Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Guillermo Douglass-Jaimes

Reader 2

Marc Los Huertos

Reader 3

Char Miller

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Rights Information

© 2022 Christina Marsh


Breakwaters are more than just physical structures that protect against storm surges and in the context of Long Beach, CA, my hometown, they are actualizations of economic, social, environmental, geologic, and policy challenges. Inspired by Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy, and Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks, I use an extended metaphor and autoethnographic approach to connect a chronology of my educational life to the physical structure of a breakwater. Where the breakwater also acts as a signifier of my personal experiences of seeing it, questioning its purpose, and not always finding an answer. This paper explores my lived and learned experiences as a Black woman in the geosciences as it relates to greater needs for diversity and educational changes to be implemented in the geoscience community broadly. Paralleling the breakwater and the systemic racism and violence ingrained in geology, I explore the intersections of elementary geoscience curriculum, Black theory, place-based narratives, and physical geography to pose questions around the reformation or more so the reinvention of geoscience as a tool for empowerment and change.