Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, UC Berkeley;
July Cole, Independent Scholar

Posted: September 7, 2015

Tell a Salmon Your Troubles intervenes in the silenced grief of scientists who work with species facing extinction. At a 2014 scientific meeting, Woelfle-Erskine heard an ecologist discuss the impending extinction of the yellow warbler in Central America. The presenter’s delivery suggested deep grief at this loss, but her grief was unspeakable in this context. Our project invites working scientists to relate to another critically endangered species, coho salmon, as affective beings who may notice and respond to human actions. 

We are an ecologist who studies coho salmon and a poet who investigates sacrifice zones. We leverage queer performance and trans optics to unlock transgressive potentials in ecology and refigure human ecological roles.  Tell a Salmon precipitates a new practice of science that foregrounds affective relations between scientists and the ecosystems they study, and injects feminist STS practices of reflexivity and reciprocity into scientists’ inter-species thinking.