Frequently Asked Questions

What's a photovoice project?

Photovoice is a hands-on photographic research method that asks participants to take photographs that represent their individual perspectives and lived experiences. A unique way to document needs and promote dialogue, photovoice can illuminate barriers, highlight opportunities, and influence policy and resource decision making in respectful and supportive ways. Photovoice can ultimately ignite public interest about important topics that are relevant within a community, using pictures and narratives as a creative way to document stories, struggles, and strengths.

For this project, participants will be provided with a point-and-shoot camera (or use their own photo technology!) and will have until mid-July 2022 to take pictures of scenes that best represent their livesWhat does it look like to do agriculture in the Klamath Basin? What hurdles and opportunities are farmers and ranchers facing? What do you wish people knew about the Klamath Basin? You might take pictures of scenes that (visually) answer these questions. This is an opportunity to share your experiences with the world!

Here are a few examples of community photovoice projects:

So... what's the point?

Photovoice ignites public interest about important topics that are relevant within a community and helps that community express themselves through photography. Pictures and narratives are a creative way to document struggles, happiness, and stories.


The three main goals of photovoice are:

  1. To support community members while they record and reflect on their community strengths and concerns.

  2. To promote critical dialogue and knowledge about important issues through large and small group discussions of photographs.

  3. To reach policy-makers and encourage the adoption of positive policies.

I want to be a part of the project. What do I have to do!

Participation in the projects involves a total of five steps:

  1. Attendance at a project information meeting - [16 April 2022 or 23 April 2022]

  2. Photography - take pictures from mid-April to mid-July 2022

  3. Meet with fellow participants to create the photography exhibit - (date TBA)

  4. Participation in an individual interview (optional) 

  5. Attendance at the photovoice gallery presentation - (date TBA)

Great! How do I sign up?

Online registration is now closed. Please contact Hannah Whitley, at (541) 529-5329 or htw3@psu.edu if you're interested in participating.

Who is coordinating this project?

Me! - Hi! My name is Hannah Whitley and I'm a graduate student pursing a PhD in Rural Sociology from Penn State.  I moved to Klamath Falls in September 2021 to learn more about agriculture and water governance in the Basin for my PhD dissertation. While attending the 2021 Klamath Water Users Association Harvest Tour, I told a few folks about a photovoice project I coordinated in Pittsburgh, PA, as part of my Master's thesis. After enthusiastic feedback from folks in the Upper Basin wanting to share their stories in their own words, I began applying for grants to fund a photovoice project that will showcase the experiences of farmers and ranchers in the region.

In early 2022, I was awarded a Pre-doctoral Fellowship from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which is supporting my dissertation research on how to make water governance in the American West more collaborative, inclusive, and equitable. An additional grant from Penn State's College of Agricultural Science is paying for all expenses associated with this photovoice project. I am coordinating the Ag in the Basin Photovoice Project with four main goals:

  1. To identify the challenges and opportunities that exist for farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin.

  2. To learn about how Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers work with non-profit organizations, Extension services, government programs, and fellow agriculturalists.

  3. To learn about how farmers and ranchers who use water for irrigation perceive the risks of persistent water scarcity and over-allocation.

  4. And to create a traveling (and digital) photography gallery that will highlight the experiences of Klamath Basin farmers, ranchers., their families, and their communities.
     

More information about me can be found here, and I'm just an email away at htw3@psu.edu.

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What's the role of research in the project?

As part of your participation in the Ag in the Basin Photovoice Project, you will be invited to take part in a reflection (focus) group and a follow-up interview with a member of the project's research team.

The purpose of the focus group is to share the photographs taken by participants during the photovoice project and explore how photo themes relate to the experiences of other farmers, ranchers, and farm/ranching family members. During the follow-up interviews, you will be asked questions about your experience with agriculture in the Klamath Basin.

The interview will have multiple themes:

  • Your personal experience with farming/ranching

  • Barriers and support systems that you have encountered in agriculture

  • Experiences with water governance policies and programs

  • Your experience with the Ag in the Basin Photovoice Project

  • Your hopes and hesitations for the future of agriculture in the Klamath Basin.

The information learned from the focus groups and follow-up interviews will be used in Hannah Whitley’s PhD dissertation, which aims to determine how institutions, regulatory agencies, and policies can create more effective and equitable approaches to addressing environmental and natural resource issues in the American West.. Findings from this project will be shared with partnering non-profit organizations, project participants, and extension personnel.

What will happen with the pictures once they've been developed?

After everyone has taken photographs and met for an in-person focus group to discuss their experience and the themes that have risen from their pictures, participants in the Ag in the Basin Photovoice Project will work together to create a traveling photography gallery. Each participant will be asked to contribute at least two photos and accompanying captions that will be displayed at programs such as agricultural education, networking, and policy events throughout the U.S.


Following the project’s conclusion, all participants will be gifted a .zip folder containing all photos taken as part of the project.

I have more questions!

Fill our the "Contact Us" box on this page! I'll get back to you within 24 hours.
Hannah Whitley, the project coordinator, is also available via email at htw3@psu.edu or at (541) 529-5329.

Questions? Contact us here!

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