Project Contribution Summary: Project Completed

By Jerelle O’Brien

My chosen topic was food and water security and i focused on the impacts of the progressiveness of hurricanes by climate change over the past 20 years.

Over the years, climate change has been shown to cause many problems and heighten the effects of many disasters. It is almost impossible to produce a resilient world considering the fact that there are so many different disasters and problems brought on by the climate change effect. Food and water security is ensuring that all people despite their status have physical and economic access to these resources.

Hurricanes have become much worse and more frequent causing countries to constantly have to rebuild even when they were actually already in the process of rebuilding. My project gave a light to one aspect of the issue.

In doing this project, I was faced with the challenges of getting pictures related to the destruction of food and water security caused by the hurricanes.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed seeing my project come together the way it did through the use of the story map software. I highlighted some of the highest wreckage causing hurricanes in the caribbean over the last 20 years. I also brought about the conversation of Hurricane Katrina as it was a head turning Category 5 hurricane that to me, made climate change seem pretty real.

I pulled and used information from many online sources. Previous blog posts aided in the visual designing and outlining of how I wanted to approach my project.

Research and information on the hurricanes were not hard to find even though some sources were not the most credible. The Https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/site influenced and helped my vision for this project immensely.

Create Caribbean gave me the opportunity to accomplish such an educational project for myself and others. I would have never thought of producing a project like that or even investing my time into the research necessary for this project to come to life.

Through digital humanities and the projects me and peers completed, awareness is spread on the sectors that climate change affects and influences in our lives and in turn our world can become a much better place.

My experience as a mini Digital Humanist

By Shalian Shaw

For many weeks I worked on my Carisealand project. Many times I thought that the end product would not be so great. I spent countless hours doing online research and even visited  the office of the Forestry, Wildlife and National Parks Division.

Originally I had planned to only do a timeline presenting the changes in the forest and wildlife biodiversity in just Dominica due to climate change. I later had to change my idea as all the information I was being presented with in my research would not have been sufficient to fulfil my idea. Finding information solely on Dominica was really difficult therefore I had to broaden my scope. With the help of Dr Esprit, this is how I arrived at the project I have now. At this point I felt like I had wasted my time doing my previous research but I had to regroup and continue. So now I had the task of creating both a Story map and a timeline to effectively showcase my research. Using these tools were relatively easy to me after spending some time exploring them. The new plan was to showcase the effects of climate change on the forests and wildlife biodiversity in various countries across the region. This encompassed the countries of Brazil, Costa Rica, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico and of course Dominica. Researching these countries were quite interesting and also quite alarming. Places like Haiti have very little to no forests left!

The end result was a story map showing how climate change has affected the forests and wildlife biodiversity in the various countries and then a timeline showing the effect of major hurricanes on the forest and wildlife biodiversity of Dominica specifically. Working on my project really opened my eyes and it was a great experience. I am satisfied with the end result and all the work that I put in.

I also have a newfound respect for digital humanists and all the work they put into things such as research and preservation of information. Although my small project is somewhat incomparable to theirs, especially as they use more advanced and complicated technology, I understand better the hard work it takes.

Final Project Reflection

By Alaina Mathew

When I first started as an intern at the Create Caribbean Research Institute, we were made aware of the final project due at the end of the school year. Dr Esprit constantly advised us to browse through the topics on the carisealand site and review previous topics, in order to familiarise ourselves with the work ahead. Everything that we have learnt from the Digital Humanities course; from the DH tools, to analysing websites and articles, have led up to this moment. Presenting on our project of choice.
As a scuba diver, I have always been interested in marine life, so naturally I gravitated to the topic: Marine life and Global Earming. I was eager to combine my diving experience and knowledge with my skills and create a project that I was passionate about. Though I was excited to tackle this topic, it was later brought to my attention that there were no available spaces left for the topic. I decided to settle for The Economic and Political Impacts of Climate Change. I was saddened as this topic did not interest me in the slightest. And because of my lack of interest for the topic, I found it rather difficult to gather my thoughts and formulate a project title. I had no idea what exactly I was going to do. It was stressful and my mind was clouded with doubts.
After seeking out Dr. Esprit for guidance, she helped me figure out the direction in which I wanted to go, and so, the title “The Cost of Living in the Age of Climate Change” came about. With this topic in mind, I chose the community of Salisbury as my area of study. Salisbury is a community known for its farming as the village is built on agriculture and its economy is highly dependent on it. I chose this topic of research as I am a resident of the community. I believe that I can bare witness to the hindrances faced economically due to climate change. This project will highlight the farming grounds and commercial property affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and how they impact the economy of Salisbury.
Then another problem came along as I did not know how to represent my collected data. I was not quite sure which Digital Humanities Tool was best suited to represent my information. I spent a few days searching knightlab and spark in order to find the perfect software. I first found juxtapose from knightlab interesting and I wanted to compare the before and after the hurricane using a side by side image of the community. It was difficult to do this as I was unable to get the perfect images of the before and after. Then I concluded that storymap would be the best option for me to pinpoint the location of the farming grounds and damaged buildings. I started using storymap, however it became stressful as I was unable to locate specific places in Salisbury. The software only allowed me to select the general location of the community on a larger scale. This is where I had a mental breakdown and thought that I could not do this project. I thought that I had to change my topic and start from scratch, however Dr. Esprit saved the day yet again as she suggested an alternative method to present my data. Google maps. She showed me how to use it, and from there it was smooth sailing.
Overall, though I was not too impressed with my topic, and faced many challenges in the preparation I enjoyed researching and testing my skills. I found out many things about my community that I had not known before. I learned how much of an effect the businesses and agriculture has on Salisbury’s economy. And that year after the hurricane, along with research made me realise how important it is.

