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The Model

Simulating the  Unknown

McKenna Cole

Advisor: Chris Reed Thesis Prep  Document,  Fall  2012 Harvard  University Graduate  School  of  Design

TABLE OF CONTENTS 01|Thesis Abstract 02|Thesis Statement 03|Design Project Precedents 04|Site Description 05|Design Methodology 06|Design Media + Deliverables 07|Schedule 08|Annotated Bibliography 09|Appendices

01 03 15 27 35 41 45 49 57


McKenna Cole

Canadian National  Archives,  Yukon  Gold  Rush




01 Abstract Alaska is  now  what  the  American  West  once  was.  With  a  richness  of  natu-­ ral  resources,  mineral  deposits  and  an  abundance  of  land,  mining  and  oil   corporations  are  beginning  to  turn  their  attention  towards  this  frontier.  As   mining  corporations  grow  in  size  and  capital,  the  mining  technology  and   operations  are  similarly  becoming  more  advanced  and  powerful.  Both  lo-­ cally  and  regionally,  project  proposals  such  as  the  Pebble  Mine  Project   in   Bristol   Bay   call   into   question   the   long-­term   stability   of   the   region   so-­ cially,   economically,   and   environmentally.   The   Pebble   Limited   Partner-­ ship  has  plans  to  start  mining  operations  by  2020  and  in  its  projected  50   year   lifespan   will   construct   one   of   the   largest   surface   mine   and   tailings   dams   in   the   world.   Associated   infrastructure   projects   will   also   allow   for   dramatic   increases   in   industrialization   and   population   size.   This   thesis   will  explore  how  predictive  modeling,  scenario  building,  and  simulation   can  be  integrated  through  the  simultaneous  use  of  a  variety  of  modeling   software.  Moving  beyond  a  linear  predictive  model,  a  gradual,  feedback-­ based  model  will  emerge  in  order  to  encourage  the  development  of  a  new,   robust  ecology  that  will  be  enhanced  through  both  the  operation  and  clo-­ sure  of  the  Pebble  Mine.  Central  to  this  project  is  the  idea  of  designing   without  data  -­  spatial  data  available  currently  will  be  reorganized  around   a  new  network  of  parameters  and  potential  events  in  order  to  present  an   alternative  design  methodology  for  predictive  modeling  and  simulation.


McKenna Cole

Erin McKittrick,  AK  Trekking.  2005.




02 Thesis Statement “Because the  city  invariably  exhausts  its  surrounding  land  it  must,  if  it  is  to   survive,  spread  further  afield.    The  ever-­expanding  city  must  trade  what  it   has  in  surplus  for  what  it  doesn’t.    Collectively,  cities  thus  form  a  network   of   interdependence   and   antagonism,   a   web   that   now   covers   the   whole   planet.    In  order  to  survive,  the  city  has  literally  had  to  go  to  the  ends  of  the   earth.    The  city  has  become  the  world.”     -­-­  Richard  Weller,  Boomtown  2050


McKenna Cole

INTRODUCTION As urban centers grow in population, demand for resources increase while land available for cultivation and extraction become harder to find. This creates the demand for importing resources from distant and oftentimes remote areas. These remote areas of potential future resource extraction are prone to experiencing a population boom. Just like other gold rushes that have been seen in North America, the shelf life of an area of resource extraction can be extremely limited. The modern American landscape continues to thrive upon the mineral extraction processes begun several centuries ago. The spoils of mineral extraction processes and the remains of the associated mining towns serve as a reminder of the fragility of the landscape. The collective memory of the American West events such as the California Gold Rush makes it seem as though mining is an old or out-dated industry. But with great advances in technology and increases in capital and continuous and constant extraction, this is no longer the case. Multi-national companies are actively seeking surface claims to mineral deposits and are engaging in a highly technical and scientific industry. While industries and resources are globalizing, the impacts of mineral extraction also occur on a very small and local scale. Dramatic increases in population and infrastructure are the immediate and most visible responses. Without appropriate planning and testing, however, the environmental repercussions can be severe. With the technological advancements and the increases in both demand for products as well as the capital of corporations, mining landscapes are beginning to take on a much larger scale. While environmental effects of past industrial and mining operations have been observed and studied, these new mining operations extend into a realm of uncertainty; uncertainty in terms of the scale and the effects socially, environmentally, politically, etc. on the landscape.



The timescale of these technologically advanced industrial landscapes projects is an additional obstacle in being able to come to a clear understanding of what the potential effects will be on the landscape. A strength of landscape architects has been their ability to deal well with complex ecological systems. However, as landscapes begin to be embedded with more and more uncertainty, ecologically, socially, politically, etc., a shift in the formulation of a new type of design methodology needs to occur. This thesis aims to articulate a new kind of design methodology that utilizes scenario building and modeling in order to allow for a clear discussion of these new landscapes of uncertainty. Site, in this case, will come secondary to design methodology. However, for the purpose of this thesis, Bristol Bay in Alaska was selected as a site to formulate this new methodology for because of the large amounts of urbanization and industrialization that are expected to occur within the next fifty years.

Erin McKittrick,  AK  Trekking.  2005.


McKenna Cole

ALASKA AS SITE Alaska has a long history of exploration and colonization based on resources and mineral deposits. In comparison to most of North America, Alaska is still considered a frontier in regards to the levels of settlement and urbanization. Historically, Juneau, Nome, and Fairbanks, among other cities were founded initially as mining towns, drawing upon the natural resources as the primary drivers for infrastructure, employment, government revenue, and settlement patterns. Geologically, Alaska has diverse deposits of mineral commodities including gold, copper, placer platinum, silver, and many other deposits. Although there has been a recently renewed effort in the exploration of the mineral deposits across the state, much is still unknown about its full potential. As a resource to the rest of the United States as well as the world, Alaska is unique in that it offers an abundance of prospective land, a state-sponsored geological and geophysical mapping effort, and various exploration incentives. Federal, state, and native lands have more than 190 million acres of land that are open for mineral related activities. In order to encourage development and settlement in regards to available resources, the state of Alaska has a policy in place that allows land to be used to its optimal capacity while being able to assert that the functioning of industry aligns itself with the public’s interest.1 PEBBLE MINE AS SITE The Bristol Bay region in southwest Alaska will be forced to cope with increases in both population and industrial activity if a newly proposed mining project, the Pebble Mine, is approved. Containing the world’s projected largest deposit of gold as well as extensive amounts of copper and molybdenum, the mine will be expected to be in full production for 50-80 years, starting as soon as 2020. During this time an anticipated 2000 workers will be required for the operation of the mine, not including family members or additional people working in the service industries. Necessary infrastructure such as transmission lines, hundreds of miles of roads, a port, and an oil refinery will be constructed, allowing nearby mining corporations to take advantage of said infrastructure and begin to operate. This new access to infrastructure will cause an increase in population and industrialization to take place regionally throughout the Bristol Bay area and not only around, Iliamna, the closest village to the proposed site.



