In celebration of his birthday, this week’s featured thinker is in memorium to Aldo Leopold, born in Burlington, Iowa on January 11, 1887.
In a break with our usual format, we wanted to start Thinking Wilderness in 2015 by honoring this key figure and instigator of the wilderness movement by directing you to a seminal text that acknowledges the importance of all organisms in an ecosystem, including predators.
Aldo Leopold coined the phrase “Thinking like a Mountain” with an essay by the same name in his book A Sand County Almanac. The essay poetically depicts the long-term ecological impacts of killing a wolf by presenting the concept of a trophic cascade. Leopold’s direct experience of this idea changed his understanding of Wilderness. Read his work and more about our choice to feature it HERE.
As we start the year, we look forward to diverse contributions to Thinking Wilderness and hope that the project continues to stimulate and add to the on-going conversations around Wilderness. We hope to hear from you!
This week, we are joined by psychotherapist and researcher, Adrian Harris presenting his essay, “Where is Wilderness?”
What do we mean by wilderness? Some claim that the notion is misleading romanticism or simply describes a kind of museum of nature (Talbot). Can we challenge such critiques or must we abandon the idea of wilderness altogether? An alternative is to step sideways and instead of trying to answer the question posed by the current debate – i.e. what is wilderness? – we consider something altogether more puzzling: Where is wilderness?
“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….
Throughout history, artists’ work has been inspired by nature and wilderness and consequently, artists have played an important role in defining our relationship with nature and wilderness. “Thinking Wilderness: The Art Show” was a study of that muse, in the fitting location of Questa, NM.
During the art show, the public was asked to cast votes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. These artists were the winners of these People’s Choice Awards. See awards and Read More….
Remote wild lands have informed the Village of Questa’s history and local wilderness traditions there continue unbroken in many ways. Questa itself is surrounded by some of the most beautiful protected lands in the U.S. “Thinking Wilderness: The Art Show” was a nice fit in the Questa community and shone a spotlight on this continuing legacy.
Hosted and curated by nonprofit LEAP (Land, Experience and Art of Place) and OCHO Art & Event Space, “Thinking Wilderness: The Art Show” featured works by 30 local and regional artists in a variety of two and three dimensional mediums. The show was part of Questa’s participation in the nationwide marking of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and a way for local artists to be involved in this milestone. To learn more about the show, see the artworks and meet some of the artists, Read More….
For three years Annie Mattingley has been deeply involved in gathering and weaving into a book the experiences of 108 people who have had of what she calls “The Three Graces”—precognitive awareness before death or at-the-moment-of-death knowings or after-death communication with deceased beloveds. The subject relates to wilderness because she has found that so many of these experiences have come through nature. Her piece for Thinking Wilderness, “Our Best-Kept Secret” relates a single example of her own contact with a deceased friend. Read more….
The “Narrow Path” is a metaphor representing an ancient and unbroken artistic tradition of seeking enlightenment through experiences and encounters with nature. Beyond the road less traveled is a narrow and unpopulated pathway, known for its rigor and life-changing circumstances. See video & Read more….