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who we are.

About the Haeffner lab:

I am building a Water Injustice Early Detection System and the work you are all doing is a part of creating this system. First, let’s talk about water. There are four components of water security we will be focusing on. I use the acronym SARA: safety, affordability, reliability, and availability. Safety refers to concerns about water quality. Affordability refers to concerns about prices and costs. Reliability refers to delivery (especially through the use of infrastructure). Availability refers to both the “natural” availability in terms of precipitation and also human-made storage. Next, let’s talk about justice. There are three main components of environmental justice we will articulate the most, but please note that this is a heuristic to remind us to use our Environmental Justice lens- it is not comprehensive or mutually exclusive. Distributive justice refers to disproportionate privileges or burdens placed on certain individuals or communities based on historical and legacy social exclusion of, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, dis/ability, sexual orientation, or other social categories.  Procedural justice refers to involvement in the processes and/or decision-making on considerations that affect stakeholders. Recognition justice refers to shifts in leadership that are anti racist and decolonizing, acknowledgement of the historical underpinnings of current situations, and mourning when those who are indispensable to leadership are not empowered to lead. The Water Injustice Early Warning System will require quantitative, qualitative, and spatial data and analyses that respect sovereignty, engage communities, reciprocate gifts of information, meet qualitative evaluative criteria of authenticity and trustworthiness, and meet criteria of reliability and validity. We are currently creating three main databases: media text of water-related news articles over five years, hydrogeographically distinct assessments of human water values, curation of SARA-related datasets. Research questions include: What water injustices are occurring and where? What are factors that enable or hinder water justice (e.g., charismatic leaders, community sentiment, water security, political will, etc.)? Do SARA factors correlate (overlap) and why or why not? How has water justice/injustice changed over time? What case studies exist that can illuminate certain aspects of hydrosocial systems? Can water injustice be predicted or anticipated? How can water injustice be prevented or mitigated? How can water justice be supported? This work takes a systems approach that primarily (but not exclusively) focuses on the interactions between the state, utilities and residents.


About this website:

Oregon Water Stories is a project designed by Professor Melissa Haeffner for the 2018 Freshman Inquiry class, Human/Nature at Portland State University. The goal of the project is to gather stories from around the state of Oregon that relates to the modern relationship between humans and water. Future classes will add new articles. Applied Linguistics professor Janet Cowal and her graduate students in the Critical Discourse Analysis class will be analyzing the data to advance our understanding of interactions with water among different cultural groups in Oregon. Stay tuned for updates!


Below are links to the portfolios of the students involved in the project. We would like to extend a special thank you to Environment Oregon. Environment Oregon is a statewide, non-profit environmental advocacy organization that works to protect clean air, clean water, and open spaces for all Oregonians. Thank you to Jackson Voelkel in the PSU Geography Department for building the interactive map on the Oregon Water Story website. Tyler Broman developed the website. The peer mentor for this section was Tatyana Stangell.


Click on the students’ name below to see their portfolio

2020 students

Peer mentor: Taylor McAllister

Abdullah Alfadhli

Firas Al Harthy

Ahmed Al Harrasi

Hamad Alotaibi

Al Mahanad (Mohannad) Al Shaqsi

Maath AlShmali

Mardas Alsuleimani

Ashani Fernando

Benton Hoge

Emma McComb

Tenzin Palzom

Jordan Poytner

Demontre Thomas

Wenjing (Emily) Yang


2019 students

Peer mentor: Naureen Khan

Mohamed "Mo" Al Braiki

Abdul Aziz Al Bulushi

Shadha Saif Hamed Al Kharusi

Ali Al Lawati

Al Khatab Al Rashdi

Saud AlDoukhi

Moneerah Alhamazi

Ali Aljaroodi

Adam Allina

Murtada Almohaimid

Jasem Alnajdy

Owen Carey

Jeremiah Fullmer

Courtney La Verne

Gerardo Mendez Garcia

Vuthea Ouk

Mark Pace

Alisa Thoma-Hilliard

Dalina Tran

Taylor Vu

Zhixuan "Ella" Xiang

2018 students

Peer mentor: Tatyana Stangell

Noor Alani,

Charla Bigelow,

Tyler Broman,

Sarah Do,

Addison Edwards,

Eden Elchaiani,

Kasey Farace,

Max Halverson,

Ryan Holt,

Shelby Kunert,

Brian Le,

Thao Le,

Jesse Marshall,

Hanako Miller,

Calvin Mounemack,

Valerie Nguyen,

Raneem Obeidi,

Akira Peterson-Geigle,

Drew Phillips,

Jasmyne Porreco,

Natalie Robinson,

Daniel Salewski,

Sasha Slepoy,

Willow Stupasky,

Taylor Such,

Quinn Wildschut

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