Research Snapshots

Community Based Marine Conservation: Locally Managed Marine Areas and Sustainable Development With the Community of Falalop, Ulithi Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia
PI: Giacomo Bernardi, Professor, UCSC
Collaborators: Nicole Crane, Director, Subtidal Research Programs, Oceanic Society; Richard Starr, Director, University of California Sea Grant Extension Program; Avigdor Abelson, Faculty, Tel Aviv University

Abstract: Coral reefs around the world are suffering from multiple stressors, affecting ecological integrity of coral systems, and the livelihoods of people who rely on them. This proposal addresses a need to work with small autonomously governed communities to strengthen their capacity to manage their coral reefs and associated resources to enhance sustainability during a time of rapid ecological change. We will work with the people of Falalop, Ulithi Atoll, to develop plans for resource protection and enhancement through the establishment of Locally Managed Marine Areas. We will work on Falalop and neighboring islands, which fall under the jurisdiction of Falalop Chiefs and community leaders. There is currently a lack of information on species targeted for food fish. We will work with Community leaders and reef owners to identify target fish, catalog species, document fishing methods, and map key fishing areas. We will work with the community to design a method to analyze their catch for sex and reproductive status, and conduct habitat surveys. Data will be used to develop a plan for the LMMA’s. Community members will be trained to continue collecting data. This plan will be used to expand conservation efforts throughout the Atoll, and throughout the outer islands.


Making Sense of Mass Violence in the Global, Human Rights Era
PI: Amy Rothschild, Ph.D. candidate, UCSD

Abstract: On August 30, 1999, 78.5% of the East Timorese population voted for political independence from Indonesia, ending a 24-year period of brutal occupation, during which time close to a third of Timorese people perished. A little more than a decade after this referendum – and over eight years after East Timor’s official independence – how are Timorese ‘making sense’ of the horrors they lived through during the Indonesian occupation? Which forces in East Timor, including Timor’s Truth Commission and the human rights discourse it has promoted, have been most influential in shaping Timorese understandings or experiences of past suffering and in what ways? My proposed ethnographic research will take place in Suai, a town where there was a massacre of approximately 200 persons two days after the referendum. As East Timor is the first Asian Pacific-Rim country to have a truth commission, my research will build on and contribute to a growing scholarship on the Pacific-Rim and transitional justice, a fact based on the reality that Pacific Rim countries, particularly Latin American Pacific Rim countries, were early innovators in both truth commissions and human rights trials and have had more human rights trials and truth commissions than other regions (Sikkink & Walling).



The Politics of Policy Circulation: Mobilizing Bogota's Green Urbanisms in Guadalajara and San Francisco
PI: Sergio Montero, Ph.D. Candidate, UC Berkeley

Abstract: Bogotá, traditionally portrayed as an urban dystopia, has become a global model of urbanism in the last decade. Since 2001, cities as diverse as Jakarta, Guangzhou, Guadalajara or San Francisco among more than one hundred others have implemented a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system drawing inspiration from Bogotá’s Transmilenio. In the same time period, more than 120 cities have referenced Bogota's Ciclovía to pass a street closure program to promote bike use. In this project, I argue that the rapid circulation of urban policies marks the emergence of an increasingly transnational political arena within urban politics, what I call the politics of policy circulation. In the politics of policy circulation a broad set of situated policy actors—mayors, NGOs, consultants, or activists among others—use trans-local and transnational connections to mobilize other cities’ policies to achieve increased legitimacy for their own agendas. I use this framework to examine the construction and circulation of Bogotá’s Transmilenio and Ciclovía as international “best practices” and the ways in which they were mobilized, contested, and transformed in Guadalajara (Mexico) and San Francisco (California).The rapid spread of Bogotá’s Transmilenio and Ciclovía suggests that the current transnational traffic of ideas of the “good city” is more complex than a North-to-South transfer.





Re-Mapping Transpacific Communication: The Cultural Geography of Undersea Cables in Fiji, New Zealand, and Guam
PI: Nicole Starosielski, Ph. D. candidate, UCSB

Abstract: This project investigates the relationship between local cultural practices at major communication hubs in the Pacific, including Fiji, New Zealand, and Guam, and the geography of transpacific communications cables. These cables are the primary infrastructure supporting the expansion and acceleration of information flows across the Pacific Ocean. Telegraph cables laid in the late 1800s established the first global information networks and transoceanic telephone cables laid in the 1950s inaugurated the modern era of global telecommunication (Pike and Winseck 2007, Hayes 2006). Today, high speed fiber-optic cables have grown to carry over 95% of transoceanic telecommunication traffic and almost 100% of transoceanic internet traffic (ISCPC 2008). Where these cables are laid exerts a strong influence on the routing of economic, political, and cultural activity in the Pacific Rim region. Cable routes not only set conditions for regional access to the internet, but are used to leverage subsequent transportation and communication infrastructure: they solidify pathways for circulation and exchange (Warf 2006).