Solar Ecology

Solar Ecology Collaborative Research Lab


A research lab open to everyone. Everyone with an interest in solar and with an open mind for learning about system thinking, colonialism, femininsm, social justice... and, of course, how solar fits all these contexts.

Welcome to our group!

The PSU Solar Ecology Collaborative Lab is inspired by the values and principles of the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR) Lab, a feminist, anti-colonial lab specializing in monitoring plastic pollution. Consider checking out their work (link).

Who we Represent, and What we Believe:

We have been co-creating our core beliefs around belonging, hearing, and doing right action. We represent an emerging solar culture, a community of solar ecology doers from diverse family stories and support systems, working in solidarity through hard times to bring our vision to light from out of the basement: of a sustainable place to learn and teach the beauty of solar ecology among our families, our landscapes, countries, and our marginal communities

  • We believe that making a difference is all about taking responsibility for our practices. As such we do the work to attend to what we make and how we do the making! 
  • We believe that all of our practices matter.

  • We believe that feminism is for everyone, meaning working through intergenerational and intragenerational power differentials, with everyone.

  • We believe that decolonizing STEM research and communication is for everyone, meaning working through the ontologies, epistemologies, and ethics embedded in our extractive, transactional, impersonal system of (re)prodution of knowledge.


“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire


Sharing What we Value as Investments:

We value the stories of place and the stories of people living in their places. Stories are personal, private, and sacred connections among the Collab. Stories tell us of intersectionality, build empathy, and link our lives together for the purpose that is the Solar Collaborative.

We value the work of our “justice-to-come” described by Karen Barad (Meeting the Universe Halfway, 2007) that emerges from working together as a listening community, developing our knowledge on unceded lands of Native peoples in the central PA region.

We value feminism for everyone, as a tool to work through deep, corroded relationships among power differentials. We invest our works among the Collab to lift each other up and shift power back to those marginalized by over 400 years of colonialism, slavery, racism, and misogyny. We show that investment through our works in feminist anti-colonial practices of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics).

These are our evolving values that have emerged from our work together:

  • Equity (human and inhuman)

  • Humility joint with Solidarity

  • Transparency of Data and Collective Actions

  • Privacy and Security

  • Supportive Openness of Your Voice and being Heard

  • Shared spaces where we belong

  • Advocacy, Allyship, Accompliship

  • Satyagraha: the means (process) and ends (products) are inseparable. Thus, the process used to obtain a result is entangled with the people, place, and attached to that product. So we will not use unjust works to achieve the “justice-to-come.” The “means used” determines the ends gained. (adapted from M. K. Gandhi)

  • We  Facilitate change by Listening, Hearing, Writing/Retelling, and Reporting our evolving measures and values as intra-active processes of restorative justice. 


We measure what we value, and we value what we measure. 


Our Principles of Action:

  • Pick up people in the here and now: You can always learn from the group as we go. Build from your strengths! Embrace your uniqueness and (dis)abilities.

  • Lift up Others to be resilient: work in solidarity with those excluded and marginalized.

  • Orient your work toward people and process: You are not in the Collaborative to design tech that we will “drop” on people. 

  • Make the turn: from efficiency toward effectiveness 

  • Make the turn: from stock-based to flow-based systems thinking

  • Make the turn: from Cartesian binaries to Baradian diffraction experiments.

  • Make something: make it touchable, measurable, make it real, make it matter

  • Operationalize the improbable. Do it again. Do it again, and again, and again…


We intra-actively (re)configure boundaries of our worlding as a disruptive cutting together/apart, and attend to the differences that matter, as well as the exclusions from mattering.