Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Earth & Environmental Sciences


Cindi Katz

Committee Members

Bruce Braun

John Waldman

Subject Categories

Environmental Sciences | Human Geography | Nature and Society Relations | Other Environmental Sciences | Physical and Environmental Geography


oysters, government, Anthropocene, New York City, metaphysics


This dissertation is a critical empirical and theoretical study of New York City’s post-Hurricane Sandy effort to build artificial oyster reefs off the coast of Staten Island, where it is hoped they will act as ‘resilient infrastructure’ capable of attenuating future storm surge and remediating polluted water in an urban environment now understood as a vast socio-technical-ecological system. Using oysters as a 'window' onto our present moment in NYC, I track a transformation in being, time and politics in the form of a new regime of government to manage systemic urban risk in the age of climate change. Rather than leave on this note, the dissertation concludes by considering how might we respond to and live within this new interconnected and turbulent environment.



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