read more)
Rates of illness from Vibrio parahaemolyticus have steadily been increasing as other foodborne illnesses have been decreasing. In California, rates of vibriosis has increased by almost 40% between 2009 and 2012.1 Often, the primary culprit for V. parahaemolyticus exposure is from the consumption of raw oysters. As climate change drives changes in water temperature, salinity, and phytoplankton composition in estuarine environments, there is a growing concern for an increased prevalence of V. parahaemolyticus. Taken together, it is increasingly imperative to understand the prevalence and human health risks of V. parahaemolyticus from both a local and global perspective. My dissertation research, in collaboration with Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), aimed to do just that. (read more)
Sea surface temperature (SST) forecasts for February 2021 call for below-normal conditions across the equatorial Pacific (Fig. 1), extending the trend of the last 4-5 months (Fig. 2). International climate outlooks generally see La Niña conditions persisting through winter 2020-2021 before returning to ENSO-neutral conditions over spring 2021. (Read More)
December Precipitation and Temperature: Precipitation was near normal to record driest across most of Arizona and New Mexico in December (Fig. 1), while temperatures ranged between above and below normal in most of Arizona and New Mexico (Fig. 2). (Read More)
Monthly Precipitation and Temperature: November precipitation was average to below average across most of Arizona and New Mexico (Fig. 1a). November temperatures were above average to much above average in most of Arizona and New Mexico (Fig. 1b), with a pocket of record warm conditions in west Texas. The daily average temperature anomalies for Nov. 1 – Dec. 12 (Fig. 2) highlight the fluctuations at select stations around the region. (Read More)
Sea surface temperature (SST) forecasts for Jan 2021 are below normal across the equatorial Pacific (Fig. 1), extending the trend of the last 4-5 months (Fig. 2). Climate outlooks generally have La Niña conditions persisting through winter 2020-2021 before returning to normal conditions over spring 2021. (Read More)
Monthly Precipitation and Temperature: October precipitation ranged from record driest to below average in most of Arizona and from below average to above average in most of New Mexico (Fig. 1a). October temperatures were above average to record warmest in Arizona and near average to record warmest in most of New Mexico (Fig. 1b). The daily average temperature anomalies for Oct. 1 – Nov. 15 (Fig. 2) highlight the fluctuations at select stations around the region (see detailed station data). (Read More)
Sea surface temperature (SST) forecasts for December through February call for below normal conditions across the equatorial Pacific (Fig. 1), extending the trend of the last 3-4 months (Fig. 2). International climate outlooks describe La Niña conditions as forecast to remain a La Niña event through winter 2020. (Read More)