Nathan Irvin John Lane

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Davis, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9826

Approve Date

April 30, 2019

Project Title

Lane, Nathan (California, Davis, U. of) "Making Waters in the Strait of Gibraltar," supervised by Dr. Suzana Sawyer

This project seeks to understand how different interests in the Strait of Gibraltar take into account its waters, whether through hydrodynamic models, shipping lane jurisdictions, or the biochemical exchange between hydrocarbons and complex sea waters. By examining the multiple frameworks for understanding water that are present in the strait, I ask, (1) How does water, when diffracted through concepts generated by hydrodynamics, pollution, or trade, shape the ways in which scientists, port officials, and environmental mediators articulate its role in the strait? (2) How does the Strait of Gibraltar’s status as an international strait complicate the negotiation of its political boundary waters and challenge the efforts of environmental remediation? And (3) How do actors evaluate the balance between the strait’s local dynamics and its climate implications? To begin answering these questions, I will draw upon fieldwork conducted over a period of twelve months amongst oceanographers, environmental remediators, and port officials. I will center my analysis on the tension between strait waters that are important both for understanding wider scale pictures of world ocean climates and for articulating the micropolitics of a zone concerned with shipping and its potential environmental harms.