Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film (2014-2015)

What lessons can be learned about the role of energy resources in postconflict regions, and how can they be used to promote peace?

Using over a decade’s worth of postconflict environmental assessment film from the United Nations Environment Programme, team members explored the role of energy resources in conflict-affected countries (e.g., Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, South Sudan). Team members catalogued and described digitized footage, and partnered with United Nations staff to produce visual outreach and training materials for conflict-reduction, energy resource management and environmental management. The focus was on energy’s role in economic development, environmental management and peace-building, with findings translated into visual materials addressing specific energy issues (e.g., oil and gas, charcoal, hydropower, timber). The project included meetings with policy experts and documentary filmmakers as well as a trip to the Environmental Film Festival.


Fall 2014 – Spring 2015

Team Outcomes

UNEP Film Project: Film Viewing and Discussion (event program)

Water Resources: Pressures in Post-Conflict Areas (video) 

Community and UNEP after the Crisis in Ogoniland (video)

2015 Oliver W. Koonz Prize


Erika Zambello

On the Japanese Tsunami (Kay Hasegawa)

An Undergraduate Perspective on Working with Graduate Students (Kay Hasegawa)

Cassie Yuan

Tess Harper

Alayne Potter

Raisa Chowdhury

Maria Prebble

Maria Prebble

Seeing Sierra Leone (Erika Zambello)

Danielle Su

This Team in the News

These Ph.D. Graduates Played Key Roles in Their Bass Connections Projects

Erika Weinthal Helps Develop New Online Course on Environmental Security for UNEP

Podcast: Figuring It Out, Episode 1: Meghan O’Neil, English

Reflections on Mentoring from Bass Connections Graduate Students

Bass Online Apprentice Develops Diverse Skill Set to Teach Online

Meet the Members of the Bass Connections Student Advisory Council

Short Films Examine the Complex Role of Energy Resources in the Aftermath of Conflict

Capturing Energy’s Impact on Film

Meghan O’Neil: My Bass Connections Pathway

Meet the 2015 Koonz Prize Winners

Telling (and Showing) the Role of Energy Resources in Peacebuilding

Time Mapping Ogoniland’s Oil Contamination History

Energy Initiative at 4: New Gains, New Goals, New Era for Energy Research, Education, Engagement

See earlier related team, Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film (2013-2014).

Bass Connections is one of the best experiences I had at Duke. —Maria Prebble

Team Leaders

  • Elizabeth Milewicz, Duke Libraries
  • Erika Weinthal, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy

/graduate Team Members

  • Evelyn Lowrey, MFA/Experimental and Doc Arts
  • Meghan O'Neil, English-PHD
  • Alayne Potter, Master of Environmental Management, Water Resources Management, Geospatial Analysis
  • Maria Prebble, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics/Policy, International Dev Policy
  • Shannon Switzer, Master of Environmental Management, Coastal Environmental Management, International Dev Policy
  • Erika Zambello, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation, Community Based Environmental

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Raisa Chowdhury, Political Science (AB), Cultural Anthropology (AB2)
  • Tess Harper, Environmental Sci/Policy (AB)
  • Kaho Hasegawa, Economics (BS)
  • Amber Oliver, Earth & Ocean Sciences (AB), Visual and Media Studies (AB2)
  • Ian Rofe, Visual and Media Studies (AB)
  • Jiayi (Cassie) Yuan, Biology (BS), Chemistry (BS2)

/zcommunity Team Members

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)