ILIAMNA AS SITE With a year-round population of only 109, the people of Iliamna primarily rely on subsistence fishing, hunting, and gathering coupled with a seasonal job. Seasonal industries including tourism and fishing rely heavily on the hunting and fishing lodges located on or around Iliamna Lake. Iliamna Lake is the largest lake in Alaska and the eighth largest lake in the United States. The lake drains into Kvichak River that drains into Bristol Bay. While Iliamna is the closest village to the proposed site, a dozen other villages located in the same watershed will be impacted as well. Through the construction of necessary roads, many of these villages that are currently only accessible through aircraft will be suspect to increased vehicular activity. Neighboring villages include Newhalen, Nondalton, Pedro Bay, and Port Alsworth, all of which maintain industries reliant upon subsistence fishing and hunting and seasonal tourism.2

Fig.1. Locating  Bristol  Bay  and                      Pebble  Mine




McKenna Cole

SITE CHALLENGES We cannot  have  a  successful  open  pit  mine  and  a  successful  fish-­ ery   together.     The   truth   of   the   matter   is   that   thriving   industries   exist  in  the  area  right  now,  and  they  make  use  of  the  phenomenal   renewable  resources  salmon  and  trout  provide.3 The Pebble Mine Project is a highly contentious issue throughout the state of Alaska. Although the proposal has been in the work for over a decade, only within the past few years has the project come to the forefront of political and environmental debates. With multiple stakeholders and unclear environmental and social prospective impacts, debates often become highly biased and rarely lead to an objective look at the future potential scenarios. The Pebble Limited Partnership, the Alaska limited partnership, is half owned by a USbased subsidiary of the London-based Anglo American and the other half is owned by the Northern Dynasty Partnership which itself is owned by Vancouver-based Hunter Dickinson. Large stakeholders in Northern Dynasty include Kennecott (historically a copper mining company), Rio Tinto (British multinational metals and mining corporation), and Mitsubishi. The primary opponent to the project is the fishing industry. Bristol Bay is recognized as the most productive salmon run in the world, generating a total value of approximately $500 million dollars each year. The proposed mine itself would consist of large open pit mine, an underground mine, and two tailings dams. Because the ore is of a low-grade character, only mining at a very large scale makes it economically feasible.4 The open pit is expected to be 2 miles wide and at least 1700m deep (see Figures 3 and 4), according to boring samples taken back as early as 1988. The underground located directly to the east of the open pit would have a similar depth in order to reach the deposit. Up to ten million tons of waste rock will be produced during the operation of the mine and would be stored in two artificial lakes supported by earthen dams, the largest reaching a height of 740 feet.5



According to  documents  submitted  by  the  mining  company  when   it   applied   to   the   state   of   Alaska   for   water-­withdrawal   permits   (which  alone  are  a  cause  for  anglers  to  worry),  the  pit  would  be   roughly  two  miles  by  three  miles  in  size.  In  the  course  of  mineral   extraction,  the  operation  would  generate  an  estimated  2.6  billion   tons  of  waste  rock.  In  order  to  hold  back  this  waste,  the  company   would  have  to  construct  of  series  of  five  dams  and  embankments.   Eventually,  one  of  the  embankments  would  be  4.3  miles  long  and   740   feet   high,   and   another   earthen   dam   would   stretch   for   2.9   miles  and  rise  to  700  feet  high.  These  structures  would  be  bigger   than  the  Hoover  or  Grand  Coulee  dams,  and  would,  in  fact,  dwarf   the   Three   Gorges   Dam   in   China—presently   the   world’s   largest.   All  this  digging  and  construction  would  occur  in  one  of  Alaska’s   most  seismically  active  areas  and  at  the  headwaters  of  its  finest,   wildest  salmon  and  trout  fishery.6 The greatest challenge for the Pebble Limited Partnership is going to be convincing the EPA as well as local populations and industries that the mine will not have a severely negative environmental impact. The heavy use of water that will be necessary for the mines operations will dramatically decrease water flow in the nearby Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers which are two primary salmon tributaries. In 2012 the Pebble Limited Partnership applied for water rights that would entitle them to 35 billion gallons water on a yearly basis. The creation of the enormous earthen dams will dramatically change the natural landscape by cutting off access to some streams and wetlands as well as posing a threat to the water quality of the adjacent rivers and salmon fisheries. Additional concerns for the local population revolve around obstructions to the subsistence hunting and fishing lifestyle. Migration of large game animals including bears, moose, and caribou will be altered. The construction of the mine as well as the roads and other required infrastructure such as transmission lines and ports, will pose a threat to an already decreasing wildlife population, due to non-local participation and climate change.


