In 2012, the international amateur “ham” radio service will celebrate its one hundredth anniversary. Known for commitments to community service, emergency preparedness, education, and technical innovation, increasingly amateur radio is also being identified as an important, accessible resource for sustainable community development. With growing numbers of skillful, license-holding operators around the world, international citizenry regularly utilize multi-mode communication systems to span and connect local-through-global locations and cultures, exchanging information and advancing collaborations on sustainability initiatives. By utilizing a diversity of affordable, repairable technology designs and low-impact renewable energies, amateur radio operators demonstrate capacities for design, construction, maintenance and collaborative use of reliable communication systems which generally aid and support other important community resilience efforts. In the face of serious social, economic and ecological stressors worldwide, the global amateur radio community is a vital resource for emergent and on-going sustainability efforts. This paper will discuss the history, features and attributes of the amateur radio service and propose ways in which its current and future capabilities can be utilized to advance global sustainability.
|Keywords:||Amateur Radio, Communications, Appropriate Technologies, Renewable Energy Systems, Community Resilience, Innovation, Interdisciplinary, Scherch, Transition Towns|
Core Faculty, Graduate Program in Environment and Community, Center for Creative Change, Antioch University Seattle, Seattle, Washington, USA