In this ENGL 1304 writing project, students listened to voices from university archives, observed local sites, and analyzed discourses about environmental problems with Houston’s bayous in order to explore the social factors and consequences of devastating environmental disasters in Houston and their effects on people’s lived experiences. This research-based public writing is based on students' observation-based fieldwork and annotated bibliographies related to natural disasters and subtopics within students’ majors or projected professions. By collecting histories about bayous and floods in Houston using archival materials in the University of Houston Special Collections, student writers respond to the dominant, typical narratives about environmental community problems in Houston and in other local areas to which they belong. The "Writing the Bayou City" course blog can be found [at this link].

Recent Submissions

  • The Past and Future of Greens Bayou: How Can We Reduce Flooding? 

    Santhosh, Samyuktha (2019-04)
    Greens Bayou covers portions of the cities of Houston and Humble, Texas; it encompasses 12 square miles and is cramped by the Hardy Toll Road to the east, Rankin Road to the north, Veteran’s Memorial to the west road to ...
  • Changing Climate and Houstonian Attitudes on Flooding 

    Nguyen, Danny (2019-04)
    Within the Houston community there have been many hurricanes and tropical storms that have hurt citizens in the past. The changing climate and Hurricane Harvey have cost Houston a great amount of property damage; some ...
  • Act Now to Preserve the Future, Houston Ship Channel 

    Maze, Jacob (2019-04)
    There is a growing concern of the amount of pollutants and carcinogens released into the air and waterways around Baytown, Texas. Baytown contains the second largest oil refinery in the United States, owned by ExxonMobil. ...
  • Addicks and Barker Reservoir System and Its Problems 

    Los, Nikita (2019-04)
    Addicks and Barker Reservoirs - part of the drainage system developed in the 1940's, after a severe storm, to prevent any future damage from floods inflicted by heavy rains of tropical storms. About 70 years has passed ...
  • Flood Control in Cypress Creek 

    Kemp, McKenna (2019-04)
    Communities were awakened to the problem of severe flooding in 2017 and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Although the communities have had it on their minds, that doesn’t mean authorities do too. Since Hurricane ...
  • How Can We Mitigate Flooding in Houston? 

    Huang, Weihao (2019-04)
    Flooding is a very serious environmental problem. When I was in China, my city Guangzhou was always flooding from the heavy rain. During the flooding, residents could not go to work and this had a dramatic influence on the ...
  • Save Houston Wildlife; Conserve the Bayous 

    Gracia, Catalina (2019-04)
    The impact that natural disasters have brought upon human beings’ lives has been extensively discussed the last couple of decades, but the influence it has had on Houston wildlife has not been discussed with the same focus. ...
  • The Problem with Flooding and Physical Infrastructure 

    Burke, Jack (2019-04)
    I have spent the majority of my life residing in suburban San Antonio, Texas. When I was accepted into the University of Houston, my family was ecstatic for me to begin the rest of my life in such a beautiful and sprawling ...
  • Taking Action: The Future of South Padre Island 

    Silverio, Peter (2019-04)
    South Padre Island is like a second home to me and plays a very big role in my life, because I spent many weekends there with my family to relax and enjoy the environment. Over the years I would visit, and gradually I ...