July Ecology Club: Politics and Power Dynamics of Natural Resource Mapping

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

What is a map? Who has the right to create maps? Is there a right way to create a map? And who decides? With on-going debates over land and natural resources happening around the world, politics often influence who chooses to map our natural landscapes, what values they map, and how they map them. Join Sachi Arakawa, Rebecca McLain, and David Banis at July's virtual Ecology Club to discuss the complexities of mapping contested landscapes, with a case study example of values mapping in the forests of the Olympic Peninsula during the Wild Olympics campaign. 

Register for this online event here!

Speaker Bios:

Sachi Arakawa: Sachi is a founding organizer of Mapping Action Collective, a group based in Oregon that supports the work of grassroots organizations and social movements with maps and data. As a modern-day map maker, Sachi often encounters problems with how maps are created or communicated, and in her work with MAC she seeks to put the power of mapping back in the hands of the people, creating maps and data sets that support communities, rather than commodify, exclude, or misrepresent them. 

Rebecca McLain: Rebecca is the Research Program Director for the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State University. She has a PhD in Forest Management from the University of Washington, with a focus on the social aspects of natural resource management. She has a longstanding interest in the politics that surround the development and use of maps for asserting claims over territory and conveying values associated with forested landscapes. Over the past decade, she has helped design and implement a series of cultural values mapping projects on national forests in the Pacific Northwest.

David Banis: David manages the Center for Spatial Analysis and Research in the Geography Department at Portland State University, working with a wide variety of partners at the federal, state, and local levels. His work explores the diverse ways that cartographers can tell stories with maps, focusing on the mapping of nontraditional subjects. He has a number of research programs that employ public participatory mapping to explore how cultural values and human perceptions of places and landscapes might be used in land management. He teaches courses on cartography, map use and analysis, and geographic information systems.


Join us online the second Wednesday of each month for Ecology Club! We discuss an ecological themes related to Bark’s work on Mt Hood or seasonal skills to give the community a deeper appreciation and understanding of NW ecology. Some months feature presenters, who bring their unique skills to the community. Other times, we will work as a group on such topics as thinning, fire ecology, wildflowers, birds, road ecology, or other ecological knowledge.
At the meeting's close, we leave time open to further explore the topics of the evening, delve deeper into Bark's work to protect Mt Hood, and learn about what you can do to protect Mt. Hood National Forest!
This event is free + open to the public. 

Color Photo showing three people around a sign with a map on it.  The map has a green and white background with black writing in different locations.  One person is writing on the bottom of the map.