McKenna Cole

CONCLUSION We have  radically  modified  the  biotic  stream;  we  had  to.7   Assuming that the Pebble Mine will eventually be allowed to start operations, the question will become not “how can we stop the operations of the mine?” but rather, “how can the operations of the mine be altered in a way that will allow for maximum efficiency as well as maximum environmental sensitivity?” Current arguments both in favor and against the development of the Pebble project rely heavily on probability. With high levels of uncertainty stemming from lack of precise data regarding amounts of deposits or waste rock to the unpredictability of events such as earthquakes or tsunamis, no one certain future can be projected on the Bristol Bay region. There is only a certain level of precision that the mining engineers can produce now, but other than that there are too many factors and too many uncertainties. This is especially true when considering the potential regional effects the project will have. Numerous surficial mining claims have been made to sites adjacent to the Pebble project, and with new access to the large amount of infrastructure that will be constructed these sites will have an opportunity to be able to operate for the first time. Drawing upon Alan Berger’s notion of “drosscape,” these potential nodes of development and industrialization should not be seen as something “intrinsically bad or good but a natural result of industrial growth.”8 Fig.  2.  Scenario  Building  Parameter  Network



By taking into consideration current conditions and integrating them into various build out possibilities of the project, models that cross time scales and various physical events [earthquakes] will provide information for various parties interested in the discussion about the future of the region. Traditional predictive modeling is linear, focused on an eventual end date. The Pebble project, as it stands now, will start operating in 2020 and will have a lifespan of either 25 or 50 years, depending on which plan gets approved. With traditional predictive modeling, it may be possible to somewhat accurately depict the future state of the site five, maybe ten years beyond the beginning of construction. Beyond that, unexpected events like earthquakes or construction on other mining projects would throw off any model. Because of this, scenario building will be built into the modeling process, allowing for multiple looks into the future of the site, along various points of its long timescale. Modeling software traditionally meant for scientists or engineers, such as software from companies like Gemcom or Runge Pincock Minarco will be explored as tools during the scenario building process. It is through working with modeling and scenario building that a new, gradual and feedback-based predictive model as well as a new kind of design methodology will be formulated.


McKenna Cole

Fig. 3.  Mine  operations  after  25  years.    Red  highlights  impacted  streams  and  wetlands.

Fig. 4.  Mine  operations  after  50  years.    Red  highlights  impacted  streams  and  wetlands.



Fig. 5.  Parameters/Uncertainties

SOURCES 1. D.J. Szumigala, L.A. Harbo, and J.N. Adleman . Alaska’s Mineral Industry 2010. 2. US Census Bureau. 2010 Census. 3. Andy Bullick. “Run Defense.” American Angler, 2010. 4. Our Bristol Bay. “Fact Sheet: The Risks of Pebble Mine.” http://www., 2011. 5. Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Mining, Land & Water. “Pebble Project.”, 2012. 6. Save Bristol Bay. “About Pebble Mine.”, 2012. 7. Leopold, Aldo. A  Sand  County  Almanac. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc. 1966. Pg. 196. 8. Berger, Alan. Drosscape:  Wasting  Land  in  Urban  America. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 2006. Pg. 12.


McKenna Cole

Tennessee Valley  Authority.  Construction  of  Douglas  Dam.  Alfred  T  Palmer,  1942.



03 Design Project Precedents Lateral Office|Klaksvik City Center Tennessee Valley Authority Stoss LU|Bass River Park Bradley Cantrell|Cyborg:Prosthetic



McKenna Cole


Reclamation Precedent  Matrix Mining  +  Reclamation  Theoretical  Framework Lateral  Office|Klaksvik  City  Center|2012 Tennessee  Valley  Authority|1933-­present



McKenna Cole


The population of the Faroe Islands has dramatically increased over the last two hundred years - the population of the city and municipality of Klaksvik has increased from just over 100 people to over 5000 people today. Beyond the tourism industry that is present, the main industry is whaling/fishing. While the population has been fairly steadily, the economy of the fishing and whaling industries has been a bit more turbulent. The aims of this urban design competition was to both be able to provide some coherence between the urban form that exists today due to rapid population growth while also allowing for a new identity for Klaksvik that will allow the town to continue as the fishing industry becomes less and less predictable/steady. The project sought to reimagine the urban waterfront, reclaim a landfill located at the port, and provide an identity for the public open spce while utilizing the town’s identity, geography, and culture as drivers for design.




McKenna Cole


Pior to the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1933, the Tennessee Valley population was suffering economically. Bad farming methods and over foresting had left the land in an extremely poor state. In order to generate jobs and update amenities and infrastructure in the area as well as to become independent from privatized utility companies, under the initial guidance of leaders such as Roosevelt and Nebraska senator George W. Norris, the TVA was founded. The goal of the TVA was to help modernize the Tennessee Valley region in various ways, hoping to alleviate the widespread economic and health challenges. Modern farming practices, coupled with the easy access to electricity helped making farming more efficient and helped to restore the state of the poor soil Since the 1930’s the TVA has established itself as the largest public power utility in the United States with 11 coal-powered plants, 29 hydroelectric dams, three nuclear power plants, nine simple ccle natural gas combustion turbine plants, and five combined cycle gas plants.




McKenna Cole


Variations in ecological factors serve as the primary driver for the design of Bass River Park. Four vegetal communities were identified that could be integrated into the design in order to increase biodiversity - red cedar meador, sand plain, wet meadow, and salt marsh. By first coming to terms with the fact that both short-term and longterm environmental conditions can drastically alter the composition of a landscape, a flexible system that allowed for these fluctuations became a necessity. Designing for differentiating environmental conditions was used in conjuction with design for different human activities and programming. The design itself is composed of a field of small circular landforms of varying heights and shapes meant to offer the site a rich series of microclimatic conditions. These variations allowed for the establishment and adaptation of the noted four vegetatal communities.




McKenna Cole


Bradley Cantrell with Jeff Carney and Kristi Dykema “Infrastructure, as we know it is parasitic. It is an external organizing framework, a prosthetic, gaining power and legitimacy when situated at the confluence of latent elements and their potential for flux.” The project uses the Mississippi River as a case study for studying the interactions and potentials of coupling infrastructure into natural systems. The “prosthetic” itself is meant to act between technology and ecology although designed for a single and specific reason. Along the Mississippi four sites were chosen to implement different types of this “prosthetic” - pile hive, nascent switch, tensile city, and force. This project utilizes scenario building in an interesting way in order to develop a design proposal that is on one hand grounded in current conditions and phenomena, but also is striving to be projective in a way that allows for a new vision of landscape to emerge.




