UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Moontime in Eagle Creek : stories for sustainability Sheinin, Aliette Karina


The most common and influential approaches to sustainability in contemporary western society have been science-based. Consequently, sustainable living is usually defined in generalized, universalized, and quantified terms. While science is important for sustainable living, science alone cannot incorporate critical, yet specific, places, times, and events. Sustainable living in one country may not be sustainable in another, sustainable living right now may not be so in the future, sustainable living for me may not be sustainable for you, for example. What’s more, science itself is embedded in and reproduces place-, time-, and event-specific dimensions. Negotiating these dimensions of life into our understanding and practice of sustainability is imperative. In contrast to science, narrative seeks to construct and reflect knowledge of place-, time-, and event-specific dimensions of life; narrative as a mode of knowing is concrete, contextualized, specific, personally convincing, circular, imaginistic, interpersonal and emotive. Narrative, as well, is a process of knowledge construction, a way of coming to know place(s), time(s), and event(s). The goal of this dissertation is to negotiate, humbly, both science and narrative. My hope is that this work, as arts-based research, can expand our possibility(ies) for new ways of knowing and living sustainably. My negotiation between science and narrative takes place in Eagle Creek, a 2.21km long creek in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Eagle Creek begins from a reservoir and flows through forested municipal land, undeveloped private land, and developed residential land before discharging into the Pacific Ocean. Originally, I set out to investigate sustainability issues surrounding Eagle Creek’s role in drinking water and power generation, recreation, and salmon spawning. What I discovered in my research was far from what I expected. This is a story about those surprises. My hope is that in this story is an opportunity for you to negotiate, for yourself, new ways of knowing sustainability and living it, wherever, whenever, and however it may be for you. To the lives of our dreams!

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International