Publication Date

April 2019

Advisor(s)

Anthony Hatch

Major

Science in Society

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Across the U.S. and U.S. territories, there are twenty closed military bases that have been converted into wildlife refuges. This thesis investigates two such conversions: the Loring Air Force Base-to-Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge conversion in Maine and the Pease Air Force Base-to-Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge conversion in New Hampshire. I primarily examine the contrasting discourses of contamination, wildlife, and indigeneity that emerge at the nexus of ecology and warfare within both conversions. I deploy discourse analysis in order to investigate the Air Force, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other entities' production of such discourses in environmental impact statements, risk assessments, wildlife refuge brochures, youth workshops, land transfer agreements, property documentation reports, and more. By situating the discourses of contamination, wildlife, and indigeneity that emerge at both sites in relation to each other, I aim to link these discourses to a larger narrative wherein the withdrawal of land for warfare and wildlife conservation is inseparable from the withdrawal of land for colonization.

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