McKenna Cole

Robert Glen  Ketchum,  Pool  32  Magazine.

Site Description


04 Site Description Alaskan Cites + Villages Bristol Bay Mining + Fishing Industries Local Impacts - Villages + Watersheds



McKenna Cole

ALASKAN CITIES + VILLAGES Rich in natural resources and mineral deposits, Alaska has been settled in various waves according to the locations of these resources. While indigenous peoples had inhabited Alaska for thousands of years prior to any colonization, Russians became the first settlers in the 17th century. Along with Spanish and American settlers, early settlements were constructed along the coast and rivers, in order to facilitate the fur trade that was booming at the time. The gold rush in the Yukon Territory in the 19th and 20th centuries brought thousands of people to Alaska and it was around this time that Alaska was incorporated as an American territory.

Site Description

This map depicts the locations of current cities and villages (circles with white outlines) in relation to actively mined sites (small white circles) and the sites with surficial mining claims (small red circles). The gas and oil industries are the largest today with other main exports coming from the seafood industry. The mineral extraction industry has the potential to become one of the largest exporters and employers in the state of Alaska and would cause increases in population in areas that have primarily relied on subsistence hunting and fishing and the seasonal tourism industry.


McKenna Cole

BRISTOL BAY FISHING + MINING INDUSTRIES Bristol Bay, in Southwest Alaska is home to some of the largest salmon fisheries in the world (highlighted in the map). The proposed site for the Pebble Mine is located 17 miles northwest of Iliamna Lake, the largest lake in Alaska. Surrounded by these large fisheries and extensive conservation land (through the National Forest Service and US Fishing and Wildlife service, shown here in green), the Pebble Limited Partnership must be able to prove that its operations won’t undermine the environmental health of the region before being allowed to open.

Nearby Mining  Claims

Planned Pebble  Mine Footprints  +  Roads Iliamna Iliamna  Lake

Nushagak District

Naknek-­Kvichak District

Ugashik District

Site Description


Proposed Mines Conservation  Land [NFS,  USFS,  UFWS]

Anchorage Northern Cook Inlet  District

2LO5H¿QHU\ Gas-­Fired Generator

Central Cook Inlet  District

Submarine Cable

Proposed Port  Location

Southern Cook Inlet  District

Kamishak Bay District Outer  Cook  Inlet District

Barren Islands District

Mainland Kodiak District Kodiak  Island District


McKenna Cole

LOCAL IMPACTS - VILLAGES + WATERSHEDS Of the eleven or so villages that are located in closest proximity to the proposed Pebble site, a majority of them have year-round populations of about 100. Besides the town of Dillingham, which lies to the southeast and has a large port, the majority of the Bristol Bay population relies upon subsistence hunting and fishing. Seasonal tourism related to the fishing industry serves as the primary source of income for these towns. Highlighted in white are the watersheds that would be affected the most by the proposed mine. Large amounts of water will be diverted for the operations of the mine. Local populations could suffer if the mining operations negatively impact the health of the watersheds since a large portion of their diet comes from seasonal fishing. Additionally, these are the towns that will be most impacted by population increase as people start moving to the area in search for jobs related to mining and service industries. NEW  STUYAHOK Pop:  471 92.78%  Native  American

EKWOK Pop:  115 91.54%  Native  American


LEVELOCK Pop:  69 89.34%  Native  American

Site Description


NONDALTON Pop: 164 89.14%  Native  American

ILIAMNA Pop: 109 50%  Native  American NEWHALEN Pop:  133 85%  Native  American

KOKHANOK Pop: 170 86.78%  Native  American IGIUGIG Pop:  50 71.70%  Native  American

PEDRO BAY Pop:  42 40%  Native  American


McKenna Cole

From Mintec  MineSight,  “The  power  of  3D  visualization.”

Design Methodology


05 Design Methodology Prospectus on the method for the design work.



McKenna Cole

Throughout the design process, landscape architects have to deal with a complex system of ecological, social, and economic factors, among others. In order to formulate a comprehensive design methodology for working with a site as intricate as Bristol Bay, several research and design strategies will be utilized. Theoretical frameworks need to be tied together with representational tools and techniques in order to convey projected design intentions. Initial research will follow a more traditional mixed-methods approach to research. Historical research will be conducted using various sources. Historical maps, photographs, and compiled GIS data will provide spatial context. Written sources that focus on historical documentation of mining history and settlement patterns will help to formulate a design that will not only be able to function in the future, but also take into consideration the past. Visualizations of this data should include timelines, diagrams, and maps. Early on in the research phase of the project, case studies will provide a theoretical and methodological framework in which to position the project. Precedents will be chosen based not simply on similar subject matter, but also on representational methods and techniques. Additionally, case studies of mining or infrastructural projects of similar size and scale will be helpful in studying the future of the Pebble Mine and the Bristol Bay region. Even though the future of the Pebble site is unclear, since it is such a contested issue and site, data is plentiful. Through the Pebble Limited Partnership as well as through federal or non-profit agencies such as the EPA or Save Bristol Bay there is a lot of data specifically for the current and future environmental health of Bristol Bay and the surrounding region. Environmental impact assessments, watershed analyses, field inspection reports, pre-permitting environmental and socio-economic data reports, water right applications, and mineral extraction proposals are the kinds of documents that have been published through these groups. A renewed interest in the wealth of mineral deposits and other natural resources in Alaska has led to a large database of GIS information, especially data related to land cover and geology.

