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>> ix Acknowledgments This project began in earnest the day that Anne Rolfes passed by my borrowed desk at Communities for a Better Environment in Oakland, California , complimented me on a piece of work that I had done as their science intern, and invited me to visit her organization in Louisiana. It seems fitting, then, that I begin with thanks to her. In the many years that have passed since that first meeting, Anne has offered me lodging, introductions, encouragement , insight, and an example of the tremendous good that determination combined with optimism can do in the world. For this and more, I am deeply grateful. Among the wonderful people whom I met through Anne were, of course, the members of Concerned Citizens of New Sarpy and, over time, other residents who had not been involved in the campaign. I thank all of them for welcoming me into their community, opening their homes, and sharing their thoughts on tender subjects; to Myrtle Berteau, Dorothy Gayten, Ida Mitchell , Harlon and Janelle Rushing, Audrey Taylor, Gertrude Thompson, Don Winston, and the St. Matthew Baptist Church Women’s Ministry, as well as to Iris Carter of Norco, I owe particular thanks for their hospitality, warmth, and friendship. My thanks go also to Tricia Meeks, fellow Louisiana Bucket Brigade volunteer, for her comradeship and thoughtfulness about the differences between, in her words, “truth seekers” and “rabble rousers”; and to Valerie Kestner, for somehow persuading her understandably skeptical colleagues to allow me to interview them. Even beginning this project would not have been possible without Jean Lave and Cathryn Carson, who not only were generous with their time and energy from an early stage of my graduate studies but also had faith in me and what I could accomplish before any of us had any idea where I might be going. To have enjoyed their support and mentorship over all these years has been my great good fortune. I am grateful as well to Gene Rochlin and Jane Summerton for their early (and ongoing) encouragement, and to Paul Rabinow and Darren Ranco for helping me take the first steps toward framing my fieldwork as a scholarly contribution. x << Acknowledgments In the writing of the book itself, I benefited from the support of more than a few friends, among them Jody Roberts, Reuben Deumling, Ben Cohen, Ben Gardner, and Kristoffer Whitney, all of whom, at various moments, seemed to understand the project better than I—as did Jane Barnes, who, through a combination of editorial expertise and intelligent unfamiliarity with my particular subject matter, pushed me to see greater significance in my own findings than I might have otherwise. My thanks go to each of them for being willing to engage so thoroughly. This book, of course, could never have come into being without material support from a variety of sources, for which I am most grateful: the University of California’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society (CITRIS) funded my initial fieldwork in St. Charles Parish; the John C. Haas Fellowship at the Chemical Heritage Foundation allowed me to make a return trip and spend a postdoctoral year rethinking the work; the Professors as Writers Program at the University of Virginia made it possible for me to hire an editor to help shape the narrative of the book; and a faculty fellowship from the Biological Futures in a Globalized World Initiative at the University of Washington supported the writing of the final chapters . I am particularly indebted to Jody Roberts, who, in his role as manager of the Environmental History and Policy Program at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, created a fellowship opportunity that afforded me the luxury of focusing on writing for an extended period. Finally, my thanks go to Jennifer Hammer of New York University Press, not just for her interest in my manuscript and her helpful feedback as it developed but most of all for giving me the deadlines that, in the end, got the book done. This book is dedicated to my parents, Paul and Diane Ottinger, who deserve to be acknowledged here, as well. They built for me a foundation of love and support that has made all else possible, and for this I thank them from the bottom of my heart. ...


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