Wow. Working on my Collaborative Research from this past summer again has been a great motivator for me.

I’m really glad that I decided to apply to go to this Undergraduate Research conference – just the kick in the pants that I needed to really dig into this project again.

Here’s the abstract, for those of you that haven’t read it/don’t know much about the research I did this summer:

Winds of Change? Indigenous Peoples, Wind Energy, and Social Justice

The history of energy development on tribal lands is fraught with confusion and anger. Renewable energy projects face barriers to money and growth, but the barriers are especially pertinent when the renewable energy project is on the reservation. Tribal governments and organizations walk a precarious line between autonomy and dependency on the United States government; due to this ambiguity, it is difficult for these groups to gain access to renewable energy incentives necessary to go through with projects on native land. Making energy more affordable is the goal of government incentives, however, native groups are often unable to gain from the most beneficial of national energy incentives, placing this particular population at an incredible disadvantage, despite the fact that reservations often have massive wind energy potential. This study explores the ways in which three separate native groups have attempted to bring wind energy to their lands: the Inter-Tribal Council on Utility Policy, The Rosebud Tribe’s Tribal Utility Commission, and Honor the Earth. The research was conducted over a period of three months by interviewing those involved with specific native wind projects and others connected with the issue of wind energy, as well as reading legal and political background on energy issues, legal frames, and Native American sovereignty. The goals of the project are to explore and illuminate potentially unseen benefits and barriers that Native American communities may receive from the development of wind energy. Outcomes of the work include several short papers, prepared for publication in undergraduate academic journals, popular magazines, local newspapers, and online. These various papers summarize research and potential directions for national policy regarding development of energy on native lands. A larger paper will be written to tie together these smaller papers, and connect different ends of research.

So here’s my progress so far:

1. NCUR Submission Complete

2. Will be writing a short essay to submit to “Critical Theory and Social Justice”, a new undergraduate research magazine.

I still need to find other places to publish my work. I’m thinking Minnesota Monthly (if I can manage it), some other undergraduate research magazines, and I’d like to get a website so that I could self-publish my “policy paper”/”policy suggestions.” I’d also really like to find some native-specific places to attempt to get another paper published, and perhaps I could get a link to my work put in some Honor the Earth/ICOUP/other native groups’ publications.

This website idea is starting to sound better and better. Hmmmm … this shall be thought on.

Edit to Announce: My abstract got selected for funding! Now I have to apply to go to the conference itself … yay!


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