Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR) is a feminist, anti-colonial, marine science laboratory. This means our methods foreground values of equity, humility, and justice. We specialize in community-based and citizen science monitoring of plastic pollution, particularly of plastics in food webs.
As feminist and anti-colonial scientists, we build equity into our practices—the idea that people start from different social, economic, historical, and political positions and that the root of these differences should be acknowledged and addressed in all research, including science. For example, we consider experiences and styles of collaboration more than grades when we hire research assistants. Anti-colonialism is a critical response to imperialism and colonialism, including questioning and transforming the underlying assumptions, motivations, and values we take for granted in Western science. We work to make room for other ways of knowing, and direct our science to serve the needs articulated by Indigenous communities, including the ones we live in. For example, we hold community meetings to determine research questions that matter, and again before we publish findings.