Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Environmental Writing

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies

Committee Chair

Mark Sundeen

Commitee Members

Robert Stubblefield, Rosalyn LaPier


Memoir, Kern River, Bakersfield


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | Nonfiction


Lia Mendez grew up on the frontlines of America's breadbasket in the great Central Valley of California where Big Ag and Big Oil reign supreme. When Lia returns home after a long absence and joins local activists in her hometown's fight to reclaim its dying river from agribusiness, she discovers that the land holds secrets whose truths have been long hidden in plain sight. As Lia's love and concern deepen for the very place she promised herself she'd never wind up in, so, too, does her understanding deepen of the systems of oppression and extraction which rule her world. In this memoir, Lia Mendez struggles to define her role not just as an activist, but as a wife and daughter with close ties to the very extractive industries whose practices she challenges.

Included in

Nonfiction Commons



© Copyright 2022 Lia R. Mendez