Psychological Borderlands: Landscape Transformation and Environmental Ethics on the Margins of Ecological Change

traffic sign immersed in flood waters

Year: 2022-2023
Research Team Type: Student-led
Team Organizer: Kelly Leilani Main
Disciplines: landscape architecture, environmental planning, geography, civil & environmental engineering, anthropology

In light of increasingly dire reports from the IPCC of irreversible climate impacts poised to wreak havoc on human systems and the non-human environments upon which they depend, this Matrix Research Team aims to investigate the multidisciplinary nexus of ecological devastation, fossil fuel economies, social health, and place-based relations in the context of rapid environmental transformation. The primary goal is to investigate the intertwined social-technical problems presented by sea level rise and land ownership to wetlands located near industrial or contaminated sites and the psycho-social implications for communities faced with environmental change.

This goal is interdisciplinary by nature, weaving together multi-dimensional social research with the science of landscape change. In particular, each of the four participants will share a case study from their ongoing doctoral research along with a set of suggested readings on a monthly basis. While all the participants research infrastructures, spatial transformation, or restoration, and the intersections with climate change, they do so from very different disciplinary (and thus methodological and theoretical) perspectives that span engineering, anthropology, law, geography, and landscape architecture.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash