It was a thought-provoking experience to look for environmental concerns. Some problems I found were ones I usually notice like trash or invasive plants, but others were more subtle such as considering how the location of a neighborhood affects how often it floods or how much air pollution it receives. I selected an image of wineberry, an invasive shrub, because invasive species are an environmental problem that reveal broader patterns about the way humans interact with the environment. People introduce invasive species to ecosystems in a variety of ways. This is sometimes intentional, as was the case with wineberry in North America, and sometimes unintentional, like rats that stowed away on ships. When I see wineberry I think about how unlikely it is that it will ever be removed because it is well-established and outcompetes native species. Wineberry was introduced because people saw how it could benefit them and did not consider how it would impact local ecosystems. This behavior is prevalent in many environmental problems: decisions are made in which the consequences are not fully considered or ignored until a time when it is too late to take them back. We can see similar costs of our actions in climate change, deforestation, eutrophication, and many other environmental problems.

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