Reflection

by Rennick Stevens

This course was very informative as well as interactive. I the level at which I learnt new stuff were unlike any other course experienced before. It teaches you to expand your knowledge, some parts, teach your own self in order to grow and manage the course better.

The different blog posts that were done during the course gave a wealth of information i didn’t know myself. It also thought me to read, listen, analyze and present data or information I’ve learnt.

Just the way we all interacted with each other as interns and students help build team work and brought us all together. We had different projects to work on and we had the liberty to research for ourselves and share with fellow Creators; just being to develop our skills and at the end presenting what we have put together. We focused on 4 – 5 digital humanities tools. I personally did story map, this was because i told a short story of my area of study. There were challenges of course while going through this course, but with the help of our reliable and dependable teacher I understood every part of every matter or problem I faced.

All in all I enjoyed this course, it was a new experience for me and I’m glad I did go through it. This will better prepare me for the future in that particular aspect of the work force in today’s world.

Project Proposal (NGOs and The Aid Industrial Complex)

By Tracey Daway

How genuine is the Aid we receive from these foreign superpowers?  Is it a statement or a tactic? What really is happening with the NGOs and the aid that goes through their hands to the recipients?  In this project, I have many questions to answer but the central focus will be on the corruption, existent or non-existent linked to foreign and local aid.  Should we be so welcoming of the help or scrutinize them a bit closer? While I think it is good that we receive assistance continually following the recent tragedies that befell our island a couple years back, who is it really ‘good’ for?

I intend on using both qualitative and quantitative research methods to put together my project.  Qualitative research involves the scientific method of observation to gather non-numerical data. This type of data refers to the meanings, concepts definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols, and description of things.  Quantitative research refers to measurement, it supplies the fundamental link to qualitative data to bring it all together. Quantitative data can take the form of statistics or percentages, to name a couple. I would also like to clearly outline the various roles and positions several local and regional NGOs play here on the island.  To see if they have been keeping to the vision and ideals and if not, why. Are they having a positive impact on our current situation economically and emotionally?

Progressive

By Jerelle O’Brien

I have begun my work on my story map for my research topic. I am using the knight lab software so far which makes it easy to understand what you are doing. As of now, I am experimenting with the options presented to me so that I can gain more understanding of the process and what I want my map to look like.

Software’s such as knight lab aids in the development of projects to present information in a meaningful way and to promote quality journalism, storytelling and content.

With the use of story map, I can achieve the presentation of my idea and research to help,  guide and inform others. My goal is so that others can see, in one viewing, the progressiveness of the impacts of natural disasters on the Caribbean’s food and water security over the past 10 years. And that from this, a light can be sparked in the mind of every viewer so that they can realize the detrimental effects of climate change and will feel the need to do something. Suggestions needs to be made and aims to climate resiliency needs to be fully accomplished. Because, if something isn’t done to slow this down, there will not be a far future and the future to come, will not experience any of the benefits that we know today.

In my ethics class, we learnt about the principles for environmental protection and one of the key ones which can be applied is ‘Intergenerational equity’. This rule demands that each generation be awarded equal benefits and insists one generation may justly enjoy certain  benefits only if those advantages can be sustained for subsequent generations as well. This means that, unless we can reverse the action to prevent the impedance to an advantage or future generations’ experience of certain advantages are secure, then the action should not be done.

Welcome DSC and Duke Students!

Welcome to the shared blogging space for the collaboration between Create Caribbean Research Institute’s Digital Humanities Research course at Dominica State College and the Modern Caribbean History course at Duke University. This digital space will allow students to reflect on relevant topics and their own progress on the Carisealand project, which is the collaborative final project for both courses.

Details about blogging format and schedule will be provided by your course instructors.