I have had the fortune in the ENVS department now of presenting in Festival of Scholars two years in a row. This is always a great experience, because it gives me a chance to practice communicating my work to people outside of my classes and in other departments. It also is a nice conclusion to weeks of hard work on a project and a way to show people all that you have done. Finally, it makes it super easy to show up and view other ENVS students work, especially the seniors, because I’m already there.
Out of all the senior capstones presentations I saw, Tasha Addington-Ferris’s was the most interesting to see, because it related so closely to my group’s 330 project on Diablo Canyon. I was in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Climate Science with her last semester when she started her capstone, and have been in some communication this semester with her, knowing that she was working on nuclear energy as well. Early in the semester she had given us recommendations for useful websites on nuclear.
Both Tasha and my research group addressed nuclear energy and Fukushima, but in very different ways. While my group was talking about the rhetoric used on the other side of the world pre and post Fukushima, Tasha was talking about disaster resilience in Japan itself post-Fukushima. For those involved in the shutting down of Diablo Canyon, no disaster has actually struck. Fukushima only matters in how it might change peoples perceptions of nuclear energy in California. But in Japan, people are still directly dealing with the consequences. In this case, the disaster did actually occur and the country needed to bounce back from that. One of the main points I took away from Tasha’s poster presentation is that people must continue to keep researching and recovering from Fukushima, the same way that people are still researching the effects of Chernobyl and dealing with the consequences there even today.