Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Sarah Hill

Second Advisor

Jane Baas


“The Rhetoric of Landscape: Through Oil and Water” analyzes five water resources—Lake Erie, Lake Powell, the Aral Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Barrier Reef—and uses the visual rhetoric introduced by an accompanying series of oil pastel illustrations to compare how the beauty of the landscapes equates to their true states. This project discusses the harmful effects of human activities on water bodies, first through direct pollution and ultimately through anthropogenic climate change. Furthermore, a final summary covering the history of environmental initiatives in the United States and the idea of “wicked problems” offers an overview of reasons for the worsening conditions of Earth’s water resources. The paper introduces the concept of “second-order change” as a potential solution and a last chance initiative to revive the natural rhetoric of the planet’s landscape.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access