Design Methodology


Considering the amount of data available is large and the number of reports and documents are staggering, the fact that the agencies and groups publishing the information often have opposite motivations (namely either opening the mine or preventing the mine from being opened), it is hard to develop a clear picture of the current as well as the future state of Bristol Bay, should the Pebble Mine open. The immense scale at which the mine will be operating and the unknown impact the project will have regionally, in terms of population, urbanization, and industrialization follows few precedents, broadening this sense of unpredictability. Detrimental environmental events including earthquakes and climate change will further complicate any sort of sure vision of Bristol Bay’s future environmentally, socially, or economically. Given the level of uncertainty associated with the future of the Pebble Mine and its surrounding region, a new kind of design methodology focused on modeling and scenario building needs to be developed. Because no future scenario is perfectly predictable, the use of scenario building will be helpful in more clearly establishing a spectrum of potential effects. By identifying key parameters as well as the more unclear potential events, a network of numerous scenarios will be created. The key to developing these scenarios will be to relate the various parameters to each other in order to reveal several of the unknown future states. For the purpose of this thesis, a few of these scenarios will be played out to a finer resolution. The use of modeling will be integral into the scenario building process. Software often associated with engineers, fluid modeling, geology, and the mining industry will be used concurrently in order to help make the current data more spatial. By taking into consideration current conditions and integrating them into various build out possibilities of the project, models that cross time scales and various physical events (earthquakes) will hopefully provide information for various parties interested in the discussion about the future of the region.


McKenna Cole

In order to develop scenarios that deal with the full scope of the impacts that the Pebble Project could bring to the region, working at various scales will be important. Studies will always include the proposed site of the mine along with the tailings dams. The construction of the infrastructure including roads, ports, transmission lines, etc. will also always be shown. Zooming out to at least include adjacent watersheds is important considering the environmental impact assessments thus far have been done on a watershed scale. The 12 closest towns should be able to be seen at either the watershed scale or when exploring the potential build-outs of the necessary infrastructure. A final scale showing the entire southwest Alaska region will reveal potential regional impacts industrially. In order to sufficiently communicate the design intent through scenario building and modeling, a wide variety of representational tools will be utilized. While digital models might be coming directly from mining software, collages and renderings using on-the-ground imagery will be needed in order to discuss situations at a human scale. Because the project will focus on the intersection of local populations with a rapidly industrialized wilderness, visualizations showing these intersections are needed. Adjacencies of local/global, industrialized/natural, mining/fishing, ecology/development should be revealed through various representational techniques including timelines, diagrams, catalogs of parts, plans, and sections.




Design Methodology











McKenna Cole

Commercial Fishermen  for  Bristol  Bay.    2011.



06 Design Media + Deliverables Production List  for  the  Spring  thesis  work.



McKenna Cole

DELIVERABLES DIAGRAMS - Timelines revealing the discussion of landscape architecture in relation to mining practices, preservation, and reclamation. - History of the Alaskan fishing industry. - Operations of the Alaskan fishing industry on both a more local and more commercial/industrial scale [will need to include the Pacific Northwest]. - History of the Alaskan mining industry as well as the mining in dustry as a whole. - Show the scale of the proposed Pebble Mine in relation to other well known mines/properties/boundaries/cities. - Staging of the construction of the mine over time. Specific details of the closure plan and phasing strategies are necessary. MAPS - trace the towns of Iliamna, Newhalen, Nondalton, Alsworth, Igiugig, Kokhanok, and others in order to reveal local settlement patterns around the proposed mine. - settlement patterns and history of the state of Alaska - fishery locations, watershed boundaries - adjacencies of land use (state, federal, private, reservations, etc.) PLANS/SECTIONS - large section cutting through the entire Bristol Bay region reveal ing locations of known mineral deposits and villages - detailed plans and sections of the construction and operation of the Pebble Mine. Contact the Pebble Partnership for more information. - plans and sections for various phases of the construction/operation/closure of the mine



MAGERY - local fishing industry - local ecology - historical imagery of mining in the Yukon - subsistence hunting/fishing practices - similarly scaled mining projects - local towns and villages MODELING - first model the surface mine and underground mine along with the tailings dams - use flow modeling software to simulate potential decreases in flows due to mining activities - utilize various mining/geology software in order to more precise ly show deposit locations and the infrastructure needed for the successful operation of the mine SCENARIO BUILDING - mining activity related scenarios will deal with varying build-out potentials of the mine and tailings dams - environmental impacts will be shown by revealing various impacts specifically to the fishing industry - potential population increase will be shown in build-outs of infrastructure and town limits and sizes


McKenna Cole

Nick Hall,  2012.



07 Schedule Monthly schedule  of  thesis  work.



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SCHEDULE Although this  schedule  attempts  to  document  the  production  that  is  sup-­ posed  to  happen  before  the  Final  Review  in  May,  it  is  expected  that  with   the  development  of  the  Spring  semester  will  come  shifts  in  the  schedule   as  well  as  the  list  of  deliverables.    Although  the  Fall  semester  served  as   a  research  period,  research  will  be  continued  through  the  Spring  semes-­ ter  with  the  recognition  that  research  yields  design  and  design  yields  re-­ search.     A  constant  goal  will  be  to  produce  finished  and  final  drawings  throughout   the  year  in  order  to  maximize  production  time. Throughout  the  Spring  semester  outreach  to  the  mining  corporation,  gov-­ ernment   officials,   local   activist   groups,   software   companies,   fellow   re-­ searchers  will  critical  and  should  be  constant  and  continuous.

NOVEMBER Continue precedent studies Gather aerial imagery Timelines of Alaskan mining and fishing histories Plans of 25 and 50 year build-out potentials of the mine DECEMBER Continue working on thesis prep document Continue clarifying narrative or presentation More detailed plans of the mining operations



JANUARY Jan. 24-25 - Pre-semester review Detailed sections of proposed mine Long transect through entire Bristol Bay region Establish a chain of communication through both the Pebble Limited Partnership as well as the EPA Begin learning mining and flow modeling software FEBRUARY Start working on regional mappings connecting current and projected industries in relation to existing towns (include projections of new town boundaries) Continue learning and working with new software Establish 3-4 scenarios to play out through an ~80 year timescale Begin developing imagery for the various scenarios MARCH Storyboard drawings and narrative of the the mid review presentation. APRIL April 15-19 - Mid-Review (exact date TBD) Revise final deliverables according to mid-review feedback. MAY Final production of deliverables. Focus on imagery and perspectives. May 15-17 - Final Review (exact date TBD)


McKenna Cole

Loren Holmes,  Unalaska,  2012.



