Making Sense of Water Quality: Multispecies Encounters on the Mystic River

Making Sense of Water Quality: Multispecies Encounters on the Mystic River This paper takes water quality as an ethnographic subject. It looks at how water quality monitors in Boston make sense of the quality of water through mundane engagement with three non-human beings who they encounter during their monitoring activities: herring, bacteria and water lily. Each of these organisms suggests a different understanding of water quality for the monitors and poses a dilemma. Water quality monitors who contribute to the production of water quality data come to know water quality as through direct interactions with these beings, mediated by both sensorial experience and laboratory data. These experiences, at the same time, confuse and redraw relationships between science, water flows, non-human vitality, including that of invasive species, and people. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Worldviews Brill

Making Sense of Water Quality: Multispecies Encounters on the Mystic River

Worldviews, Volume 17 (2): 150 – Jan 1, 2013

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1363-5247
eISSN
1568-5357
DOI
10.1163/15685357-01702006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper takes water quality as an ethnographic subject. It looks at how water quality monitors in Boston make sense of the quality of water through mundane engagement with three non-human beings who they encounter during their monitoring activities: herring, bacteria and water lily. Each of these organisms suggests a different understanding of water quality for the monitors and poses a dilemma. Water quality monitors who contribute to the production of water quality data come to know water quality as through direct interactions with these beings, mediated by both sensorial experience and laboratory data. These experiences, at the same time, confuse and redraw relationships between science, water flows, non-human vitality, including that of invasive species, and people.

Journal

WorldviewsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2013

Keywords: science; sensing; non-human; water quality; citizen science

References

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