The Mullins Committee received 9 papers and 10 recommendations for this year’s prize. The prize is awarded to Alex Zahara for the paper Breathing Fire into Landscapes that Burn: Wildfire Management in a Time of Alterlife, in Engaging Science, Technology, and Society (2020).
Both politically and environmentally urgent, this article is exemplary of a text that models Indigenous STS by a settler author. Navigating positionality, this text masterfully analyzes important content about expertise, fire, and management in what is currently the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Using an exemplary writing style, Zahara actively engages the reader in STS across disciplines, history, and cultures. Most importantly, this paper serves as a significant model of ethical research design and practice for working with historically marginalized social groups, a necessary and timely methodological contribution to STS.
Alex Zahara (he/him) is a settler scholar from kistahpinanihk/Prince Albert, and a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His dissertation research ‘Settler Fire Management’ examines the history and culture of wildfire management in northern Saskatchewan with a focus on settler colonialism in alignment with Indigenous, feminist, and queer thinkers. Alex is trained in biology, STS, and settler colonial theory and his research focuses on living well in polluted or otherwise compromised landscapes. He is a co-editor of Discard Studies, a member of Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), and the ‘Northern Exposures’ research team.