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  • Association of Pacific Coast Geographers Annual Meeting • September 30–October 3, 2009 San Diego, CaliforniaAbstracts for Oral Presentations and Posters

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Oral Presentation Abstracts

Abbenante, Dominic, San Diego State University. Children of Poverty: Escape through the Arts. Adolescence is a harbinger of emotional unpredictability. Throughout the formative years, children experience transformative emotions. The inability to direct this surge of unfamiliar feelings can manifest itself though socially “deviant” and “self-destructive” behaviors in the absence of adequate coping mechanisms. Particularly abundant in children of poverty, who often lack familial, community, and scholastic resources necessary to moderate these psychosomatic waves, the necessity for a constructive outlet is essential to maintain a balanced mental wellbeing. My work examines performance as an effective and inexpensive means for these children to confront and nurture the mysterious and often overwhelming pubescent emotions in a supportive environment. I look at how the foundational frameworks of community and academic programs cultivate and affect youth self-identity and social networks through freedom of expression and performance; with particular focus on the creation of concrete (re)presentations of society through personal association and perception in both the “individual” and “group.” Positive correlations are sustained through lower rates of violence and higher scholastic achievement and test scores, resulting in an improved capacity for upward economic mobility. I stress the potentiality of fine arts programs as an instrument necessary for emotional and psychological health, and as a method though which to escape the grip of poverty.

Abel, Troy D. and J. White, Western Washington University. Gentrified Riskscapes and Environmental Injustice in Seattle, WA. This paper examines whether urban gentrification exacerbates environmental injustice as affluent residents outcompete less-affluent ones for neighborhoods with fewer environmental hazards. Numerous studies have found that spatial distributions of environmental hazards and socially vulnerable populations (poor and minority) cluster together in metropolitan areas. We expect and hypothesize that metropolitan Seattle block-groups near environmental hazards will grow in poor and minority residents while block-groups further from pollution will grow in affluent residents. We analyze the socioeconomic changes in Seattle census block-groups from 1990 to 2000, coupled with manufacturing [End Page 140] facilities regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). In the case of Seattle, young urban professionals have moved into working-class and blue-collar neighborhoods and displaced original residents. In doing so, the displaced residents are forced to seek housing in other locations within Seattle. Due to the city’s high costs of living and shortage of affordable housing, the displaced residents must settle for environmentally marginal areas that remain within reach of their limited financial resources. Thus, the skewed geography of environmental risks fostered by urban gentrification deserves more attention from scholars and environmental practitioners.

Akhter, Majed and S. Dallerba, University of Arizona. Spatial Distribution of Wheat Yields in Transnational Punjab. The agricultural performance of the Punjab region in Northern India and Pakistan has long been a topic of interest for economic historians, agricultural economists, and policy-makers. In the literature focusing on the post-Green Revolution period (roughly since early ’70s), the debate has circled around the determinants of disparity in yields between Pakistani and Indian Punjab. However, no previous contribution has paid explicit attention to the role of spatiality in this debate. This paper intends to fill this gap by employing the tools of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) on wheat yields across the 35 Pakistani and 20 Indian districts of the Punjab in 2005–06. Although the analysis is constrained by data limitations, the results indicate the significant presence of both spatial autocorrelation and spatial heterogeneity. These results suggest that spatial effects should be part of the debate around uneven Punjabi yields and inform future policy-making.

Allen, James P.,; and E. Turner, California State University, Northridge. Black-White and Hispanic-White Residential Separation in U.S. Counties. Assuming that the degree to which Blacks and Hispanics live in different neighborhoods from Whites indicates the degree of their social separation, we used Census 2000 and the index of dissimilarity (D) to analyze residential separation (or segregation) in U.S. counties. We...


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