North to the Future: Signifying Limits in Alaska

2013

Alaska now is what the American West once was. With a richness of natural resources, mineral deposits, and an abundance of land mining, and oil, corporations are turning their attention towards this frontier. As these corporations grow in size and capital, the mining technology and operations are at the same time becoming more advanced and powerful. Both locally and regionally, project proposals such as the Pebble Mine Project in Bristol Bay call into question the long-term stability of the region socially, economically, and environmentally.

The thesis focused on the development of a proposed 90 mile road connecting Cook Inlet with the Pebble Mine site. Adjacent to the road lies valuable salmon fisheries, small local villages, and the Lake Clark National Park and Reserve. Interventions focusing on coastal and road erosion control, avalanche control, and phytoremediation accumulate to provide Bristol Bay with an ecological infrastructure that will long outlast the operations of the mine itself.

Thesis Advisor: Chris Reed