08 Annotated Bibliography



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ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING / MINING OPERATIONS Robert Lee Aston, The Legal,   Engineering,   Environmental,   and   Social   Perspectives   of   Surface   Mining   Law   and   Reclamation   by   Landfilling:   Getting  Maximum  Yield  from  Surface  Mines (London: Imperial College Press, 1999)   The   goal   of   the   author   is   to   couple   restoration   of   surface   mining   land   with  areas  to  deposit  human  waste.    “The  subject  of  this  work,  although  primarily   a  legal  and  environmental  engineering  treatment  of  the  subject,  has,  in  its  main,   a  perspective  of  great  interest  to  the  public  -­  the  social  and  environmental  con-­ cerns   of   restoring   disturbed   earth   from   surface   mining   to   its   natural,   pre-­mined   condition.”[pg.  5]    Although  this  book  is  not  written  from  a  designers  perspective,   the  emphasis  of  trying  to  restore  a  mining  landscape  back  to  its  “natural”  condi-­ tion  is  of  importance  to  my  framing  of  restoration  and  mining  practices.

Braden Copper Company, Mining Department, Mining Methods   and   Operating  Organization  at  the  Teniente  Mine  of  the  Braden  Copper  Com-­ pany,  Chile (Braden Copper Company, 1929) Walter Briggs, Mining   Copper   at   Kennecott,   Alaska (San Francisco: Mining and Scientific Press, 1919). Jon Burley, Environmental   Design   for   Reclaiming   Surface   Mines (New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2001). A  highly  technical  and  thorough  look  at  surface  mine  reclamation  proce-­ dures  –  mainly  through  the  eyes  of  a  planner.

Darmer, Gerhard and Norman L. Dietrich. 1992. Landscape and  Sur-­ face  Mining  :  Ecological  Guidelines  for  Reclamation  :  English  Language   Translation  of  Landschaft  Und  Tagebau,  Oekologische  Leitbilder  Fuer  Die   Rekultivierung. Editorial Staff of the Engineering and Mining Journal, Handbook  of   Mining  Details (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1912). Claudia Gasparrini, Gold  and  Other  Precious  Metals:  From  Ore  to  Market (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1993). This   text   contains   very   detailed   information   about   the   composition   and   various   forms  of  gold  as  well  as  tables  of  gold  extraction  processes.    Diagrams  showing  steps  from   microanalysis  of  conditions  pre-­mining  carried  through  mine  closure  will  be  used  as  a  refer-­ ence  for  diagrams  that  I  will  be  creating.



Howard Hartman, Introductory Mining  Engineering (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1987. Herbert C Hoover, Principles  of  Mining (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1909). Hoagland, Alison K., 1951-. 2010. Mine  Towns  :  Buildings  for  Workers   in  Michigan’s  Copper  Country. L.J. Thomas, An  Introduction  to  Mining:  Exploration,  Feasibility,  Extrac-­ tion,  Rock  Mechanics (Adelaide: The Griffin Press, 1973) Larsen, Kenneth W. and Harvard University Dept of City Planning and Landscape Architecture,Student   problems.   1956.   Planning   for   Mining   Towns.  Harvard  GSD-­1956. Robert Peele, Mining   Engineers’   Handbook (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1941). Eugene P. Pfleider, editor, Surface  Mining (New York: American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, 1972). Schor, Horst and Donald H. Gray. Landforming:  An  Environmental  Ap-­ proach  to  Hillside  Development,  Mine  Reclamation,  and  Watershed  Res-­ toration (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007) Rather  than  emphasizing  restoration  or  conservation,  Landforming  pres-­ ents  a  series  of  conditions  and  strategies  to  best  manage  the  land.    From  explain-­ ing  surficial  erosion  processes  to  calculating  predicted  soil  loss,  this  text  presents   data  driven  processes  and  diagrams  in  a  manner  that  can  be  easily  adapted  and   utilized  by  designers.

Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, and Western Regional Coordinating Committee on Revegetation and Stabilization of Deteriorated and Altered Lands. 1992. Evaluating Reclamation  Success  :   The  Ecological  Consideration  :  April  23-­26,  1990, Charleston, West Virginia. Vol. 164.


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ALASKA SPECIFIC Michael D. Balen and others, Executive Summary  of  the  Bureau  of  Mines   Investigations   in   the   Valdez   Creek   Mining   District,   Alaska (US Department of the Interior, 1991). Similar  to  the  ecological  impact  reports  put  out  by  the  EPA  for  the  Peb-­ ble  project,  this  report  frames  the  exploration  of  the  Valdez  Creek  Mining  District   historically  at  first,  and  then  breaks  the  area  down  into  several  parts  which  then   undergo  a  more  narrow  environmental  and  mineral  potential  study.

Bruce Campbell and Louella Finch, editors, Second Annual  Conference   on  Alaskan  Placer  Mining:  Focus:  Gold (Fairbanks: Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, School of Mineral Industry, University of Alaska). Paul Dean Proctor and Robert E. Carlile, eds. University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy: Alaska-­Its  Mineral  Potentials  and  Envi-­ ronmental  Challenges (University of Missouri, 1971).

Although now  somewhat  outdated  and  although  topics  go  beyond  min-­ eral  extraction,  this  journal  outlines  major  pressures  on  Alaska  in  terms  of  natural   resource  extraction  in  relation  to  settlement  development  [mainly  around  already   established  urban  centers  such  as  Anchorage].    Many  of  the  challenges  that  the   journal   touches   upon,   such   as   state   regulations   on   oil   and   gas,   feasibility   of   oil   pipelines,  corporate  versus  independent  contracts,  etc.,  are  still  being  discusses   today.

Spude, Catherine Holder and Historical Archaeology Society for. 2011. Eldorado! :  The  Archaeology  of  Gold  Mining  in  the  Far  North.



RECLAMATION [DESIGN] Alan Berger, editor, Designing the   Reclaimed   Landscape (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2008).

