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Abstract or Description

This project is a GIS analysis examining the distribution of toxic sites in Alaska, including Superfund sites, Toxics Release Inventory sites, mining waste sites, and Formerly Used Defense Sites, in relation to populated areas. Our goal was to determine whether these hazardous sites are located disproportionately near indigenous communities, whose populations may be particularly vulnerable to toxics due to their subsistence lifestyles. Our statistical analysis found that, in census tracts with at least one identified toxic site, the percentage of the population identifying as Alaska Native is 59% higher than in those census tracts without any toxic sites. Further analysis reveals a strong linear correlation between placement of toxic sites and Native populations, indicating a need to consider race and ethnicity in prioritizing remediation of these sites.

About the Author

Michelle, from Hancock NH, is a junior Environmental Studies major with a concentration in Biology and a minor in Art. She is actively involved with the Colby Environmental Coalition, the Colby Organic Garden, the EcoRep program and WATCH, which is a group of young women working towards chemical policy reform in consumer products, with a particular focus on cosmetic products. Michelle is very interested in sustainable agriculture, water rights, environmental justice and environmental health.

Blair is an Environmental Policy major from Davis, California.

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ToxicSitesPopulatedAreasAlaskaBravermanRussell2010.pdf (2283 kB)
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