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The Role of Drones in Anti-Mountaintop Removal Activism

The Role of Drones in Anti-Mountaintop Removal Activism
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Author(s): Aron Douglas Massey (West Liberty University, USA)
Copyright: 2021
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Pages: 15
Source title: International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research (IJAGR)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Donald Patrick Albert (Sam Houston State University, USA) and Samuel Adu-Prah (Sam Houston State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAGR.2021010104


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This research project examines the usefulness of drones in environmental activism, especially within the fight against mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. The paper examines the tactics of Coal River Mountain Watch and the Appalachian Mountain Patrol, anti-MTR activists that use drone surveillance to enhance their fight against this destructive practice. The use of drones increases the complexity of strategies employed by Appalachian activists and challenges many of the traditionally held, but continually critiqued, stereotypes present in Appalachian research. Beyond a deeper understanding of Appalachian activism, this paper investigates the ways in which knowledge production and epistemological assumptions are challenged by less costly and more accessible technologies such as drones.

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