Ultra-managing nature : technology and the re-creation of Eden
Breen, Kevin Christopher
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The manner in which National Park managers employ the use of modern technology to protect imperiled species and landscapes has created heterotopic parks populated by cybernetic wildlife. Using the island fox restoration program on Channel Islands National Park as my primary focus, I discuss my personal struggle between my desire to preserve endangered species and the notion that humanity has over-managed nature. I reveal how historian of science Donna Haraway's endorsement of cyborg theory and philosopher Michel Foucault's discussion of heterotopic spaces can be applied to how park biologists have ultra-managed the northern Channel Islands. Because modern human activity nearly caused the extinction of the island fox, park managers have used technology to erase evidence that modern humans once inhabited the islands and to recreate a mythic past when humanity had little impact on the island ecosystem. Ultimately, I embrace the results of the controversial restoration program because I believe that if human actions are the cause of a species going extinct, we have a moral obligation to reverse those impacts in an attempt to save the species.
Restoring Eden is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.