Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Tohar Zamir (2024)

(Not-So) Hidden Drilling: Resource Extraction and Minority Communities in Los Angeles

Zamir’s primary objective is to identify communities that are highly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of urban petroleum extraction in Los Angeles and, through a book and series of maps, illustrate the spatialized discriminatory practices and long-term negative consequences of drilling. Likewise, his work incorporates historical and contemporary appraisals of drilling with a racialized landscape on the Angeleno frontier. The ultimate goal of his project is to publish an Anti-Drill Guidebook, partially acting as a history of the phenomenon in Los Angeles, and otherwise advising community groups on how to mount sufficient legal challenges to oil extraction.


Tohar Zamir grew up in Los Angeles, only a few blocks away from what he would later discover is a cluster of active oil drills. Increasingly influenced by scholarship he encountered at Berkeley Geography, Zamir undertook a Haas Scholars project examining the relationship between LA's minority communities and petroleum extraction. Beyond academia, he is a holistic lover of music, playing in the local band Fire Trail, DJing at KALX 90.7 FM, and collecting records. He equally loves comedy, taking great pride in having written for the campus satire publication, The Free Peach, during his sophomore, junior, and senior years.

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