This thesis critically examines how natural hazard memorials, specifically memorials memorializing flooding events, represent and display our human-environment interactions. The thesis begins by presenting information about four broad sets of categories used to classify and understand memorials. These four broad categories are then applied to the case study of flood memorials in the Northern Front Range of Colorado. The resulting information is used to develop and propose a new set of categories that specifically focuses on how natural hazard memorials portray the human role in natural disasters. Ultimately, this thesis proposes a set of three new categories: memorials that treat hazards as purely natural, memorials that portray hazards as a human-environment hybrid event, and memorials that present hazards as an anthropogenic event. This pattern demonstrates current trends in the way communities are presenting information on natural hazards through memorialization, which gives us a glimpse into larger trends regarding mitigation and recovery from extreme events.
Abby Hickcox (Chair)