The Known and the Unknown: Subsistence Fishing along the Potomac & Anacostia Rivers

  • 14 Sep 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom (must register to receive log in information)


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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This talk will be presented online using Zoom. Registration is required before 3:00 pm on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Log in information for Zoom will be emailed to those who have registered by 3:00 pm on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/8XuFS1dwNgY

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WAPA member and former President Dr. Shirley Fiske will talk about the opportunity to be a lead Principal Investigator (PI) on this study, joined by National Park Service (NPS) Cultural Anthropologist for the National Capital Region Dr. Noel Lopez, who was a key member of the team and led the field work. 

Speakers Shirley Fiske, Ph.D., Research Professor, University of Maryland

                     Noel Lopez, Ph.D., National Park Service/National Capital Region

Date: Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Location:  Online meeting via Zoom
Time: 7:00 pm

About the talk:

The Known and the Unknown: Subsistence Fishing along the Potomac & Anacostia Rivers. 

In 2015 the National Park Service undertook a highly unusual ethnographic study – to characterize an important, but less well-known segment of their user population – people who fish for food on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers.  Subsistence fishing has long been recognized as an important part of living for people from Native Alaskans in the north, to the bayous in the south, and in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas Caribbean islands.  The study was undergirded by the idea of “test the assumptions” about who does subsistence fishing and why.  Are they fishing because they are desperate for food?   Because they didn’t see the warnings?  This study investigates these assumptions about who subsistence fishers are; and why they are fishing. The results may surprise you.


About the speakers:

Shirley Fiske, Ph.D. Dr.  Shirley J. Fiske is a Research Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.  She is an environmental anthropologist with career experience in the Executive (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and Legislative branches of the US government in ocean, climate change, and natural resources management and governance.  She’s been President of WAPA, NAPA, and Chair of the AAA Task Force on Climate Change. Her most recent projects are with the National Park Service on subsistence fishers along the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, and an ethnographic assessment in Rock Creek Park (currently).

Noel Lopez, Ph.D. Dr. Noel Lopez is Regional Cultural Anthropologist, Area Tribal Liaison Officer and Edwin C. Bearss Fellow for the National Park Service/National Capital Area. Noel grew up and lived throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. A former Baltimore City public school teacher, Noel holds his BA from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, an MLA from Johns Hopkins and recently received his PhD from George Mason University, where he wrote his dissertation on the political unity struck between white Appalachians and the Black Panthers during the 1960s and 70s.

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