Cleo with ice book. NeoReo 2009. Image Courtesy of Claire Coté
This week’s Featured Thinker is Basia Irland, Artist, Writer and Professor Emerita, University of New Mexico. Writer Malin Wilson, has likened Basia to the 19th-century naturalists, an irrepressible researcher who is ‘ transparently impassioned by water, watersheds, and the flora and fauna (including communities of people) that populate them’.
Basia describes her featured project Ice Receding/Books Reseeding as a means to ’emphasize the necessity of communal effort and scientific knowledge to deal with the complex issues of climate disruption and watershed restoration by releasing book-shaped, seed-laden, ephemeral ice sculptures into rivers’. Read more….
This week’s featured wilderness thinker is Jeff Baldwin, Associate Professor of Geography at Sonoma State University. Jeff’s paper reminds us that non-human actors have shaped wilderness for millennia and that we should consider them as important partners in the ecosystem we share. Jeff proposes a thought experiment; to reflect and reconsider our position and move away from an anthropocentric perspective reminding us of the potential of the constant “processes of organization, self-organization, and decay in hybrid human-nature combinations” (Radkau, 1978: 308-325)
The article is in part a response to recent calls in the environmental history literature both to engage more fully with social theory and to re-invigorate an examination of human-environment dialectics. Through a re-visitation of Marx’s work on material historicity in light of recent research on animal behavior, the article provides a theoretical framework through which non-human beings can be understood as historic actors, in and of themselves. That argument provides a theoretical framework to support practical projects which seek to ‘partner’ with non-human actors in efforts to modify and/or restore landscapes and ecosystem services. Read More….
Sea ice in the Chukchi Sea, north of Bering Strait, March 18 2015. (Image:Marine Live-ice Automobile Expedition (MLAE).
Writer and conservationist, Eleanor O’Hanlon, grew up in the rainy temperate climate of the West of Ireland and has has worked in conservation since the 1980’s, working for Greenpeace International, Environmental Investigation Agency and ITV’s Discovery channel. Winner of the 2014 Nautilus Gold Book Award for Nature Writing, with Eyes of the Wild, Eleanor re-visits her 2008 trip to Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago) updated with with images and information from the Marine Live-ice Automobile Expedition (MLAE), March 2015.
We hope you enjoy Eleanor’s timely and sensitive piece, her work, guided by biologists and other observers is illustrated with beautiful images, reconnecting us and renewing our longstanding relationship with the natural world.
“Thinking Wilderness” kicked-off in spring 2014 with the interdisciplinary science and art education program and exhibition, “Seeds: Time Capsules of Wilderness.” The hands-on program explored the wild world of seeds as seen through young eyes and engaged over 270 students, preschool through sixth grade, from Questa Alta Vista Elementary, Rio Costilla Southwest Learning Academy, and Arroyos del Norte Elementary schools. Learn more about this program and see these young Wilderness Thinkers at work! Read More….