Articles of  particular  interest  include  “Disturbance  ecology  and  symbio-­ sis  in  mine-­reclamation  design”  by  Peter  Del  Tredici,  “Community-­based  recla-­ mation  of  abandoned  mine  lands  in  the  Animas  River  watershed,  San  Juan  County,   Colorado”  by  William  Simon,  and  “Digital  simulation  and  reclamation:  strategies   for   altered   landscapes”   by   Alan   Berger   and   Case   Brown.     The   book   is   thorough   in  describing  various  positions  related  to  mine  reclamation  –  from  ecologists,  to   planners,  to  computer  scientists.

Alan Berger, Drosscape: Wasting   Land   in   Urban   America (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006).

“Dross emerges   out   of   two   primary   processes:   first,   as   a   consequence   of  current  rapid  horizontal  urbanization  [or  what  some  refer  to  as  urban  ‘sprawl’],   and  second,  as  the  leftovers  of  previous  economic  and  production  regimes,  which   are  both  catalyzed  by  the  drastic  decrease  in  transportation  costs  [for  goods  and   people]  over  the  past  century...drosscape  investigates  the  entire  urbanized  region   of  as  a  waste  product  formed  by  and  liked  to  economic  and  industrial  processes.”   [pg.  12]    Although  Drosscape  refers  to  areas  that  were  urbanized  and  industrial-­ ized  to  an  extent  that  goes  beyond  the  expectations  for  Alaska,  the  notion  of  con-­ sidering  all  of  the  land  touched  by  urbanization  to  be  “waste”  will  create  a  much   broader  view  of  the  scope  of  my  project.

Alan Berger, Reclaiming the  American  West (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002).

This text  marks  a  turning  point  for  the  acknowledgement  of  post-­mining   landscapes  in  the  American  West.    The  vision  of  the  West  as  a  region  with  count-­ less  open  space  became  tainted  by  the  vision  of  a  landscape  of  waste,  the  post-­ technological  landscape.       “The  surreal  terrains  in  this  book  are  the  unmistakable  sign  of  a  new  vi-­ sion   of   the   world   that   is   emerging,   a   vision   that   can   no   longer   endure   the   limi-­ tations   of   scholarly   discipline,   academic   field,   traditional   values,   or   even   de-­ liberative  debate.    Alan  Berger  shows  us  that  there  is  no  way  to  even  see  these   landscapes  without  mixing  into  one’s  expectations  the  categories  of  mining  law,   visionary  poetry,  ecological  science,  postmodern  montage  art,  landscape  design,   municipal  health  ordinances,  geology,  aerial  photography,  environmental  ethics,   economics,   poststructuralist   critical   theory,   hydrology,   frontier   history,   and   soil   chemistry  –  to  name  only  a  few.”  (pg.12)


McKenna Cole

Garnaas, Allan D., Harvard University Dept of Landscape Architecture,and Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Stu-­ dent work.  1974.  Surface  Coal  Mining  and  Rehabilitation  :  A  Process  :  A   Study  Toward  Establishing  a  Stable,  Balanced  Natural  Environment  in  the   Northern  Great  Plains  Coal  Lands. Ghersi, Adriana and Francesca Mazzino. Landscape  &  Ruins:  Planning   and  Research  for  the  Regeneration  of  Derelict  Places. Firenze: GENESI GRUPPO Editoriale S.r.l., 2007, Print. Internationale Bauausstellung IBA. Redesigning   the   Wounded   Land-­ scape:  The  IBA-­Workshop  in  Lusatia. Berlin: Jovis, 2012. Print.

The work  of  the  IBA  in  Lusatia  is  covered  by  first  providing  a  history  of   the  mining  region  and  then  working  through  the  process  of  the  IBA  and  various   schemes  presented  by  some  of  the  thirty  teams  of  designers.    The  article  “Land-­ scape   Laboratory   Lusatia:   The   example   of   the   open-­cast   mine   Welzow   Sud”   by   Oliver   Hamm   and   Brigitte   Scholz   write   about   several   projects   by   various   teams   as  well  as  the  iterations  that  the  teams  went  through  over  the  period  of  about  ten   years.

Harvard University Dept of,Landscape Architecture, Carl Steinitz, and Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Student work.  1980.  Of   Change  and  a  Valley. Internationale Bauausstellung IBA. “Landscape Made From a Giant’s Hand.” IBA. 24 July 2012. Web.

Whereas  the  book  discusses  more  of  the  ecological  implications  of  the   design  by  bgmr  +  archiscape,  the  online  article  reveals  more  about  their  aesthet-­ ic/artistic  intentions.    Discussion  of  the  landform  manipulation  reveals  both  artis-­ tic  as  well  as  functional  purposes.    This  particular  project  is  discussed  as  being   designed  specifically  with  the  machinery  of  the  mining  operations  in  mind.    While   some  of  the  other  projects  were  planned  after  the  closure  of  a  mine,  this  design   was  meant  to  be  implemented  over  several  decades,  along  side  the  mining  opera-­ tions.

Paulson, Merlyn James, Research Fund Ford Foundation Student, and Harvard University Dept of,Landscape Architecture. 1975. West-­ ern Coal   Stripmines,   Related   Energy   Conversion   Structures,   and   Trans-­ mission  Lines:  A  Study  of  Visual  Quality,  Visual  Change,  and  Alleviating   Visual  Siting  Criteria.



Schierz, Heinrich and Kreissparkasse Bitterfeld. 2001. Heading for   New   Shores   :   The   Goitzsche,   62   Square   Kilometers   in   a   Former   Mining   Landscape  Near  Bitterfeld  :  The  World’s  Largest  Landscape  Art  Project. Waste2Place. “Wellington-Oro Mine I French Gulf, Breckenridge, CO.” 2012.

The  Waste2Place  website  is  a  source  of  various  mining  reclamation  proj-­ ects   in   America.     Projects   are   sorted   by   mining   type.     An   aerial   gallery   on   the   site  has  a  lot  of  imagery  from  Berger’s  Reclaiming  the  American  West.    A  “Four-­ Point  Reclamation  Manifesto”  calls  for  the  conservation  of  energy  and  mass  in  site   transformation,  the  adaptive  use  of  site  conditions,  plant  ecology  and  vegetation   strategy,  and  interactive  landscape  circulation  and  infrastructure.

