Identifying Environmental Concerns of the Dalhousie Community on Studley Campus
MetadataShow full item record
The Photovoice concept was developed in the early 1990s by Caroline Wang and Mary Ann Burris. It is a tool that enables the public to voice its opinion on important issues through photos and discussion and uses grassroots approaches towards photography to inspire social action. The Dalhousie Photovoice project had two goals: 1) To identify what members of the Dalhousie community felt were the most important environmental problems on Studley campus, and 2) To raise awareness about environmental issues amongst members of the Dalhousie Community. The six members of the research group took photographs based on the nine ‘campus issues’ identified by Dalhousie’s Office of Sustainability: water, energy, food, natural environment, built environment, transportation, products and procurement, waste, and emissions. These photos were displayed at various locations on Studley campus at different time intervals for a total of nine hours. Members of the Dalhousie community were haphazardly sampled. They were asked to choose what they believed where the top ten worst environmental problems on campus as represented in the photographs. They were also asked to identify the ultimate worst problem and comment on what the photo represented and why they chose it. Once the data and comments were analyzed the research group determined which photos the Dalhousie community repeatedly identified as representing the ‘worst environmental problems on campus’. Cigarette butts were identified as the number one top ten and the worst environmental issue on campus. The group also found that eight of top ten photographs chosen depicted waste, which might be attributable to the lack of environmental awareness within the community. The research group believed that an environmental themed photovoice could help green the campus by discovering the main areas of concern and develop recommendations, which could be presented to key policy-makers at Dalhousie with the goal of generating positive change.