© 2016 - 2019 | Privacy Policy | Imprint
  • Lawrence Abu Hamdan
  • Babak Afrassiabi
    • Babak Afrassiabi is an artist who works both in Iran and the Netherlands. Since 2004, he has collaborated with Nasrin Tabatabai on various joint projects and the publication of the bilingual magazine Pages (Farsi and English). Their work seeks to articulate the undecidable space between art and its historical conditions, including the recurring question of the place of the archive in defining the juncture between politics, history, and the practice of art. The artists’ work has been presented internationally in various solo and group exhibitions and they have been tutors at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2008–13), and Erg, école supérieure des arts, Brussels (2015–).
    • published contributions
  • Malin Ah-King
  • Memo Akten
    • . He is currently a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is researching artificial intelligence, machine learning, and expressive human-ma
    • published contributions
  • Jamie Allen
  • S. Ayesha Hameed
    • Dr. S. Ayesha Hameed is a Lecturer in Visual Cultures and the Joint Programme Leader in Fine Art and History of Art Research Fellow in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, London. She received her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University, Canada in 2008
    • published contributions
  • Sammy Baloji
  • Subhankar Banerjee
  • On Barak
    • On Barak is a social and cultural historian of science and technology in non-Western settings. He has been a senior lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University since 2012. Prior to this, he was a member of the Princeton Society of Fellows. In 2009, Barak received a joint PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies from New York University. His most recent book is On Time: Technology and Temporality in Modern Egypt (University of California Press, 2013), and his current publication project, Coalonialism: Energy and Empire before the Age of Oil, is funded by a European Union Marie Curie Award and an Israel Science Foundation Grant.
    • published contributions
  • Anil Bawa-Cavia
    • Anil Bawa-Cavia is a computer scientist with a background in machine learning. He runs STDIO, a speculative software studio. His practice engages with algorithms, protocols, encodings, and other software artifacts and his doctoral research at the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London was on complex networks in urbanism. He is a founding member of Call & Response, a sonic arts collective and gallery space in London, and a member of the New Centre for Research & Practice.
    • published contributions
  • Etienne Benson
  • Josh Berson
  • Jeremy Bolen
  • Paul Boshears
  • Benjamin Bratton
    • for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow. Bratton is also Professor of Digital Design at the Eur
    • published contributions
  • Axel Braun
    • Axel Braun studied photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, and fine arts at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. His artistic research deals with controversial infrastructure projects, tautology as an attempt to understand reality, and failed utopias in art and architecture. Currently, he is pursuing the long-term project Towards an Understanding of Anthropocene Landscapes. Recently exhibited works include Some Kind of Opposition (2016) at Galeria Centralis, Budapest, and Dragonflies drift downstream on a river (2015) at Kunstmuseum Bochum.
    • published contributions
  • Keith Breckenridge
  • François Bucher
    • s, focusing on ethical and aesthetic problems of cinema and television, and more recently on the image as an interdimensional field. His work has been exhibited at
    • published contributions
  • Lino Camprubí
  • Zachary Caple
  • Ele Carpenter
    • Dr. Ele Carpenter is a senior lecturer in curating at Goldsmiths, London. Her curatorial practice responds to interdisciplinary socio-political contexts such as the nuclear economy and the relationship between craft and code.
    • published contributions
  • Andrew Chubb
    • Andrew Chubb is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia conducting research on the relationship between Chinese public opinion and government policy in the South China Sea. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Contemporary China, Pacific Affairs, East Asia Forum, and Information, Communication & Society. His blog, South Sea Conversations (southseaconversations.wordpress.com), provides translations and analysis of Chinese discourse on the South and East China Sea issues.
    • published contributions
  • Louis Chude-Sokei
    • Louis Chude-Sokei is a writer and scholar currently teaching in the English Department at the University of Washington, Seattle. His academic interests range from West African, Caribbean, and American literary and cultural studies to a particular focus on sound, technology, and performance. His literary and public work focuses on immigration and black-on-black cultural contacts, conflicts, and exchanges. Chude-Sokei is the author of the award-winning book The Last “Darky”: Bert Williams, Black-on-Black Minstrelsy, and the African Diaspora (2006) and The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics (2016).
    • published contributions
  • Amy Cimini
  • Claire Colebrook
    • Claire Colebrook is a professor of English at Penn State University. Her areas of specialization are contemporary literature, visual culture, and theory and cultural studies. She has written articles on poetry, literary theory, queer theory, and contemporary culture. Colebrook is the co-editor of the series Critical Climate Change, published by Open Humanities Press, and a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Critical Climate Change. She recently completed two books on extinction for Open Humanities Press, Death of the PostHuman and Sex after Life (both 2014), and with Tom Cohen and J. Hillis Miller co-authored Twilight of the Anthropocene Idols (2016).
    • published contributions
  • Flavio D'Abramo
  • Ana Dana Beroš
    • chitect and curator focused on creating uncertain, fragile environments that catalyze social chan
    • published contributions
  • Pietro Daniel Omodeo
  • Rana Dasgupta
  • Filip De Boeck
    • Filip De Boeck is actively involved in teaching, promoting, coordinating and supervising research in and on Africa at the Institute for Anthropological research in Africa at the U
    • published contributions
  • Seth Denizen
    • Seth Denizen is a researcher and design practitioner trained in landscape architecture and evolutionary biology. Since completing research on the sexual behavior and evolutionary ecology of small Trinidadian fish, his work has focused on the aesthetics of scientific representation, madness, and public parks, the design of t
    • published contributions
  • Rohini Devasher
  • Jonathan Donges
    • Jonathan Donges is a postdoctoral researcher who holds a joint position at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (as Stordalen Scholar) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He studies planetary boundaries and social dynamics in the Earth system from a complex dynamical system perspective. At Potsdam, he is Co-head of the flagship COPAN (Coevolutionary Pathways) project (www.pik-potsdam.de/copan). His published research includes work on complex network theory, dynamical systems theory, and time series analysis, with a focus on their application to our understanding of past and present climate variability and its interactions with humankind on planet Earth.
