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I got a call last night from the ABC national office to talk about fracking, and the upcoming GlobalFrackdown planned for September 22, 2012. This media contact comes on the heels of an earlier interview from the Associated Press, where they were asking me about the psychology of perceptions regarding fracking. The ABC reporter was interested in a much wider range of issues, including some thoughts about the environmental effects of fracking. I know a little about some of the physical and natural sciences involved, but I needed to do some homework. What follows are some facts, some uncertainties, some analysis, and some opinions about fracking.
If you have a minute, please check out www.mapeoamano.org, and give me feedback; or better yet, leave a few comments on the site itself. The website is an effort to document and improve a mapping tool called A-MANO. In A-MANO, stakeholders transform a satellite image into a dynamic map of the focus area of a community-based development project. In sequential mapping sessions, local people and technical specialists collaborate to put their respective knowledge on the map. In doing, the map becomes much more than a visual representation of the community. When practitioners add to the map the technical data they have gathered, local people gain access to a valuable body of knowledge. And when local people contribute their knowledge to the map, development practitioners gain access to a comprehensive and multi-layered body of data that they can use to better target their efforts.
I'm investigating perceptions of inequity and the inequity resolution process in a local groundwater user association in Guadalupe Valley, Mexico and Sonoma Valley, California-both prominent viticulture regions. Understanding how inequities factor in to and can be resolved at a local level is critical to assessing the effectiveness of international aid programs that incentivize collaborative and local resource management. The study will contribute to literature that examines Social-Ecological Systems and Integrated Water Resource Management outcomes.
For most of the summer we have been in Central America, working to help improve efforts to manage water resources in impoverished rural communities. We’re here under the auspices of the Global Water Initiative (read all about it here: www.globalwaterinitiative.com), which is a coalition of international NGOs working in three world regions to address the declining state of the world’s freshwater supply. In Central America—including Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua—the lead coalition partner is Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and we have been working most closely with CRS staff. Even though we are both involved in the same project, we are approaching our research quite differently.
Highlights from Jacob: