Senior Project Advisor
Boxberger, Daniel L., 1950-
Environmental baselines, Lummi Nation, Native American fishery
Shifting environmental baselines are inter-generational changes in perception of the state of the environment. As one generation replaces another, people's perceptions of what is natural change even to the extent that they no longer believe historical anecdotes of past abundance or size of species. I present the first quantified evidence of shifting environmental baselines from a Pacific Northwest Native American fishery (Lummi Nation in Puget Sound, Washington). As depletion of commercial fish species spreads out from the coast, younger fishers share few of their elders' memories of former abundances. Of three generations, the oldest reported more fish species depleted, and they also recalled larger catches. Generations also differed in their perceptions of environmental change. Such rapid shifts in perception of what is natural help explain why society is tolerant of the creeping loss of biodiversity. They imply a large educational hurdle in efforts to reset expectations and targets for conservation.
Cudmore, Alyssa A., "Shifting Baselines in the Fishing Industry of the Lummi Nation: A Study of Declining Expectations" (2009). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 319.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Lummi Indians--Fishing; Indians of North America--Fishing--Washington (State)
student projects; term papers
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