    • published contributions
  • Design Earth
    • ollaborative architectural practice led by El Hadi Jazairy
    • published contributions
  • Keller Easterling
  • Anna Echterhölter
  • David Edgerton
    • David Edgerton is Hans Rausing Professor of the History of Science and Technology and a professor of modern British history at King’s College London. After teaching at the University of Manchester, he became the founding director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College London (1993–2003), and moved along with the centre to King’s College London in August 2013. He is the author of many works, including The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900 (2007), which argues for and exemplifies new ways of thinking about the material constitution of modernity.
    • published contributions
  • Technosphere Editorial
  • Sasha Engelmann
  • Lois Epstein
    • stein is Arctic Program Director at the Wilderness Society an American land conservation non-profit. A licensed engineer, she has served on a number of federal advisory committees, including a National Academy of Sciences committee studying oil and gas regulations, and, for twelve years, a committee focusing on oil pipeline safety. Epstein holds a Master of Civil Engineering with a specialization in environme
    • published contributions
  • Eberhard Faust
  • Jennifer Gabrys
    • Jennifer Gabrys is Reader in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project, "Citizen Sense." Her publications include Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (University of Michigan Press, 2011); and Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming).
    • published contributions
  • Elaine Gan
  • Oliver Gantner
  • Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann
  • Florian Goldmann
    • Florian Goldmann is a Berlin-based artist and a PhD candidate at the DFG Research Training Center Visibility and Visualisation – Hybrid Forms of Pictorial Knowledge as well as at the Brandenburg Center for Media Studies, both Potsdam University. His research focus is the utilization of models as a means of both commemorating and predicting catastrophe. In 2015, he took part in the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan. Goldmann is one of the founders of the research collective STRATAGRIDS and the author of Flexible Signposts to Coded Territories (2012), an analysis of football hooligan graffiti in Athens as a system of fluid signage.
    • published contributions
  • Mark Graham
  • Jacques Grinevald
  • Johan Gärdebo
    • Johan Gärdebo is a PhD candidate at the Royal Institute of Technology affiliated to the Environmental Humanities Laboratory (EHL). H
    • published contributions
  • Orit Halpern
    • Orit Halpern is a Strategic Hire in Interactive Design and an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal. Her work bridges the histories of science, computing, and cybernetics with design and art practice. She is also a co-director of the Speculative Life Research Cluster, Montreal, a laboratory situated at the intersection of art and life sciences, architecture and design, and computational media (www.speculativelife.com). Her recent monograph, Beautiful Data (2015), is a history of interactivity, data visualization, and ubiquitous computing. www.orithalpern.net
    • published contributions
  • Eva Hayward
  • Gabrielle Hecht
  • Gerda Heck
  • Florian Hecker
    • dio 3 as the broadcaster’s first ever live binaural broadcast. Recent major exhibitions
    • published contributions
  • Carola Hein
    • Carola Hein is a professor of the history of architecture and urban planning in the Architecture Department at Delft University of Technology. She has published widely on topics in contemporary and historical architectural and urban planning, notably that of Europe and Japan. Her current research interests include transmission of architectural and urban ideas along international networks, focusing specifically on port cities, and the global architecture of oil. Her books include Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes and Global Networks (2011), Cities, Autonomy, and Decentralization in Japan (2006), and The Capital of Europe: Architecture and Urban Planning for the European Union (2004).
    • published contributions
  • Julian Henriques
    • Julian Henriques is the convener of the MA in Script Writing and Director of the Topology Research Unit in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Prior to this, he ran the film and television department at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. His credits as a writer and director include the reggae musical feature film Babymother (1998) and as a sound artist, Knots & Donuts, exhibited at Tate Modern in 2011. Henriques researches street cultures and technologies and his publications include Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation, and Subjectivity (1998), Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques, and Ways of Knowing (2011), and Sonic Media (forthcoming).
    • published contributions
  • Hanna Husberg
    • Hanna Husberg is a Stockholm-based artist. She graduated from ENSB-A in Paris in 2007 and is currently a PhD in Practice candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.
    • published contributions
  • Sabine Höhler
  • Erich Hörl
  • Timothy Johnson
  • Peter K. Haff
  • Bernd Kasparek
  • Nikos Katsikis
  • Laleh Khalili
  • Axel Kleidon
  • Alexander Klose
    • Dr. Alexander Klose studied History, Law, Philosophy, Art, and Cultural Studies. From 2005-07 he held a scholarship at Bauhaus Universität Weimar for his PhD project on standardized containers used in transport as one of the leading material media in the 20th century. Between 2009 and 2014 he worked as a research associate and programme developer at Kulturstiftung des Bundes. In 2015 in the forefront of COP 21, he co-curated Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18 – On Becoming Earthlings: 150 dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the Human at Musée de l'Homme, Paris. His latest publication is: The Container Principle. How a box changes the way we think (2015).
    • published contributions
  • Karin Knorr Cetina
  • Scott Knowles
  • Nile Koetting
  • Nicole Koltick
    • Nicole Koltick is an assistant professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University, Philadelphia. She is Founding Director of the Design Futures Lab at Westphal College, which is currently pursuing design research to stimulate debate on the potential implications of emerging technological and scientific developments within society. Koltick’s practice spans art, science, technology, design, and philosophy, and current work focuses on the philosophical, material, and relational implications of aesthetics as they intersect with emerging developments in computational creativity, artificially intelligent autonomous systems, robotics, and synthetic biological hybrids.
    • published contributions
  • Nik Kosmas
  • Matthijs Kouw
    • Matthijs Kouw joined the Rathenau Instituut, The Hague, in March 2016. He holds an MA in Philosophy and an MSc in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Amsterdam as well as a PhD from Maastricht University. In his PhD thesis, Kouw describes how and to what extent reliance on models can introduce vulnerabilities through the assumptions, uncertainties, and blind spots concomitant with modeling practice. He was employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), during which time he acted as a member of the Dutch delegation for plenary sessions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
    • published contributions
  • Matija Kralj
  • Kei Kreutler
  • Lars Kulik
    • Lars Kulik studied biology at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He received his doctorate on the development of social behavior of rhesus monkeys at the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. He lives with his family in Berlin.