MISC. Cliggett, Lisa, 1965- and Christopher A. Pool. 2008. Economies and the Transformation of Landscape. Vol. no. 25. Dávid, Lóránt, József Szabó Dr., and Dénes Lóczy. 2010. Anthropo-­ genic  Geomorphology  :  A  Guide  to  Man-­made  Landforms. Topping, Peter, Mark J. Lynott, and Society for American Archaeology Meeting (66th : 2001,: New Orleans. 2005. “The Cultural Landscape of Prehistoric Mines.” Hill, Michael J., Richard J. Aspinall, and Thomas R. Loveland. 2000. Spatial  Information  for  Land  use  Management. Lagacherie, P., A. B. McBratney, M. Voltz, and Global Workshop on Digital,Soil Mapping. 2007. Digital  Soil  Mapping  :  An  Introductory Perspective.  1st  ed.  Vol.  .  31. Loomis, John B. 1993. Integrated  Public  Lands  Management  :  Princi-­ ples   and   Applications   to   National   Forests,   Parks,   Wildlife   Refuges,   and   BLM  Lands. Mitchell, Colin. Terrain  Evaluation:  An  Introductory  Handbook  to  the  His-­ tory,  Principles,  and  Methods  of  Practical  Terrain  Assessment  (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1991).


McKenna Cole

George Becker,  Comstock  Mine.  1882.



09 Appendices A. Mapping Techniques B. Miscellaneous Maps C. Field Review D. Network Diagram Precedents E. Software Development F. Scale + Comparisons



McKenna Cole


Aranda\Lasch|The Brooklyn Pigeon Project

NArchitects|Rising Currents

Antoine Grumbach Associes |Moscow Planning Exspaces




BIG|World Village of Womens Sports

BIG|8 House

ARO + dlan|Rising Currents


OMA|Changchun Jingyue Cultural and Leisure District

Andrew tenBrink|Ghost States

Opsys|Great Lake Watershed


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Traditional Mining Mapping

Harza Engineering Company | Land Reclamation Project

Harza Engineering Company | Land Reclamation Project

George Becker | Comstock Mine, 1882

George Becker | Comstock Mine, 1882


Projective Mapping

Future Cities Lab|The Aurora Project Â

Future Cities Lab|The Aurora Project Â

Chora Architecture|Taiwan Strait Climate Change Incubator



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APPENDIX B : Miscellaneous Maps


















McKenna Cole

APPENDIX C : Field Review Landscape Architecture has a long history of discussing about issues of conservation, reclamation, and remediation. The 1950’s brought about the first discussion of reclamation into the profession of landscape architecture. Talking about mining as well as older industrial sites, authors such as Laurence Dudley Stamp, JC Holliday, and GF Chadwick began to explore how reclamation was a process that needed to integrate the fields of geography and landscape architecture into it. In the late 1960’s and 1970’s design studios at Harvard and at the University of Pennsylvania began to explore how landscape architects could approach reclamation issues, primarily focusing on coal mining lands in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It was during this time that “landscape reclamation” was coined by Brian Hackett. With the growth of the environmental movement in the 1970’s, focus shifted towards “fixing” a “damaged” landscape. It was now the responsibility of landscape architects to remediate the harm caused by industrial development on the environment. In terms of discussions focused on mining practices specifically, throughout the last 50-60 years landscape architects have focused on post-mining activities and reclamation (see Figure on next page). A landscape architecture thesis project in 1956 as well as an article in a journal by Joane Pim started a conversation about planning for mining towns. While this could have generated a much larger discussion about landscape architecture intervening in pre-mineral extraction procedures, the focus shifted towards mining reclamation. Alan Berger and his work here at Harvard and MIT through PREX has been critical in bringing to attention the challenges that face our society in terms of derelict mining and industrial land. While earlier authors had placed a negative connotation on mining and industrial land, Berger brings about the notion of a “drosscape” in order to illustrate the fact that these potential nodes of development and industrialization should not be seen as something “intrinsically bad or good but a natural result of industrial growth.



With these contaminated, derelict, and abandoned sites identified as places that are of environmental and social concern, the question became “how can landscape deal with these sites?” Works by Peter Latz, OMA, P-REX, and Dirt Studio, among others reveal how a landscape architect might be able to not only help remediate, but also to design a project that allows for enjoyable human inhabitation and access. While larger remediation projects that emphasize more public access and more programming, these typically occur in areas much closer to larger cities where pressure to clean up sites high and funding is more available. But for areas that have experience population decline as industrial processes have moved away and for more remote areas in general, gaining federal funding and for contamination clean up can be much more difficult and as a result reclamation projects have to be more simple and basic. Landscape architecture is now seeing a flux of designers beginning to focus on strategies for pre-mining design. RePlan, a Canadian based firm brings together landscape architects, architects, planners, environmental planners, engineers, community development specialists and anthropologists together in order to provide “social assessment, advisory, and management services to natural resource companies…around the world. [They] help natural resource companies to understand and fulfill their corporate social responsibility, both in the boardroom and in the field.”1 While much earlier work in landscape architecture dealing with pre-resource extraction procedures might have been more abstract or conceptual, the need still remains today. By focusing on studying modeling techniques that are innovative as well as accessible to various populations, a more holistic approach to designing for closure is possible.

1. Replan. “Our Team.”


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McKenna Cole

APPENDIX D : Network Diagram Precedents In the process of beginning to understand scenario building and predictive modeling, it was important to look at examples of diagrams and charts within the design field and beyond. The next page highlights two examples of flowcharts used in the mineral extraction process, specifically related to gold recovery. Below is a flowchart related specifically to groundwater modeling. Some simple, others more complex, these models are inherently based on a feedback system, there is a beginning to the processes, but no end. Decisions are made sequentially, but are used to inform earlier steps in the process the next time around.




McKenna Cole

APPENDIX E : Software Development




McKenna Cole

APPENDIX F : Scale + Comparisons



The Model: Simulating the Unknown  

Thesis Prep Document Harvard University Graduate School of Design Department of Landscape Architecture Advisor: Chris Reed