Graduate Exit Seminar via Zoom - Austin Miles

Plan to join via Zoom Austin Miles's graduate exit seminar on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. Austin will present, "Changes in Social Networks and Narratives associated with Lake Erie Water Quality Management after the 2014 Toledo Water Crisis."


Harmful algal blooms (HABs), have been a growing issue in Lake Erie since the 1990s. Five of the worst blooms on record in the lake have occurred since 2011. The blooms, composed of species of cyanobacteria that produce various toxins, are primarily caused by runoff of bioavailable phosphorus and nitrogen from agricultural lands around the lake. HABs in Lake Erie have become an especially salient issue after the August 2014 Toledo water crisis, in which 500,000 Toledoans were deprived of the use of their tap water due to toxins in their water originating from a HAB, which in turn drew an explosion of attention to this issue. I am interested in investigating two issues pertaining to how this attention changed HAB management: first, the ways the crisis changed the social networks of the stakeholders involved in water quality management; and second, the ways that the crisis altered narratives about HABs.

Advisor: Ramiro Berardo