Dominic LiMandri: Earth Sciences and Maps Library

April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Earth Sciences and Map Library is located in 50 McCone Hall on the ground level and is open 9 a.m.– 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday from 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. and closed on the weekends. The library’s resources include over 80,000 air photos, 140,000+ print volumes, over 1,000 journal subscriptions,  500,000+ maps and aerial photographs, and two Geographic Information Systems (GIS) stations, all of which is open to the public. Although the library is naturally used mostly by geography and earth sciences majors,  the stunning amount of resources provided draw in students from all different majors and even mapping enthusiasts not affiliated with the University of California. Even if maps do not intrigue you as much as they do me, I would highly recommend spending an afternoon exploring the rest of the library’s resources, at the very least to catch up on the latest issue of National Geographic. But if you can’t quite sacrifice an entire afternoon, I would strongly suggest utilizing the library’s very helpful website or even OskiCat to navigate the overwhelming amount of resources. Check out the website and add some geography to your day:

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/EART/

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Dominic LiMandri: Film Resources

April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

For my first resource,I found a very informative short video documentary titled “Grabbing Gambela” regarding the massive takeover of farmland by foreign investors in the Gambela Region of Ethiopia, on the website for the non-profit organization GRAIN that I mentioned last week. Now this resource looks very promising and I look forward to watching the rest of the report. Here’s the link:

http://www.grain.org/article/entries/4392-grabbing-gambela

My second visual resource was found on Aljazeera’s website attached to an article titled “Land Grabs: Threat of Opportunity”.  The video discusses an in-depth look at land grabs as a mechanism of food security, or in other words, the buying of foreign tracts of land (usually in the Global South; the case study in the video was Argentina) for the purpose of supplying food to rising populations in the Middle East and Asia. From what I’ve seen in the video so far, this resource may prove quite insightful in guiding my search for case studies. Here’s the link:

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2011/10/20111015124829861118.html

Dominic LiMandri: Visual Resources

April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

For my search this week for visual resources, I explored a resource highly recommended by a former professor: GRAIN. Grain is a small international non-profit organization that works to promote biodiversity within regional and communal food systems around the world, and specializes in documenting the emerging land grabs of the Global South for either carbon offset purposes and/or biofuel production. Browsing the various publications of the organization offered on the website, I found an article titled “Land gabbing for biofuels must stop”, displaying two scenes I thought were quite representative of many of the cases regarding  the process of land agglomeration occurring around the world.

The first image shows an encroaching industrial sugar cane plantation of the Swiss company Addax Bioenergy on a local village in Sierra Leone. Biofuels derived from this cane operation are ultimately destined for European markets, often at the expense of small rural villages and their residents, many of whom are faced with starvation after having been displaced from their own means of production. The second image shows another consequence of such biofuel plantations, with extensive piping invading the jungles of Guatemala and threatening the water supply for nearby villages. Both images reveal the human dimension of such land accumulations, namely the displacement of rural peoples from their localities as well as the simultaneous abstraction from their means of subsistence.

Aerial photo of the lands taken by Addax Bioenergy for its sugar cane plantation in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Le Temps)

(Photo: Le Temps; Obtained via http://www.grain.org)

Biofuel plantations in Guatemala use much of the available water for irrigation. (Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times)

(Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times; Obtained via http://www.grain.org)

Here’s the link for the article for anyone who is interested: http://www.grain.org/article/entries/4653-land-grabbing-for-biofuels-must-stop

 

Dominic LiMandri: Yuki’s Project

March 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Dear Yuki,

After reviewing your past posts to get a better idea of your study interests and direction, I believe I have come across a useful resource for your research, and hopefully it is a resource you have not yet encountered. In one of your earlier posts, I came across three names that you had marked as literary individuals of relevance: Edith Eaton, Younghil Kang, and Carlos Bulosan. After searching all three names in several databases, I came across an interesting resource when I searched Edith Eaton on Oskicat. The book Asian American literature in the international context : readings on fiction, poetry and performance I felt was a perfect match for your field of research, containing multiple authors and pieces of literature on Asian American poetry and performance, the latter being a topic you repeatedly expressed great interest in. Well I hope this collection proves resourceful and good luck with your further investigation into contemporary Asian American literature!

