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Nature in chains : the effects of Thomas Jefferson’s rectangular survey on a Pacific Northwest landscape

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dc.contributor.advisor Nye, Mary Jo
dc.contributor.advisor Robbins, William
dc.creator Schweickert, Tina K.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-03-09T20:58:33Z
dc.date.available 2010-03-09T20:58:33Z
dc.date.copyright 2009-12-03
dc.date.issued 2009-12-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/14900
dc.description Graduation date: 2010 en
dc.description.abstract Understanding the impact of humans on the environment has long been a topic of scholarly interest and debate. As environmental problems mount, accounts of historic ecological conditions and the factors of change become increasingly useful. This study considers competing schools of interpretation about human impacts on ecological landscapes and develops a case study of one thirty-six square mile township in Oregon’s Waldo Hills. Built on evidence from 1851 surveyor notes, maps, journals, aerial photos, interviews, and contemporary environmental and ecological data, this study demonstrates a transformation from ecologically diverse ecosystems under the management of native peoples to ecologically depressed monoculture landscapes under industrialized agriculture. This thesis argues that the fundamental beliefs of human societies (i.e., worldviews) become expressed in the landscape. The nature-as-community view of the Kalapuya Indians resulted in a complex, curvilinear mosaic of prairie, savanna, and woodland. The individualized and rationalized view of the Euroamericans resulted in a simplified landscape of squared-off fields, channelized streams, and roads aligned to the survey grid. Thomas Jefferson’s rectangular survey, built on the ‘virtuous square’, is examined as a symbolic and tangible instrument of rapid expansion and exploitation across the American West. Understanding that worldviews become expressed in physical conditions may benefit those working to create sustainable futures; i.e., long-term and widespread ecological improvements will likely succeed only if society at large shares a fundamental belief in the value of healthy ecosystems. en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.subject Worldviews
dc.subject Indigenous people
dc.subject Native Americans
dc.subject Kalapuya
dc.subject Thomas Jefferson
dc.subject rectangular survey
dc.subject historical maps
dc.subject Willamette Valley native vegetation
dc.subject ecological change
dc.subject environmental history
dc.subject.lcsh Human ecology -- Oregon -- Waldo Hills en
dc.subject.lcsh Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- Oregon -- Waldo Hills en
dc.title Nature in chains : the effects of Thomas Jefferson’s rectangular survey on a Pacific Northwest landscape en
dc.type Thesis/Dissertation en
dc.degree.name Master of Science (M.S.) in History of Science en
dc.degree.level Master's en
dc.degree.discipline Liberal Arts en
dc.degree.grantor Oregon State University en
dc.contributor.committeemember Blumenthal, James
dc.contributor.committeemember Robinson, David

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