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Other titles in the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series:
Fields and Streams: Stream Restoration, Neoliberalism, and the Future of Environmental Science (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation)by Rebecca Lave
Synopses & Reviews
Examining the science of stream restoration, Rebecca Lave argues that the neoliberal emphasis on the privatization and commercialization of knowledge has fundamentally changed the way that science is funded, organized, and viewed in the United States.
Stream restoration science and practice is in a startling state. The most widely respected expert in the field, Dave Rosgen, is a private consultant with relatively little formal scientific training. Since the mid-1990s, many academic and federal agency–based scientists have denounced Rosgen as a charlatan and a hack. Despite this, Rosgen’s Natural Channel Design approach, classification system, and short-course series are not only accepted but are viewed as more legitimate than academically produced knowledge and training. Rosgen’s methods are now promoted by federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, as well as by resource agencies in dozens of states.
Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Lave demonstrates that the primary cause of Rosgen’s success is neither the method nor the man but is instead the assignment of a new legitimacy to scientific claims developed outside the academy, concurrent with academic scientists’ decreasing ability to defend their turf. What is at stake in the Rosgen wars, argues Lave, is not just the ecological health of our rivers and streams but the very future of environmental science.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Stream Restoration and Natural Channel Design 18
The History of Stream Restoration and the Rise of Rosgen 39
Capital Conflicts 55
Building a Base of Support 78
The Political Economy of Stream Restoration 100
Interview and Survey Metadata 127
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