Hattie Houser (advised by Joe Bryan)
Documenting Femicide In Mexico: Connecting the Disappeared to a Larger Body Politic
Abstract: Femicide, the disappearance and death of women due to their gender, is occurring throughout Latin America and increasingly within Mexico. In Mexico, this issue has been connected to a myriad of structural causes including neoliberalism, state corruption, violence, and the War on Drugs. High levels of impunity work in coordination with the normalization of violence and the delegation of women's affairs to the private sphere, resulting in femicide becoming nearly invisible. Thus, the act of visibilizing and drawing attention to the issue of femicide as an unnatural and public phenomenon becomes even more important and radical. This project focuses on documenting methods that NGOs in Oaxaca and Mexico City are currently using to visibilize and combat the issue of femicide in Mexico and analyzing the effectiveness of these techniques within context of the literature that has been produced around the topic of femicide. At the same time, this project opens up space for us to consider how the rise of neoliberalism and the militarization of Mexico in the context of the War on Drugs has created a mechanism in which women's bodies are used as a means of warfare.
Tai Koester (advised by Joe Bryan)
Who is the Public in Public Land? The Cartographic Erasure of Bears Ears as Indigenous Space and its Consequences for Contemporary Public Lands Issues
Abstract: Throughout the Bears Ears controversy, maps have played a pivotal role in codifying land management tenure, land use, and boundaries. The Tribal proposal was finalized as a map; both Presidential proclamations were supported by maps. Maps shape how we understand space, telling us to see it in a certain way and privileging certain spatial perspectives over others.
The perspective of Indigenous peoples has never been afforded recognition. Over the past two centuries, Indigenous land use has been made invisible. The Tribal proposal for a Bears Ears National Monument attempted to make this use visible for the first time in southern Utah.
To understand why the construction of Bears Ears as a national monument is so significant and even necessary, we first have to understand cartographic destruction of Bears Ears. I intend to demonstrate how mapping initiatives beginning in the 19th century systematically erased Indigenous presence and use of the Bears Ears region. I argue that this occurred simultaneously with the construction of ‘public land’, a concept that excludes Indigenous people from the actual public in question. With this framework in mind, the recent initiative to map and designate Bears Ears as a national monument, and President Trump’s decision to slash the monument and deemphasize an Indigenous presence can be read as part of a broader debate over defining who gets to speak for public lands in the United States.
John Scherer (advised by John Adler)
Using Advanced Remote Sensing Methods to Decrease Uncertainty in Interferograms: Investigating Drone Stereophotogrammetry for InSAR Calibration
Abstract: The aim of the project is to use Digital Elevation Models (DEM) from Drone Stereophotogrammetry to calibrate surface flux detection of interferograms generated from Inferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR). Images are collected from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel program and processed to create interferograms. The interferograms are then compared to multiple DEM’s generated from stereophotogrammetry to determine whether the phase shift measured in interferograms is in the positive or negative direction, relative to a datum. This research is highly valuable as it seeks to develop a method to reduce uncertainty when working with interferograms, especially when large surface elevation changes are expected. The study area chosen for this project is the Climax Molybdenum Mine & Mill near Leadville, CO. The location was chosen due to its dynamic topography (innate to an active mining site) as well as proximity in Boulder, CO for drone flights.