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

NATHAN LANE, then a graduate student at University of California, Davis, California, received a grant in April 2019 to aid research on “Making Waters in the Strait of Gibraltar,” supervised by Dr. Suzana Sawyer. This research was carried out in the Strait of Gibraltar. Using both interviews and participant observation, this fieldwork analyzed the positions of oceanographers, port officials, and environmental remediators with respect to the role of the waters in the Strait of Gibraltar. The Strait of Gibraltar, while enjoying a symbolic role as the historic passage from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, is also the site of intensive oceanographic study and extensive maritime shipping. Oceanographers in Málaga, Cádiz, and at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution consider how to understand its multilayered exchange and whether the Mediterranean and Strait can serve as a “model ocean,” or a “laboratory,” that might help model the global ocean. They characterize the Strait as both a site of scientific collaboration and as a site of political contention. Port officials and environmental remediators both sought to monitor the waters of the Strait, whether to manage thousands of ships through its narrow passage or to track the dispersion of pollutants like petroleum. This research hopes to demonstrate the ways in which the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar materially and politically shape the ways in which oceanographers, port officials, and environmental mediators understand it.