Dominic

Here’s the link:

http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/search~S1?/Xedith+eaton&searchscope=1&SORT=D/Xedith+eaton&searchscope=1&SORT=D&SUBKEY=edith+eaton/1%2C19%2C19%2CB/frameset&FF=Xedith+eaton&searchscope=1&SORT=D&4%2C4%2C

 

Dominic LiMandri: The New York Times

March 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last week I mentioned that due to my recent decision not to draft a research paper this semester, the course of my research as facilitated through this class was to assume a broader perspective in my analysis of the process of military Keynesianism. This was the approach I assumed this week in my investigation, though I must confess I have deviated somewhat from my original topic towards another topic that interests me greatly: land grabs in the Global South. This international process refers to a growing  trend of acquisitions of large tracts of arable land by private investors and foreign governments in the southern hemisphere, spurred by the inherent profit to be had in satiating the energy and food demands of an increasing global population. Now because this occurrence is relatively recent, newspaper articles were abundantly available, as I found two very insightful resources on the New York Times online database accessed via their website portal. The first resource was an article titled “African Farmers Displaced as Investors Move In” detailing the displacement of local farmers by the international race for arable land, noting a very, very interesting claim that these new forms of land acquisitions are essentially a neocolonial scramble for Africa, a legitimate and potential research candidate for my thesis. The second resources was a NYtimes blog titled “Biofuels and ‘Land Grabs’ in Poor Nations” that discussed the use of such land for the production of crops that will in turn be processed into biofuels. In short, both resources were extremely insightful and I look forward to mining once more through various newspaper databases, with the jarring thought in mind that I may change research topics. But we will see.

Links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/world/africa/22mali.html?pagewanted=all

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/biofuels-and-land-grabs-in-poor-nations/

Dominic LiMandri: Exploring Bancroft

March 2, 2013 § 1 Comment

My experience at the Bancroft library yesterday was similar to most of my fellow researchers in that it was somewhat unfruitful in my initial search, but it ultimately contributed to the tweaking of my research approach. Now since I recently elected not to write a research paper in my cultural landscapes class this semester, my research approach has significantly broadened,  geared more towards my eventual thesis research, thus prompting me to adopt a more macro approach to the effects of military Keynesianism on the development of localities and regions rather than the narrower scope of institutions and physical landscapes. This method encourages me to interpret readings and sources with the objective of understanding the comprehensive process rather than looking simply for quotations or citations, and was such the approach I was hoping to take in investigating the contents of the Henry J. Kaiser papers.

After sufficiently browsing the table of contents of the compilation, I narrowed my search down to several specific files to which I hoped to call upon. Unfortunately, this was where my experience at Bancroft ended due to the fact that the physical documents of the Kaiser Papers are kept off-campus at the NRLF and would take up three days to arrive. This was the point where I decided to broaden my approach as  I mentioned before, beginning my preliminary investigation into other examples of Bay Area military investment such as Treasure Island. Using OskiCat, I found several resources pertaining to Treasure Island at Bancroft but, due to my demanding schedule on Friday was not able to devote significant time to each one. In the coming days I hope to gain access to and comprehend the multitude of information embedded in such resources and perhaps come across new sites or articles relating to my topic.

 

Dominic LiMandri: Database Research

February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Similar to my fellow researchers, I have also used the resourceful JSTOR platform to facilitate my further investigation into the post-war economic cycles of the East Bay. Over the course of about two hours earlier today, I filtered through the list of keywords I had assembled on my research topic, leading me to a variety of articles and information that I am currently still shifting through. One particular article that has peaked my interests is titled “Military Spending and Poverty” by Errol Anthony Henderson, a piece examining the relationship between cycles of  military expenditures and the existence of poverty as two symbiotic occurrences. Although the topic discussed was not specifically exclusive to the East Bay, it provided significant insight into general processes of the field and I believe will aid me in my research as I progress with similar readings.

Additionally, I thought it important to note that I came across a wealth of articles concerning “Penal Keynesianism” as an emerging alternative to military Keynesianism in economically rattled communities, a very interesting claim that I plan to investigate further.

Link: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2647920