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Elizabeth Yarina Awarded 2015 Benjamin Siegel Prize in Writing

The MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society awarded the 2015 Benjamin Siegel prize to "CONTESTED LANDSCAPES: Staking Claims in Michigan’s Copper Country," by Elizabeth Yarina, a joint Masters student in Architecture and City Planning. They noted:

"The paper offers a novel, nuanced, and timely reading of the role that particular narratives of nature and natural resources play in competing land claims. Weaving diverse case material (aerial photographs, blog posts, water samples, toxic waste studies, protest songs) into a captivating storyline, the author parses the distinct 'valuation regimes' of different actor groups in Michigan’s Copper Country: landscape as commodity; as heritage; as status; as ecological system; as natural resource. Written as part of Prof. Rania Ghosn’s course Landscapes of Energy, CONTESTED LANDSCAPES combines cogent writing, compelling graphics, and the creative application of concepts and ideas within science and technology studies to an important contemporary issue. We particularly want to point out the beautiful graphic and visual design of the paper, which enhances the readers’ understanding of both the text and the data. The author closes with an argument for 'new and revised methods of ownership and regulation as we examine claims to earth, air, water and biology.'"