Graduation Date

Summer 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Renee Byrd

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

John Meyer

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Sarah Ray

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


In 2007 in Imperial County, a community-based organization called Comite Civico del Valle (CCV), along with the Department of Toxic Substances, and concerned residents, created the Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods (IVAN). IVAN is a community-based environmental reporting and monitoring system that is built on the idea that residents are the most knowledgeable about their environment and therefore should have a place at the table alongside environmental regulation agencies. For more than a decade, this has allowed residents to better report environmental concerns. However, for many residents there is still a lack of knowledge about how to properly utilize the IVAN reporting system, and, therefore, the inability to properly report environmental concerns.

The purpose of this project, the IVAN Community Development Project, was to create a community-based collaborative research project with the main objective of furthering the knowledge and the ability of residents to report environmental concerns by better utilizing IVAN. The IVAN Community Development Project, which is connected but distinct from IVAN reporting system, employed both Feminist and Participatory Action Research (PAR) epistemology, methodology, and methods approaches to create a collaborative project that would allow for plurality, performativity, and inclusion in the process. Chicana Mestizaje-Feminism was applied to the reflection of the experience after the project’s completion. By establishing a co-inquirer relationship, CCV and I, along with ten additional residents who were not affiliated with CCV prior to the IVAN Community Development Project, formed the Community Advisory Panel, conducted research, and co-wrote an IVAN Community Guidebook.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location