    • published contributions
  • Richard L. Hindle
    • Richard L. Hindle is an assistant professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning at the University of California, Berkeley. His current research focuses on patent innovation in landscape related technologies, from large-scale mappings of riverine and coastal systems to detailed historical studies on the antecedents of vegetated architecture. His work explores the potential of new technological narratives and material processes to reframe theory, practice, and the production of landscape. Recent works include the articles “Levees That Might Have Been” (2015), and “Infrastructures of Innovation” in Scaling Infrastructure (MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, 2016), and the exhibition Geographies of Innovation at UC Berkeley (2015).
    • published contributions
  • Hannah Landecker
  • Brian Larkin
  • Bruno Latour
  • Manfred Laubichler
  • John Law
    • hn Law was a professor of sociology at Keele University, Lancaster, and the Open University, Milton Keynes, and a co-director of the Economic and Social Researc
    • published contributions
  • Yoneda Lemma
    • ents from one fiction to another. She has exhibited her work at V4ULT, Berlin; Le Cube, Par
    • published contributions
  • Esther Leslie
    • t theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. It deals with the poetics of science, European literary and visual modern
    • published contributions
  • George Lewis
    • my of Arts and Letters, New York. He has been a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Chicago, since 1971. Lewis’s work as composer, electronic performer, installa
    • published contributions
  • S. Løchlann Jain
  • Donald MacKenzie
  • Stefan Maier
  • Chowra Makaremi
  • Annapurna Mamidipudi
  • Laura McLean
    • Laura McLean is a curator, artist, and writer based in London. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths College and Sydney College of the Arts, where she later lectured. She has also studied at Alberta College of Art and Design, and the Universität der Künste Berlin.
    • published contributions
  • Eden Medina
    • Eden Medina is an associate professor of informatics and computing, affiliated associate professor of law, and adjunct associate professor of history at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research and teaching address the social, historical, and legal dimensions of our increasingly data-driven world, including the relationship of technology to human rights and free expression, the relationship between political innovation and technological innovation, and the ways that human and political values shape technological design. Medina’s writings also use science and technology as a way to broaden understandings of Latin American history and the geography of innovation. She is the author of Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile (2011) and the co-editor of Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America (2014).
    • published contributions
  • Anne-Sophie Milon
    • Anne-Sophie Milon is an artist and a freelance illustrator and animator working and living in Bristol, UK. After completing two Masters in Art, she has recently concluded the program of experimentation in Art and Politics at SciencesPo (SPEAP) in Paris.
    • published contributions
  • Paul N. Edwards
  • Gerald Nestler
    • Gerald Nestler is an artist and writer who combines theory and post-disciplinary conversation with video, installation, performance, text, code, graphics, sound, and speech. He explores what he calls the derivative condition of contemporary social relations and its paradigmatic financial models, operations, processes, narratives, and fictions. He is currently working on an “aesthetics of resolution” that maps counterfictions and counterimaginations for “renegade activism,” which revolves around the demonstration as a combined artistic, technological, social, and political practice. Nestler holds a practice-based PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
    • published contributions
  • Huiying Ng
  • Daniel Niles
    • terial, millenary and momentary—that their knowledge takes, and, finally, the significance of this experience to our understanding of t
    • published contributions
  • James P. M. Syvitski
    • James P. M. Syvitski is Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) at the University of Colorado Boulder. From 2011 to 2016, he chaired the International Council for Science’s International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), which provides essential scientific leadership and knowledge of the Earth system to help guide society toward a sustainable pathway during rapid global change. His specialty is the global flux of water and sediment (river and ocean borne) and its trends in the Anthropocene. He works at the forefront of computational geosciences, including sediment transport, land-ocean interactions, and Earth-surface dynamics.
    • published contributions
  • Luciana Parisi
    • Luciana Parisi is Reader in Cultural Theory, Chair of the PhD program in Cultural Studies, and Co-director of the Digital Culture Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research focuses on cybernetics, information theory and computation, complexity and evolutionary theories, and the technocapitalist investment in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Her books include Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire (2004) and Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space (2013). She is currently researching the history of automation and the philosophical consequences of logical thinking in machines.
    • published contributions
  • Lisa Parks
  • Matteo Pasquinelli
  • Karen Pinkus
    • w York. She is also a faculty fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Ithaca. Author of numerous publications in literary studies, Italian studies, critical theory, and environmental humanities, Pinkus is also Editor of the journal Diacritics. In her latest book, Fuel (2016), Pinkus thinks about issues crucial to climate ch
    • published contributions
  • Giulia Rispoli
  • Sophia Roosth
    • t when researchers are building new biological systems in order to investigate how biology works. She holds a PhD from the Massachuse
    • published contributions
  • Arno Rosemarin
  • Rafico Ruiz
    • afico Ruiz is Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. He studies the relationships between mediation and social space, particularly in the Arctic and subarctic; the cultural geographies of natural resource engagements; and
    • published contributions
  • Kim Rygiel
    • f International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada. Her research focuses on border security, migration, and citizenship in North America and Europe. She investigates how citizens and non-citizens engage in citizenship practices and challenge notions
    • published contributions
  • Dorion Sagan
  • Isabelle Saint-Saëns
  • Birgit Schneider
  • Sever
    • SEVER was developed as a speculative design project by Francesco Sebregondi, Alexey Platonov, Inna Pokazanyeva, and Ildar Iakubov during the New Normal postgraduate program at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow. SEVER seeks to intervene into current Arctic debates by disturbing the landscape of the region’s possible futures
    • published contributions
  • Jens Soentgen
  • C Spencer Yeh
  • Nick Srnicek
  • Lizzie Stark
    • Lizzie Stark is an author, journalist, and experience designer. She is the author of two books, Pandora’s DNA (2014), exploring so-called ‘breast cancer genes’ and her first book, Leaving Mundania (2012), which investigates the subculture of live action role play, or larp. Her journalism and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, the Daily Beast, The Today Show Website, io9, Fusion, the Philadelphia Inquirer and elsewhere. She holds an MS from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has organized numerous conventions and experiences across the US. Her most recent work is as a programming coordinator for Living Games Austin, and as co-editor and contributor for the #Feminism anthology, which collects 34 nano-games written by feminists from eleven countries.
