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Bates College: SCARAB (Scholarly Communication and Research at Bates)
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    The Examination of the Integration of Indigenous Knowledge in International Climate Discourse within the UNFCCC

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    This thesis examines how Indigenous knowledge is integrated into climate change legislation at the UN and UNFCCC levels, as well as how Indigenous knowledge is shared and who are the members of the Indigenous community doing the sharing. Through the analysis of policy relevant texts, the study reveals that the current approach to this integration can be characterized as extractive colonialism. The research employs discourse analysis and thematic coding to identify and analyze five central themes in three policy relevant texts. The findings highlight the historical entrenchment of the UN and UNFCCC in colonial histories, leading to a tendency to undervalue the intrinsic worth of Indigenous knowledge within Indigenous communities. The sharing of Indigenous knowledge is explored, emphasizing its complexity beyond the mere transfer of ideas. The research underlines the concern that knowledge sharing, when not approached with a genuine understanding of its significance and without considering individual perspectives, can become an extractive action. The profound value that Indigenous culture places on knowledge is emphasized, recognizing it not only as a repository of personal histories but also as a crucial aspect of identity. The study advocates for a more inclusive approach that acknowledges both the knowledge and its holders to facilitate a meaningful exchange of insights within Indigenous communities

    Will Eating Them Beat Them? Establishing Culinary Markets for the European Green Crab

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    The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is one of the most destructive invasive species in the world’s marine environment. Since its arrival, this crab has wreaked havoc on Maine’s fragile marine ecosystems and their reliant economies. Across the northeast Atlantic seaboard, this crab has perpetuated the long-term degradation of eelgrass habitats and significantly reduced bivalve, crab, and finfish populations. Furthermore, its dense population levels threaten Maine’s softshell clam fishery, marine ecosystems, and threaten the future of Maine’s most beloved crustacean, the American Lobster. Given the green crab\u27s remarkable reproductive persistence and high rates, regional mitigation efforts have shifted away from the unattainable goal of total eradication. Instead, the focus has transitioned to achieving functional eradication, involving the reduction of green crab populations below critical thresholds to minimize ecosystem impacts. While various regions and localities have explored diverse approaches to this method, none have fully harnessed the vast economic potential inherent in this abundant resource. In recent years, a burgeoning movement has gained momentum, aiming to extract green crabs from waters and integrate them into culinary markets. Several dedicated individuals have spearheaded this initiative. Establishing commercial markets for green crabs serves a dual purpose: not only does it alleviate the pressure of these ubiquitous predators on delicate marine ecosystems, but it also offers a strategic avenue to diversify Maine\u27s fisheries and economies amidst the uncertainties brought about by climate-induced unpredictability. Collaborative efforts between harvesters, researchers, chefs, and policymakers would transform the green crab into a sought-after resource whose harvest addresses ecological concerns and opens avenues for economic and environmental sustainability in Maine. Link to the capstone\u27s website:

    The European Greenbelt: An Attempt at European Unity Following the Cold War

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    After the conclusion of the Cold War in 1991, the European Greenbelt initiative was formed with the aim to conserve the flourishing environment along the path of the former iron curtain. This ribbon of land that connects the Barents to the Adriatic sea now holds significant environmental and cultural value to Europe and has the potential to serve as a symbol for European identity. This paper questions whether or not this potential is being realized. To answer this question, this paper analyzes the current definitions of identity as well as how identity connects to nature. These key concepts coupled with the dissection of the history, composition, and structure of Europe and the European Greenbelt sets the stage for an argument against the Greenbelt standing as a symbol for European identity as it is now

    The Effects of PM2.5 from Wildfires on Educational Attainment in California

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    In California, the threat of wildfires, specifically the threat from the pollutant PM2.5 found in 90% of wildfire smoke, is growing as climate change continues to increase the severity and frequency of wildfires (Wade, 2023). Educational outcomes such as test scores and cognitive function tests have been negatively linked to pollution exposure while little to no research exists on the link between pollution from wildfires and educational attainment. This thesis uses data from the CDC, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, California Department of Education, and the USDA to construct a sample of counties in California from 2014-2020. I employ a two-way fixed effects model to estimate the effect of contemporary, lagged, and cumulative PM2.5 on the college going rate in California. My findings indicate a significant negative effect of two-year lagged and cumulative PM2.5 on present educational attainment and no significant relationship between present PM2.5 exposure and educational attainment. These results suggest that activities earlier on in high school such as class selection, the decision to take a college entrance exam, and academic performance may suffer as a result of PM2.5 exposure and therefore reduce educational attainment

    Fall 2022 Student Textbook Survey Results

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    During the Fall 2022 semester, eleven Oberlin Group institutions in association with the Open and Equitable Access to Scholarship Working Group conducted a student textbook survey adapted from the 2016 Florida Virtual Campus survey and the 2019 Gettysburg College survey. The goal of the project was to gain a better understanding of how the costs of course materials impact our own students. This presentation provides an overview of those results as well as action steps libraries can take to better support our students. This study was coordinated by the Oberlin Group - Open and Equitable Working Group

