The Environmental Injustice of High-level Nuclear Waste in the US – Cody Slama

Currently, within the United States of America there is over 80,000 metric tons of high-level nuclear waste, which is considered some of the most dangerous waste on the planet because it remains highly radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. The federal government seeks to consolidate all of this waste into either a permanent repository or a centralized interim storage facility. The current proposals to store HLNW, in a permanent repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada or in centralized interim storage facility’s in New Mexico and on its border in Texas, is an environmental injustice as both of these storage sites disproportionately impact primary people of color and those living below the poverty line. In addition, all three of these facilities, where the federal government is planning on storing all of the Nations HLNW, lack local support and consent from the targeted community’s. Yucca Mountain has been constructed, but faced enough public opposition to make it un-operational. The other two facilities, being built by private corporations, are currently going through a licensing process with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that would allow them to be constructed. If any one of these facilities began accepting waste, it would set into motion the unsafe transport of HLNW throughout the country putting the entire nation at risk, but more so, in the places where this waste will be stored for an indefinite amount of time. This nuclear waste has the potential to absolutely devastate the land, air, water, and peoples health. It is essential that the Federal Government move away from their current proposed solutions, that carry the weight of being environmental injustices, to alternative solutions that have public support and consent.


Age Into Action- Joe Trevino

Many people have been conditioned by their social relationships, and by general public discourse, to view aging as an entirely negative experience. People are taught that aging is undesirable and that one should try to lessen the impact on their own lives as much as possible, both physically and mentally. These views have given rise to ageism. According to the World Health Organization, “ageism is the stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age; ageism can take many forms, including prejudicial attitudes, discriminatory practices, or institutional policies and practices that perpetuate stereotypical beliefs.” Ageism affects society just as much as other forms of discrimination such as sexism and racism, but ageism has one unique feature that many other forms of discrimination do not share—ageism will most likely affect everyone at some point. In an unending cycle of spreading prejudicial attitudes towards aging, parents teach their children their own values including that getting older is undesirable. Parental views imprint not only ageist attitudes but ultimately lead the child to view themselves negatively as they get older (Levy “Age-Stereotype Paradox” S118).

In response to this pervasive problem, I have created an age-positive, online community called Age Into Action to challenge the false notions of ageing that have permeated our society for centuries. Through engagement with others across the USA and the world, people who are experiencing ageism, those who have experienced it in the past, or those who feel they might be internalizing ageism, are able to see that ageing does not have to be a negative experience. Activities designed to help individuals break free from aging stereotypes are proposed to online  2 community members. The majority of activities are sustainability-based, meaning they encourage individuals to help not only the environment but also help the individual’s view of themselves and their communities.

Check out the full final report here and his website here.

Firewheel Collective: Women’s Cooperative Farm Project- Christina Hoberg



The Firewheel Collective is a cooperative women’s farming project at the Rio Grande Community Farm. The 19 women of the collective are working together to grow healthy food for their families while using organic, sustainable farming methods. Children are also welcome to the farm and have been learning about the garden and experiencing nature. Through this project, we are in search of a supportive community of friends, greater food security, healthy outdoor experiences for our children and agricultural education. We aim to form a cooperative that can be self-sustaining through the activities of the members. In the future, we will also have culinary events, skills workshops and trading of household goods. Check out our blog, or visit the community garden to see what is growing!

The First Growth of the Season: Learning to Begin Again – Javier M Carrasco

My name is Javier M Carrasco and I am doing my Sustainability 499 project on developing a school garden and curriculum which incorporates Sustainability, Environmental Racism, and Colonialism. I am currently in the process of doing this at Kirtland Elementary school, a school situated near Kirtland Air Force Base and right down the road from the International District in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Along with the topics previously stated, my project also seeks to provide a space where students can practice hands-on science and learn about various types of fruits and vegetables my growing them themselves. As a school that serves both low-income and military children, the ultimate goal of my project is to develop critical thinking skills in the youth. This will ultimately result in critical questions being asked about their neighborhoods, their diets, their education, and the multitude of disparities these students are exposed to but may not have the tools to recognize.



Source for picture:

Morland, Kimberly, and Susan Filomena. “Disparities in the Availability of Fruits and Vegetables between Racially Segregated Urban Neighbourhoods.” Public Health Nutrition 10.12 (2007): 1481-489. Web.

The Myco-Planning Network – Higinio Martinez

The Myco-Planning Network


The Myco-Planning Network is a project aimed towards exploring the use of biological systems for new innovation and development. Specifically, we seek to bring light to the social injustice and food poverty that affects New Mexico based off they current food system. Fungal mycelium growth will be used as a model for mapping out resource distribution by manipulating parameters within experimentation to represent food insecurity in the state. This concept and results will be displayed in and interactive art installation which is being displayed at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe. We hope that this project generates further conversation and research that can contribute to this new approach to biomimicry.

By: Higinio Martinez

Concept and Design: Amy Pilling and Stephanie Rothenberg

Accessibility Project – Taylor Small


The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990 to ensure that there is equal opportunity and no discrimination towards those with disabilities in the built environment. In many cases, parts of the built environment that were designed and constructed before it was enacted were not equipped to properly serve the disabled community. Instead, sometimes dysfunctional, but to code, retrofitting has been installed in order to meet legal requirements. Unfortunately for the population that relies on ADA every day, these quick fixes are not acceptable. If not educated, individuals often have lower skill sets which in turn reduces their chances of employment. This results in lower incomes across the board. An intimidating or uninviting campus experience for the disabled community becomes deterrent from higher education and personal skill improvement. This is socially unjust and by definition cannot be sustainable. In this project, I have taken a deeper, first-hand look into the poor circulation and functionality of accessibility on the University of New Mexico campus. By touring campus with a friend and mentor who relies on the use of wheelchair accessibility, I have created a new map that both highlights the problems our campus has and serves as a more up to date, honest version of the current (from 2009) map that the Accessibility Resource Center has published. This map has been proposed to the creators of previous versions, as well as university stakeholders to show the potential that our campus has to become a more welcoming, and universally designed place for the disabled community to gain a quality education.