    • published contributions
  • Carolyn Steel
  • Benjamin Steininger
  • Lucy Suchman
    • ology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lancaster, UK. Her research interests within the field of feminist science and technology studies are focused on technological imaginaries and material practices
    • published contributions
  • Kaushik Sunder Rajan
    • echnology studies, and postcolonial studies, holding a special interest in the global political economy of biomedicine, with a comparative focus on the Un
    • published contributions
  • Jenna Sutela
    • Jenna Sutela’s installations, texts, and sound performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Most recently, she has been exploring exceedingly complex biological and computational systems, ultimately unknowable and always becoming something new. Her work has been presented, among other places, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and her writing has been published by Fiktion, Harvard Design Magazine, and Sternberg Press.
    • published contributions
  • Bronislaw Szerszynski
    • Bronislaw Szerszynski is a Reader in Sociology at Lancaster University in the UK. Szerszynski’s work has developed across several themes, including the role of Western religious history in shaping contemporary understandings of technology and the environment—typified by his book Nature, Technology and the Sacred (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005).
    • published contributions
  • Elisa T. Bertuzzo
    • Elisa T. Bertuzzo studied comparative literature, sociology, communication, and media studies and holds a PhD in urban studies. She was a curator and project leader with Habitat Forum Berlin, including for the project Paradigmising Karail Basti (2010–16). Bridging discourses from the fields of cultural and urban studies, her research focuses on the everyday life facets of urbanization and settlement in South Asia. On that topic, she published Fragmented Dhaka: Analysing Everyday Life with Henri Lefebvre’s Theory of Production of Space (2009) and runs her multimedia project Archives of Movement (since 2012), which deals with the everyday life of temporary labor migrants in Bangladesh and India.
    • published contributions
  • Gregory T. Cushman
    • Gregory T. Cushman is Associate Professor of International Environmental History at the University of Kansas.
    • published contributions
  • Nasrin Tabatabai
    • Nasrin Tabatabai is an artist who works both in Iran and the Netherlands. Since 2004, she has collaborated with Babak Afrassiabi on various joint projects and the publication of the bilingual magazine Pages (Farsi and English). Their work seeks to articulate the undecidable space between art and its historical conditions, including the recurring question of the place of the archive in defining the juncture between politics, history, and the practice of art. The artists’ work has been presented internationally in various solo and group exhibitions and they have been tutors at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2008–13), and Erg, école supérieure des arts, Brussels (2015–).
    • published contributions
  • Ksenia Tatarchenko
    • dies Institute, Geneva University, specializing in the history of Russian science and technology. She has held positions as a visiting Assistant Professor of History at NYU Shanghai and a post-doctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute, Columbia. Most broadly, she studies questions of knowledge circulation to situate Soviet developments in the global context. She is currently writing a book on science and innovation cultures in Siberia provisionally
    • published contributions
  • Katerina Teaiwa
    • Dr. Katerina Teaiwa is Associate Professor at the Department of Gender, Media and Cultural Studies, School of Culture, History & Language and the president of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies. Her main area of research looks at the histories of phosphate mining in the central Pacific. Her work does not only span academic research, publications, and lectures, but also manifests itself in other formats within the arts and popular culture. Her work has inspired a permanent exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which tells the story of Pacific phosphate mining through Banaban dance. In 2015, she published „Consuming Ocean Island: Stories of People and Phosphate from Banaba“, Indiana University Press. She is currently working with visual artist Yuki Kihara on a multimedia exhibition for Carriageworks in Sydney.
    • published contributions
  • Terre Thaemlitz
  • Jol Thomson
  • Claire Tolan
  • John Tresch
  • Etienne Turpin
    • Etienne Turpin is a philosopher, Founding Director of anexact office, and a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where he coordinates the Humanitarian Infrastructures Group and co-directs the PetaBencana.id disaster mapping project for the Urban Risk Lab. He is the editor of Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Tim
    • published contributions
  • Asonseh Ukah
    • Asonzeh Ukah is a sociologist and historian of religion. He joined the University of Cape Town in 2013 and previously taught at the University of Bayreuth (2005–13), where he also earned a doctorate and habilitation in history of religions. His research interests include religious urbanism, the sociology of Pentecostalism, and religion and media. He is Director of the Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa (RICSA), University of Cape Town, and Affiliated Senior Fellow of Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth. He is the author of A New Paradigm of Pentecostal Power (2008) and Bourdieu in Africa (edited with Magnus Echtler, 2016).
    • published contributions
  • Underworlds
  • Sebastian Vehlken
    • Sebastian Vehlken is a media theorist and cultural historian at Leuphana University Lüneburg and Permanent Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study on Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (MECS). From 2013 to 2017, he worked as MECS Junior Director, and in 2015–16, he was a visiting professor at Humboldt-Universität Berlin, the University of Vienna, and Leuphana. His areas of interest include the theory and history of computer simulation and digital media, the media history of swarm intelligence, and the epistemology of think tanks. His current research project, Plutonium Worlds, explores the application of computer simulations in West German fast breeder reactor programs.
    • published contributions
  • Vladimir Vernadsky
  • Ben Vida
    • Korea, Australia ,and Europe at such institutions as the Guggenheim, New York; Centro Pecci, Prato, Italy; STUK Arts Center, Leuven
    • published contributions
  • Davor Vidas
    • Davor Vidas is a research professor in international law and Director of the Law of the Sea Programme at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Lysaker, Norway. He is Chair of the Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise and a member of the Anthropocene Working Group. Vidas has been involved in international law research for over thirty years, focusing since 2009 on implications of the Anthropocene for the development of international law. Among his books are The World Ocean in Globalisation (2011) and Law, Technology and Science for Oceans in Globalisation (2010). He is the editor-in-chief of the book series Anthropocene (Skolska knjiga, Zagreb), launched in 2017.
