ABOUT THE PROJECT
This website is an ongoing initiative and a public record of my continual research into conservation, development and political ecology in the Amazon. The idea for this project sprang from an research internship at Imazon, a conservation NGO in Belem, Brazil, during 2016. It was at this time that I compiled most of the data that would become the foundation for the Google Earth map. Over the past couple years, I have worked with the data and expanded it in many different ways. Beyond the Google Earth tool, I have continued writing articles and reading everything I can get my hands on that had to do with the Amazon, development, conservation politics and sustainability, which contributes to the larger themes of this site, and my work.
The goal of the Calha Norte Portal is to introduce a new way of working with and visualizing data. More and more, in the field of ecology, development and other social sciences we are seeing a shift towards digital initiatives that engage the audience's creativity. As digital technologies open new doors for us, the way we learn and absorb information is also changing. This portal hopes to intrigue the user, to pique their curiosity about the Amazon, and the Calha Norte region more specifically. It also intends to raise some important questions about what 'conservation' means for the people who live on government-protected land. Most of all, the goal is to encourage critical reflection on how we can best combine human well-being with sustainable land use. But, of course, it leaves the door open for the curious visitor to engage with and contribute to the data in any number of creative ways.
As GIS and mapping technologies open up new opportunities for how we can understand the world, this project hopes to make its own humble contribution to a growing field which strives for interdisciplinarity and open-source sharing. I look forward to seeing how this project can grow as I open it up to the world in this online format. Thank you for your visit - enjoy!
- Hannah R.
"It is entirely impossible in the Amazon to take stock of the vastness, which can be measured only in fragments; of the expansiveness of space, which must be diminished to be appraised[...] Human intelligence cannot bear the brunt of this portentous reality at one swoop. The mind will have to grow with it, adapting to it, in order to master it. To see it, men must give up the idea of stripping off its veils."