The PSE seed grant award of $500 has contributed to my costs to attend the Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting in Albuquerque, NM in March of 2014. At this meeting I will present on my work on a collaborative project to build marsh and community resilience on the Deal Island Peninsula of Maryland. My presentation: "Collaborative Learning on the Chesapeake: Rural Maryland Defining Resilience in the Face of Climate Change" will focus on making progress where the parameters and goals of success are unclear. The interaction between scientists, community members, and officials and managers is important for producing goals for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change impacts. This research helps to bridge the gap between society and environment in unique ways.
The 2013 Program for Society and the Environment Seed Grant provided me with the opportunity to research volunteer stewardship at the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture in Alexandria, VA during the summer and fall of 2013. This research examines the ways in which volunteer stewards get involved in urban farming, their motivations for participating, and the ways in which environmental stewardship connects with civic participation more broadly. I attended monthly open volunteer days at the farm, where I conducted a survey of all adult volunteers and engaged in participant observation. Surveys will provide information about the demographics, social networks, and civic engagement of farm volunteers. This data will be comparable to survey data collected from tree planting volunteers in the Washington, DC area in 2012. Funding from the PSE Seed Grant was used to support research and transportation costs associated with the project. I will be continuing this research in spring 2014 when the farming seasons begins.
I will be presenting the findings from this research at the Workshop for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland, College Park on Wednesday, April 9 from 10:30-12:00 in ASY 1101. Additionally, I will be presenting a paper based on the volunteer stewards survey as part of a panel on “Community Spaces and Food Justice” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems in August, 2014 in San Francisco, CA.