Doug Parker is the director of the California Institute for Water Resources and Strategic Initiative Leader for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Water Quality, Quantity, and Security Strategic Initiative. I interviewed him as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the water institute.
Can you explain what the California Institute for Water Resources is?
It's a bit of complicated, but fun, history. In 1956, the state legislature passed a bill to...
Dr. Melanie K. Yazzie is an Assistant Professor at UC Riverside. This the second part of our conversation, read the first here. See her full bio at the end of the interview.
You've written and thought about, and worked directly on, tribal sovereignty issues. For example, you've written about Navajo water rights as an important sovereignty issue. And, recently I've read articles about the role of tribal sovereignty in dam re-licensing, about tribes upholding the Paris climate treaty, and you've also done work related to the Muslim ban,...
Melanie K. Yazzie is an Assistant Professor at UC Riverside. I spoke with her after seeing her presentation at the UC Merced Humanities conference “Water: Ways of Knowing and Being.” This is part one of a two part interview with Dr. Yazzie. See her full bio at the end of the interview.
This spring, you gave a talk about Indigenous politics and what you called the “social life of water.” A main premise of your talk was that
Groundwater was the hot topic during the third annual meeting of the UC Water research initiative held in Davis in mid-September. There were thought-provoking presentations from a variety of groundwater experts including Helen Dahlke from UC Davis, Michael Kiparsky from UC Berkeley, and Andrew Fisher from UC Santa Cruz.
Small farmers were hit hard by California's drought. Perhaps none as hard as the Hmong and other Southeast Asian farmers that lease small plots of land, often with declining groundwater levels, shallow wells, and outdated irrigation systems. Yet, many of these small farmers persist, growing an incredible variety of tropical and subtropical crops in California's temperate climate.
According to a 2007 survey, around 900 out of a total of 1400 Southeast Asian farms in Fresno County in California's Central Valley are Hmong. The Hmong largely arrived as refugees from Laos after government upheaval in the 1970's. For many, farming is part of who they are, despite the challenges.
And, the list of challenges for these...