On a sunny morning in April 2014, historian of geosciences Dr. Enriqueta Barrera of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) opened a meeting of several dozen Earth scientists from across the United States. The group was gathered at Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church in rural South Carolina, in preparation for a field trip to one of the NSF’s newest Critical Zone Observatories (CZO). The Earth scientists were surrounded by flowering dogwoods and gentle mild breeze of early spring in the Piedmont, a region known in colonial times as the “Flower of Carolina.” 2 The rural community around the church has about 1,200 inhabitants, many of whom are descendants of multigenerational families. Their average age is about forty, 60% are white and 40% black, and about 25% of those working-age are employed by textile-related industries.3 The landscape and its people have a rich interactive history that is appreciated and explored by contemporary Critical Zone studies that seek to achieve what can be called Humboldtian goals — a merging of scholarly disciplines with rigor and beauty.
Richter, Daniel D., and Sharon A. Billings (2020): Ansichten der Calzone: Views of the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory. In: Critical Zones: The Science and Politics of Landing on Earth, Editors: Bruno Latour & Peter Weibel, ZKM | Center for Art and Media, distributed by The MIT Press.
This Paper/Book acknowledges NSF CZO grant support.
Ansichten der Calzone: Views of the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory
(350 KB pdf)