    • published contributions
  • Kalindi Vora
  • Jennifer Walshe
    • porary Arts, New York; DAAD Berliner Künstle
    • published contributions
  • Hannes Wiedemann
    • Hannes Wiedemann is a Berlin-based photographer. He studied at the Ostkreuz School of Photography, Berlin. For his project Grinders (2015–16), he followed the American bodyhacking community, a small group of people across the United States working out of garages and basements to become real cyborgs. Recent exhibitions include NEW PHOTOGRAPHY II (2017) at Gallery ALAN, Istanbul, and HUMAN UPGRADE, with Susanna Hertrich (2016), at Schader-Stiftung Gallery, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt. www.hanneswiedemann.com
    • published contributions
  • Elvia Wilk
  • Cary Wolfe
    • Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English and Founding Director of 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Rice University, Houston. He is the author of What Is Posthumanism? (2010), a book that weaves together principal concerns of his work: animal studies, system theory, pragmatism, and post-structuralism. It is part of the series Posthumanities, for which he serves as Founding Editor at the University of Minnesota Press. His most recent publication is Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in Biopolitical Frame (2013) and earlier books and edited collections include Animal Rites: American Culture, The Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (2003) and Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (2003).
    • published contributions
  • Andrew Yang
  • Jan Zalasiewicz
    • Dr. Jan Zalasiewicz is Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester and Chair of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. A field geologist, paleontologist, and stratigrapher, he teaches and publishes on geology and earth history, in particular on fossil ecosystems and environments that span over half a billion years of geological time.
    • published contributions
  • Anna Zett
  • Sander van der Leeuw
    • ionships, and complex systems theory. He investigates the preconditions for and the practices and role of invention, sustainability, and innovation in societies. He has done
    • published contributions
  • Liv Østmo
    • Liv Østmo is one of the founders and current Dean of the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Kautokeino, Norway, where she researches and lectures on the subject of multicultural understanding. For the last eight years, Østmo has worked with traditional Sámi knowledge and she is currently working on putting the finishing touches on a methodology book about the documentation of this knowledge.
    • published contributions
Snow Geese I, coastal plain, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge © Subhankar Banerjee, 2002

The Fight for Alaska's Arctic Has Just Begun

Activist and artist Subhankar Banerjee and engineer Lois Epstein depict the threatening environmental impact of an extractivist technosphere in key protected areas in Alaska’s Arctic. They report on the drastic effects the extraction operations of oil, gas, and coal have on wildlife populations, calling for multispecies justice in the face of the very recently renewed attempt to develop these last pristine environments.
Alaska’s Arctic is a vibrant transnational ecosphere of global significance. It harbors among the highest diversity of species and populations in the region, even though spatially it occupies a relatively small portion of the Circumpolar North. Such a bounty of life has nutritionally, culturally, and spiritually sustained the Iñupiaq, Gwich’in, Koyukon, and Yup’iq for millennia. Indigenous Peoples have also built complex kinship with the nonhuman life, which is expressed in art, stories, and cultural practices.Subhankar Banerjee, Seasons of Life and Land: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Seattle: Mountaineers Books, 2003); A Moral Choice for the United States: The Human Rights Implications for the Gwich’in of Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Fairbanks, AK: Gwich’in Steering Committee, 2005); Subhankar Banerjee, ed. Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point (New York: Seven Stories, 2012); Ecological Atlas of Alaska's Western Arctic (Anchorage: Audubon Alaska, 2016); and Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas (Anchorage: Audubon Alaska, 2017).
Alaska’s Arctic: Selected Wildlife Values & Special Areas. © The Wilderness Society and Audubon Alaska

The map Alaska’s Arctic: Selected Wildlife Values & Special Areas makes evident that the land and seas in Arctic Alaska are home to a rich chorus of life. It was produced jointly by the conservation organizations The Wilderness Society and Audubon Alaska in 2010. The various wildlife icons on the map signal abundance and the ecological significance of places, on and offshore, including:
  • In the northeast, the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is the calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, with about 218,000 animals. These caribou migrate more than 1,500 miles annually from their wintering habitats in the south to their calving grounds on the coastal plain and back again, making it the longest land migration of any mammal on Earth. Fifteen Gwich’in communities in Alaska and the Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada rely on the Porcupine Caribou Herd. They say, “We are the caribou people.Sarah James, “We Are the Ones Who Have Everything to Lose (2001, 2009),” in Arctic Voices, 262.
  • Situated north-central, the Teshekpuk Lake wetlands, considered to be the largest wetland complex in the Circumpolar North, provide critical nesting and molting habitats for geese and calving and post-calving habitats for caribou.
  • In the west, the Utukok Uplands is the calving grounds of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, with about 235,000 animals. This herd sustains the Iñupiaq, Yup’iq, Koyukon, and non-Indigenous people living in forty communities within the herd’s vast range.
  • Further west, along the coast of the Chukchi Sea, is the Kasegaluk Lagoon. At 125 miles long, it is one of the longest coastal lagoons in the Circumpolar North, which provides crucial calving habitat for several thousand beluga whales and habitat for a great variety of birds and fish.
  • Just beyond the Kasegaluk Lagoon is Ledyard Bay, where around 500,000 King eiders stop each spring.
  • Southwest of Ledyard Bay are Cape Lisburne and Cape Thompson, home to over 650,000 nesting seabirds.
  • Just offshore, more than 15,000 bowhead whales migrate through the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas during spring and fall and feed in nutrient-rich areas like the Hanna and Herald Shoals. The Iñupiat rely on bowhead whales for nutritional and cultural sustenance. They speak of the Arctic seas as “our gardenCaroline Cannon, “Testimony in Support of a Legal Suit (2009),” in Arctic Voices, 322.
    and themselves as “people of the whales.Chie Sakakibara, “People of the Whales: Climate Change and Cultural Resilience Among Iñupiat of Arctic Alaska,” in “Geographical Perspectives on the Arctic,” special issuem Geographical Review 101, no. 1 (January 2017): 159–84.
  • Several thousand polar bears build dens onshore, most importantly in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, and offshore in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
  • All the area’s rivers and creeks, shown in light blue on the map, and its thousands of lakes, which are not shown, provide habitats for a host of aquatic and avian species, large and small, iconic and overlooked.
  • Millions of birds migrate from all over the world to Alaska’s Arctic to nest and rear their young: from tundra, barrier islands, wetlands, and uplands, to the mountains, the taiga, and the boreal forest.
The Onrush of an Extractivist Technosphere
There is an irony to this region, however. Underneath the calving, nesting, denning, and feeding habitats lie vast amounts of oil, gas, —and in the case of the Utukok Uplands, large quantities of coal. Oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay in the North Slope of Alaska in 1968, and since 1977, crude oil has been flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline from there to the Port of Valdez. While this industrial footprint has steadily expanded east and west, key protected areas like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, and the Kasegaluk Lagoon have remained off-limits to development. The Trump administration would like to see that changed.
