Lindsay Ofrias is a master’s student focusing on contemporary issues surrounding oil development and environmental restoration in the Ecuadorian Amazon. She is also enrolled in the graduate certificate program for Environment, Society and Policy.
Since 2005, Lindsay has been to the field three times, closely following the Maria Aguinda v. Chevron Texaco lawsuit that has been in litigation over the last eighteen years that is to determine whether the company is liable for its alleged toxic oil waste disposals into open pits and waterways in the Oriente region. She is specifically interested in the issue of social inclusion in the design of environmental restoration projects and the possibilities for Ecuadorians to seek compensation in the midst of uncertainty surrounding the lawsuit.
Lindsay has been directly involved in ethnographic research in the Amazon region (El Oriente) of Ecuador since 2005. She has since had two articles on her research published: “Envisioning New Energy: Recognizing the Peoples at the Sources of Production” in the 2008 edition of New York University’s Journal of Global Affairs, and “The Intelligence of Mushrooms in Environmental Restoration: Using Petrol-eating Mycelium in the Ecuadorian Amazon to Clean-up Toxic Oil Wastes” on RealitySandwich.com.
Lindsay has also been undertaking research in the United States that looks at the ways that Americans are actively creating new exchange systems and lifestyles that attempt to limit consumption of fossil fuels. She presented an unpublished paper on this research at the 2011 Conference on Language, Culture and Social Practice at CU-Boulder, titled: “Evolve to Solve: Stance and Social Action in an Emerging Discourse for Environmental Activism.”