    I\u27ll Wear a Bulletproof Vest to Work : State Centralization and Local Election Officials\u27 Resilience to the Big Lie

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    This thesis examines how misinformation, incendiary rhetoric, and conspiracy theories that Donald Trump was the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election — the “Big Lie” — have affected local election officials\u27 ability to conduct free and fair elections. This is a study of how the assault and harassment of local election officials, motivated by the Big Lie, have impacted their ability to retain staff and recruit new staff. Additionally, this thesis considers the highly decentralized nature of election administration across all fifty states. Some states have centralized election laws and administration at the state level while other, decentralized, states’ election administration varies from county to county or even township to township. The four states investigated range from highly decentralized to highly centralized. The metrics I use to determine state centralization are 1) what election costs do the states pay for 2) what type of training for election officials does the state require, and 3) are there uniform voting and voter registration procedures across the state? This study examines whether the level of centralization impacts local election officials’ resiliency amid increasing election denialism and threats to electoral integrity

    Reel 113 -- WQXR recording: Brahms, Trio in A Minor; Undated

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    WQXR--FM by Mert Koplin; Intro to Brahms Trio in A Minor for Clarinet, Piano and Cello, Op. 114. Played by David Glazer, Frank Glazer, and David Soyer

    Reel 067b - American Program, Part I; Undated

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    Unknown recording. “Strauss” written on back of reel box. Concert Encores. Part two of two

    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Conceptualizations in Research and Policy

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    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a framework developed by Felitti et al. (1998) that aims to understand the public health effects of childhood trauma more comprehensively. ACEs are strongly associated with chronic physical health issues, substance abuse, and mental illness later in life. Over time, the definition has shifted from individual household-level experiences to include community environmental factors, increasing resource mobilization to combat underlying social problems contributing to ACEs. However, ACEs remain inconsistently defined in the literature, and scholars debate if this undermines the value of the framework. Through content analysis of scholarly literature on ACEs and U.S. policies addressing childhood trauma, I explore which aspects of the framework established in the literature make their way into policy. A scoping review of peer-reviewed scholarly literature gathered through a systematic search of SocINDEX, PsycInfo, and PubMed was completed. A census of relevant federal policy documents was gathered by searching records on Articles and policies meeting the inclusion criteria were coded to identify which factors from the original ACEs study and the expanded framework were included. I compared these inclusions in the literature and policy and analyzed the use of the ACEs terminology in policy over time. This analysis documents the contested nature of ACEs terminology, the implications of which I explore in relation to consistency in research and policy, as well as possible avenues for addressing childhood trauma and its public health impacts even more effectively

    The Application of 239+240Pu to Quantify Soil Erosion and Deposition Rates in a Deforested Watershed in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest

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    Accelerated soil erosion is one of the greatest threats to soil health and function, making it imperative to understand the impact of deforestation on erosional processes for sustainable soil management. This research occurred in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), to evaluate soil erosion in the whole-tree harvested watershed (W5) through the application of 239+240Pu as soil erosion tracers. Additionally, this study investigates the suitability of 239+240Pu isotopes as soil erosion tracers in a Northern Hardwood Forest under the influence of lateral podzolization, a sub-surficial process characterized by the lateral downslope movement of water, Fe, Al, and organic matter. Samples were collected from four hillslope positions throughout the watershed: the E, Bhs, Typical, and Bh Podzols moving downslope from the summit to the toeslope. Based on a comparison of plutonium inventory between watersheds 3 (reference) and 5 (study) we calculate average soil redistribution rates of -6.80 t/ha/yr in the Typical Podzol (erosion) and 2.06 t/ha/yr in the Bh Podzol (deposition). Qualitative soil disturbance data reflected in the correlation of δ13C and total organic carbon (TOC) confirms these results with relatively low R2 values displayed in the Typical (R2=0.40) and Bh (R2=0.50) Podzols compared to values displayed in the E (R2=0.75) and Bhs (R2=0.68) Podzols. Plutonium data throughout both watersheds generally indicates a typical exponential decrease with depth, though the Typical Podzol is not influenced by lateral podzolization and displays reduced inventory at depth. Due to this difference in plutonium depth profile between soils formed by lateral podzolization and those not, we find that plutonium is slightly mobilized through the subsurface. The mobilization of 239+240Pu is not significant enough to undermine the application of these soil erosion tracers in environments influenced by lateral podzolization. The significance of this study lies in its contribution to (1) understanding soil redistribution processes in relation to deforestation, and (2) the suitability of 239+240Pu isotopes as effective erosion tracers in environments influenced by lateral podzolization. By demonstrating that the mobilization of these isotopes is not significant enough to compromise their application, this study offers a reliable method for assessing soil erosion in similar environments. This knowledge is crucial for the development of sustainable soil management practices aimed at mitigating the negative effects of deforestation and soil degradation


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