Brant and snow geese with chicks, Teshekpuk Lake wetland. © Subhankar Banerjee, 2006

With a mandate to make the United States “energy dominant” and claiming the path to that dominance will be “through the great state of Alaska,” the Trump administration—with support from Alaska’s congressional delegation, the Alaskan state government, and two for-profit Native corporations, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Doyon Limited—is attempting to turn any land or water in Alaska’s Arctic that is deemed to have oil and gas potential into an extractivist technosphere. The proponents of extraction are ignoring ecological values, Indigenous food security and cultural values, the climate crisis, and the extinction crisis. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is off limits. It’s all “open for business,” as Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke famously told a cheering crowd at an Alaska Oil and Gas Association conference in Anchorage last year.Margaret Kriz Hobson, “With New Actions, Zinke Says Alaska Is ‘Open for Business,” E&E News, June 1, 2017, https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060055396.
What would an extractivist technosphere look like across Alaska’s Arctic?
In her pathbreaking report Broken Promises: The Reality of Big Oil in America’s Arctic, biologist-turned-conservationist Pamela Miller begins to describe it:
Prudhoe Bay and thirty-five other producing fields today sprawl across 1,000 square miles, an area the size of Rhode Island. There are more than 6,100 exploratory and production wells, 225 production and exploratory drill pads, over 500 miles of roads, 1,100 miles of trunk and feeder pipelines, two refineries, 20 airports, 115 pads for living quarters and other support facilities, five docks and gravel causeways, 36 gravel mines, and a total of 27 production plants, gas processing facilities, seawater treatment plants, and power plants.Pamela Miller, Broken Promises: The Reality of Big Oil in America’s Arctic, first published in 2003.
And those numbers have increased significantly since the report was published in 2003. If you take all that and repeat it across the entire North Slope of Alaska, add a road network and similar infrastructure placed offshore, and then overlay it all on top of a map like Alaska’s Arctic, you will have a visualization of what a complete extractivist technosphere might look like. Last year, the Alaskan state government offered a plan to build a “vast network of roads” across Alaska’s Arctic, with a justification from Governor Bill Walker that “a network of permanent roads would make finding and developing oil fields in the Arctic a lot easier.Elizabeth Harball, “Alaska Hatches Plan for Vast Road Network across the Arctic,” Alaska Public Media, September 7, 2017, https://www.alaskapublic.org/2017/09/07/alaska-hatches-plan-for-vast-road-network-across-the-arctic.
What does it mean to actually develop an area?
To answer the ecological, cultural, technical, legal, and political aspects of that question, we turn our focus to a particular area: the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a transnational nursery of global significance and a place the Gwich’in people call “the sacred place where life begins.”
BP’s Deepwater Horizon blowout prompted the Gwich’in nation to send an aerial message with their bodies to protect caribou calving grounds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and threatened Yukon River salmon in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. © Gwich’in Steering Committee, Cammy Roy, July 21, 2010

The campaign to create the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge started in the early 1950s, and the campaign to defend it from oil and gas development has been going on since the Reagan administration first made a push to open it up in the 1980s. This coalitional and multigenerational engagement is the longest running environmental conservation and Indigenous rights campaign in the United States and an exemplary case of “long environmentalism.Subhankar Banerjee, “Long Environmentalism: After the Listening Session,” in Ecocriticism and Indigenous Studies: Conversations from Earth to Cosmos, ed. Joni Adamson and Salma Monani (London: Routledge, 2016).
Last year, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain to oil and gas exploration and development. Prior to the passage of that bill, Senator Lisa Murkowski chaired a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing that laid the groundwork. Twelve witnesses testified (including co-author of this essay Lois Epstein) to elaborate on the important issues the Senate needed to understand prior to passing a bill. However, throughout the hearing, there were misrepresentations of the likely effects of oil and gas development. We elaborate below on four such key misrepresentations, focusing largely on the technological aspects relevant to discussions around the technosphere.
1. The Oil Industry’s Track Record in Alaska’s Arctic
“New technologies that are in place and are still coming online will ensure that responsible development does not harm the environment. … For over forty years now, Alaskans have repeatedly proven that we can develop safely and responsibly.”—Senator Murkowski, November 2, 2017
Oil and gas development in the harsh environment of the Arctic is inherently complicated and messy. Even the most experienced and best financed operators cannot ensure no spills of crude oil or other hazardous materials will occur. Nor can operators prevent all blowouts, because they may encounter unexpected or changing subsurface conditions that they have not adequately addressed. Additionally, there is always tension for oil companies between reducing costs and maintaining regulatory compliance, including safety and environmental protections.
A few recent significant spills and blowouts in the oil fields of Alaska’s Arctic include BP’s blowout in April 2017, which occurred due to thawing permafrost, a result of rapid Arctic warming; Repsol’s well blowout in the winter of 2012, which spewed approximately 42,000 gallons of drilling muds and took a month to plug due to frigid temperatures; and BP’s March 2006 pipeline spill of over 200,000 gallons, the largest crude oil spill to occur in Alaska’s Arctic oil fields, followed by a second spill in August 2006, resulting in BP’s shutdown of production in Alaska’s Arctic and bringing to light major concerns about systemic neglect of key infrastructure.
Gas flaring at Gathering Center 1 production facility at Prudhoe Bay. © Pamela A. Miller, 1988

The state of Alaska completed a report in November 2010 that reviewed over 6,000 spills in Alaska’s Arctic from 1995 to 2009. Nuka Research & Planning Group, LLC, North Slope Spills Analysis: Final Report on North Slope Spills Analysis and Expert Panel Recommendations on Mitigation Measures, for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, 244 pp., retrieved November 1, 2017 from http://dec.alaska.gov/spar/PPR/ara/documents/101123NSSAReportvSCREENwMAPS.pdf (November 2010).
