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Samantha Stevens

Graduate Student, SocDoc Program
Research Interests: 

A journey through Tanzania and Kenya becomes the occasion to explore a collision of agendas driving development, conservation, and globalization at the sites of a proposed highway through the Serengeti National Park. Despite strong opposition from the international community, the Tanzanian government pushes its plans for the road, in the name of economic development. Conservationists, safari guides, and Masai leaders all oppose the road. Rumors of Chinese involvement swirl, further heightening concerns over underlying motivations and environmental implications. This documentary investigates the meanings of the Serengeti, ultimately questioning who should get to decide its fate.

Education and Training: 
B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies, UC Berkeley
I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009 with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies. During the course of my studies, I had the opportunity to travel to several different countries where I was able to observe environmental issues situated within larger social and political contexts. Pursuing a master’s degree in Social Documentation at UC Santa Cruz will combine my interest in international conservation with my passion for documentary photography. My thesis project will explore the social and environmental implications associated with the production, consumption, and disposal of personal electronic devises. Possible locations where documentation will take place include Central and Eastern Africa, China, and the United States. By creating a visual context though documentary photography, the goal of this project is to increase corporate transparency and raise public awareness about a seemingly distant international phenomenon that we are virtually all connect to.
Class of: 
Whose Serengeti? (video)