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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Electronic Green Journal

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Ecosystem Management & the Evolution of Ideas at the US Forest Service

In the early 1990s, ecosystem management was touted as an emerging new paradigm for US national forest planning, but by the end of the decade the phrase had virtually disappeared from public discussion of the subject. The purpose of this article is to understand what legacy, if any, that ecosystem management left on national forest management. While Klyza (1996) has arguably offered the leading viewpoint on how policy ideas influence change in national forest management, this article relies more heavily on insights from the work of Carstensen (2011) and other scholars who view policy idea change as an evolutionary process. Ultimately, it is concluded that ecosystem management was one component of a longer-term evolution in ideas that culminated most recently in the promulgation of the 2012 forest planning rules.

Citizen Science for Conservation: Towards a Cleaner, Greener China

Citizen science (CS) is the practice where amateurs without formal scientific training collect data to contribute to the scientific observations available to scientists and decision makers (Bonney, et al., 2009). Citizen science is increasingly utilized for environmental protection and conservation as well as related purposes such as education, access to nature, access to justice, inclusion, civics and equality or other ‘social goods’ (Mor Barak, 2020; Makuch & Aczel, 2020).  Several eco-citizen science projects are developing in China (Chen, et al., 2020; Hsu, Yeo & Weinfurter, 2020), though little research has evaluated their effectiveness in facilitating environmental protection or advancing social goods. This paper aims to identify the role and potential benefits of environmental citizen science in China to promote environmental and social objectives within the context of what has been called “authoritarian environmentalism” (Beeson, 2018).

Through semi-structured interviews and a review of the (limited) available literature, we identify three key areas in which citizen science could potentially benefit environmental protection and promote social good in China: (1) fostering education to inform society and encourage environmental advocacy; (2) facilitating effective environmental governance through monitoring and litigation; and (3) improving data collection for biodiversity and conservation research.

Defying the normal: biopolitics and the rising bodies in the time of Covid-19

This article discusses the biopolitics of the coronavirus pandemic practiced on both human and non-human animals. I begin by introducing the idea of biopolitics and othering. I then bring two animals, bats and minks, together to explain the role of biopolitics in manipulating the bodies of non-human animals. In particular, I compare the discourses surrounding both animals that frame bats as the wild and minks as the productive— the categorization of both disembodies the animals and subjects them to exploitation. I also examine the role of the environment in creating a shared vulnerability between human and non-human animals. I argue that the coronavirus pandemic is a crisis evoked by a system that profits from the use of biopolitics through the creations of dichotomies between the “normal” and the “abnormal.” To reimagine our future, we need to seek a sustainability that fosters entanglements, instead of separations, of all creatures.