The report showed there were forty-four loss-of-integrity spills each year,Ibid., p. 21.
with a spill of 1,000 gallons or more nearly every two months.North Slope Spills Analysis: Final Report on North Slope Spills Analysis and Expert Panel Recommendations on Mitigation Measures, for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (Plymouth, MA: Nuka Research & Planning Group, LLC, 2010), https://dec.alaska.gov/media/7570/nssa-final-report.pdf.
One year earlier, the Wilderness Society issued the second edition of its Broken Promises report. A. E. Gore, The Wilderness Society, Broken Promises: The Reality of Oil Development in America’s Arctic (2nd Edition), (2009).
The Wilderness Society’s report shows a spill frequency of 450 spills each year during 1996–2008. The difference is that the state included only “production-related” spills and excluded toxic chemical (e.g., antifreeze) and refined product (e.g., diesel) spills, many of which are related to oil development, as well as spills indirectly related to oil production infrastructure, such as those from drilling or well-workover operations and from vehicles.
Recent spill rates have not decreased significantly. According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s database, there were 169 reported spills between 2013 and 2018.See the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Spills Database Search website at http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/SPAR/PublicMVC/PERP/SpillSearch.
When taking spills of all types into account, however, the number rises to 1,551, which is about 310 spills per year, or nearly one per day.
2. The Size of the Development
“We meet this morning to consider opening a very small portion of Alaska’s 1002 Area … to develop just 2000 federal acres within it, about 1/10,000th of ANWR.”—Senator Murkowski, November 2, 2017
The 2,000-acre limitation in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does not include all the infrastructure necessary for oil and gas exploration and development. In fact, infrastructure would sprawl across the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain. The named 2,000 acres include only the limited places where pipeline support posts touch the ground, not the vast areas traversed by pipeline infrastructure.
Oil field infrastructure at Prudhoe Bay. © Subhankar Banerjee, 2002

The first step in development is seismic exploration. Extensive aerial mapping conducted this year by geophysicist Dr. Matt Nolan shows tracks on the tundra from recent 3D seismic exploration just outside the western boundary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It presents as a tight grid of 200 meters by 400 meters, what Nolan calls the “Arctic Checkerboard."Matt Nolan, “Detecting Tire Tracks in the 1002 Area with Fodar,” Fairbanks Fodar, July 1, 2018, http://fairbanksfodar.com/detecting-tire-tracks-in-the-1002-area-with-fodar.
That checkerboard is not merely an eyesore that will remain for decades to come but also will have significant impacts on vegetation and hydrology. The federal government is proposing a similar 3D seismic exploration across the entire 1.5-million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to begin this coming winter.Donald A. “Skip” Walker, “Seismic Testing in ANWR Will Have Major Impacts,” Anchorage Daily News, August 3, 2018, https://www.adn.com/opinions/2018/08/31/seismic-testing-in-anwr-will-have-major-impacts.
The 2,000-acre footprint is a mere myth.
3. Probable Impacts on Caribou
“We will not harm the caribou who move through the area.” —Senator Murkowski, November 2, 2017
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is used with varying frequency by three of the four herds that calve in Alaska’s Arctic. The most consistent use is by the Porcupine Caribou Herd, which inhabits the refuge throughout the year, including using the coastal plain for calving, nursing, insect relief, and post-calving aggregation.J. R. Caikoski, “Units 25A, 25B, 25D, and 26C Caribou,” in Caribou Management Report of Survey and Inventory Activities 1 July 2012–30 June 2014, ed. P. Harper and L. A. McCarthy (Juneau, AK: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2015).
Calving grounds and other sensitive habitats can easily be disturbed, disrupting caribou use.
Studies of the Central Arctic Caribou Herd provide a cautionary tale about the possible effects of energy development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As oil development expanded from Prudhoe Bay, the portion of that herd using the calving grounds to the west of the development shifted south.S. A. Wolfe, “Habitat Selection by Calving Caribou of the Central Arctic Herd, 1980–95” (MS thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, US); R. D. Cameron, W. T. Smith, R. G. White, B. Griffith, Central Arctic Caribou and Petroleum Development: Distributional, Nutritional, and Reproductive Implications,” Arctic, no. 58 (2005): 1–9; K. Joly, C. Nellemann, and I. Vistnes, “A Reevaluation of Caribou Distribution Near an Oilfield Road on Alaska’s North Slope,” Wildlife Society Bulletin, no. 34 (2006): 866–69; and E. A. Lenart, “Units 26B and 26C Caribou,” in Caribou Management Report of Survey and Inventory Activities.
Those in the east, outside the main development areas, did not shift. Food availability was lower for development-exposed caribou,Sakakibara, “People of the Whales”; and B. Griffith et al., “The Porcupine Caribou Herd,” in Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain Terrestrial Wildlife Research Summaries, ed. D. C. Douglas, P. E. Reynolds, and E. B. Rhode (US Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 2002).
which also exhibited lower calf body mass and birth rate.S. M. Arthur and P. A. Del Vecchio, Effects of Oil Field Development on Calf Production and Survival in the Central Arctic Herd (Juneau, AK: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2009); Kriz Hobson, “Alaska Is ‘Open for Business”; and National Research Council, Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska’s North Slope (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2003).
A review by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) concluded that there was no clear biological explanation for the shift in concentrated calving in the west, implicating oil development as its likely cause.Banerjee, “Long Environmentalism.”
In general, industrial roads and pipelines can alter caribou migratory movements.R. R. Wilson, L. S. Parrett, K. Joly, and J. R. Dau, “Effects of Roads on Individual Caribou Movements during Migration,” Biological Conservation, no. 195 (2016): 2–8.
Females about to give birth or with very young calves tend to avoid or are less likely to cross roads and pipelines during the calving season.Banerjee, “Long Environmentalism.”
Caribou Migration II—pregnant female caribou from the Porcupine River Herd migrate over the frozen Coleen River, on their way to the coastal plain for calving, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. © Subhankar Banerjee, 2002

USGS has also pointed out a number of reasons why responses to oil development may in fact be greater in the Porcupine Caribou Herd compared to the Central Arctic Caribou Herd.Banerjee, “Long Environmentalism.”
One major factor is that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain is significantly narrower compared to the main calving range of the Central Arctic Herd further west, near Prudhoe Bay, leaving less room for shifts in space use. Another is that the expansion of development and the shift in Central Arctic Herd calving occurred during a period of relatively favorable environmental conditions. Future environmental changes, due to natural fluctuations (e.g., El Niño and La Niña cycles) or climate change, may reduce the ability of caribou to accommodate range shifts.
Retired federal biologist Fran Mauer, who studied the Porcupine Caribou Herd for more than two decades, has suggested that the herd uses the coastal plain, stretching across the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and into the adjacent Ivvavik National Park in the Yukon, as one large birthing site and nursery. Which side of the border the caribou calve on depends on weather fluctuations, but they always go to the refuge coastal plain for nursing, even if they calve on the Canadian side. Mauer insists that any oil and gas development in the area will endanger the herd’s survival, and consequently also the way of life of the Gwich’in people.Subhankar Banerjee, “Drilling, Drilling, Everywhere … Will the Trump Administration Take Down the Arctic Refuge?,” TomDispatch.com, November 9, 2017, http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176349.
4. Probable Impacts on Polar Bears
“We will not harm the polar bears whose dens can be protected.”—Senator Murkowski, November 2, 2017
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain provides the most important onshore denning habitat for polar bears in Alaska’s Arctic. Polar bears can be found on the coastal plain year-round.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service designated 77 percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain as critical habitat for polar bears, which are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.“Endangered Species Act Listing: Polar Bear,” United States Fish and Wildlife Service, last updated June 2017, https://www.fws.gov/alaska/fisheries/mmm/polarbear/esa.htm.
The Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear subpopulation, which uses the coastal plain and barrier islands of the refuge, is currently in rapid decline, decreasing from just over 1,500 bears in 2006 to about 900 in 2010, or a 40 percent loss.E. V. Regehr, S. C. Amstrup, and I. Stirling, Polar Bear Population Status in the Southern Beaufort Sea ( Reston, VA: US Geological Survey, 2006); and J. F. Bromaghin et al., “Polar Bear Population Dynamics in the Southern Beaufort During a Period of Sea Ice Decline,” Ecological Applications 25, no. 3 (April 2015): 634–51.
Recent research has found that decreasing sea ice due to climate change has increased the use of terrestrial habitats by these polar bears, including for denning on the coastal plain.T. C. Atwood et al, “Rapid Environmental Change Drives Increased Land Use by an Arctic Marine Predator,” PLoS ONE 11(6) (2016): doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155932.
Polar bear den on the coastal plain, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. © Subhankar Banerjee, 2002

In light of the above, there are great concerns about the additional impacts oil development would place on polar bears in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain. Any oil development within the refuge, including seismic exploration activities, which have been shown to disturb polar bears from maternity dens,National Research Council, Cumulative Environmental Effects, 157.
will increase the potential that onshore bears will be disturbed by human activities as well as the potential for human–polar bear conflicts.S. C. Amstrup, “Human Disturbances of Denning Polar Bears in Alaska,” Arctic 46, no. 3 (1993): 246–50.
Defending Alaska’s Arctic
Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, the Department of the Interior has been working at breakneck speed to get an environmental impact statement in place so it can offer lease sales by the summer of 2019. Critics point out that it normally takes three to five years to properly evaluate the environmental impact of a project of this magnitude.
Polls conducted by Yale in 2018 show that 63 percent of Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Jennifer Marlon et al., “Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2018,” Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, August 7, 2018, http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2018.
The public all across the country care about this issue, have done so for decades, and yet the Department of the Interior held only one hearing on oil and gas development in the coastal plain outside of Alaska, which was in Washington, DC. It was held on a Friday afternoon in summer, which undoubtedly contributed to minimizing participation from the public and the media. On August 9, 2018, the cooperating agencies were given a nearly 600-page draft environmental impact statement and only a week to review and comment on it—significantly less time than is normally granted for such a monumental and consequential task.
Arctic Refuge—Defend the Sacred Alaska rally, Fairbanks, Alaska. © Pamela A. Miller, March 7, 2018

The federal government is fast-tracking the process, resulting in inadequate consultations with Indigenous Peoples and not allowing the public to meaningfully participate. In so doing, it is setting itself up for inevitable legal challenges.
To understand and begin to address the Trump administration’s reckless Arctic policy, Subhankar Banerjee, co-author of this paper, convened the three-day national symposium The Last Oil, at the University of New Mexico in February 2018. Following the symposium, Banerjee and historian Finis Dunaway co-wrote and co-organized a letter campaign, Scholars for Defending the Arctic Refuge, which was endorsed by more than 500 scholars from twenty countries representing more than forty academic disciplines. Banerjee and Dunaway also testified at the public hearing in Washington, DC, and submitted the letter as part of the public scoping process on June 19, 2018. The letter opened with enumerating the key threats:
The Arctic Refuge may seem far away to many, but its Coastal Plain is one of the most significant biological nurseries in the Circumpolar North. Opening the Coastal Plain to fossil fuel exploration and development would endanger this nursery. It would violate human rights and jeopardize the food security of the indigenous Gwich’in people of the US and Canada. It would have detrimental effects on the health and social life of the indigenous Iñupiat people who live nearby. It would also contribute to further warming of the already rapidly-warming Arctic—an action that would affect the whole earth, as the Arctic is a critical integrator of our planet’s climate systems.Subhankar Banerjee and Finis Dunaway, “Scholars for Defending the Arctic Refuge,” June 19, 2018, The Last Oil, https://thelastoil.unm.edu/scholars-for-defending-the-arctic-refuge.
Even as the Trump administration is pushing as hard and fast as possible to usher in a reckless extractivist technosphere all across Alaska’s Arctic, a US-Canada binational coalition of Indigenous human rights and environmental conservation organizations are pushing back just as hard. They are working to defend the transnational ecosphere, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is a campaign for multispecies justice, acknowledging that the concerns of human and nonhuman lives are intimately entangled.Subhankar Banerjee, “Resisting the War on Alaska’s Arctic with Multispecies Justice,” in “Beyond the Extractive View,” ed. Macarena Gómez–Barris, special issue, Social Text Online, June 7, 2018, https://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/resisting-the-war-on-alaskas-arctic-with-multispecies-justice.
These activists say, “The fight for Alaska’s Arctic has just begun.”