Looking Up at Canyon Mountain, Southern Oregon
“The opposite of a truth is a falsehood. But the opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth.” (Niels Bohr)
When I was young I’d often climb Canyon Mountain above my home, look in all directions,
and witness the human hand written into the forested landscape.
Perhaps these experiences mingling culture and nature—
or perhaps having this contradiction watch over me as a child—
led me to embrace truth as paradox.
My work in environmental theory focuses on key concepts such as nature, place, science, spirituality, and sustainability.
I call them Big Words, as they are often invoked in a broad-brush way to understand and act in the world.
But many times they don’t provide the helpful guidance we need today—thus my search for Better Big Words.
My EcoTypes initiative is one way I help students reflect on the Big Words that move them.
The Words site has some related posts, and a summary of selected publications.
In time I’ll post commentaries on key publications as well.
EcoTypes gets at some fundamental ideas that affect how you approach environmental issues.
The site includes a survey covering different EcoTypes axes.
You can compare your responses with others and learn more about these EcoTypes axes
and overarching main themes on this website.
The site also includes applications to environmental topics and engagement across difference.
I and colleagues have, over the last decade, created a number of resources
in our Environmental Studies (ENVS) Program at Lewis & Clark College.
Our goal is to help undergraduate students do high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary
environmental scholarship, and apply it to the world to make a “different difference.”
This site includes related resources we use with our students.
You may feel free to use them in your courses and curricula.
If so, please email me to help us improve these resources.
From 2012 to 2017, I authored a variety of sites, many on the now-decommissioned ds.lclark.edu,
to support Lewis & Clark digital scholarship. We have archived thirteen of these sites
to preserve some of their content and suggest the possibilities for digital scholarship in the liberal arts.
Below you’ll find recent blog posts, plus occasional Instagram and Twitter posts.
Recent Posts: Words
First: what sorts of thoughts and feelings does the above image conjure in you? Taken from a recent New York Times article, it says far more than just the facts of global warming, no? This reminds us, from the outset, that environmental analysis is about facts and values, description and prescription, is and ought…which makes […]
For those of you who did not know me or our family before spring 2014, you haven’t yet met Joy and Elise’s four-legged brother, Beagle Bailey, who would have turned 18 this summer! Beagle Bailey rode with me every day to work (in a bike trailer called, um, a Tail Wagon), and basically was my […]
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for? – Robert Browning Last year, Lewis & Clark’s Sustainability Council featured a Hot Topics series, which as you’ll see in the featured image covered art, biodiversity, climate, decent work, divestment, energy, environmental justice, living wages, and place-based learning…whew! My theory head […]
This post introduces a recent publication, “Environmental engagement in troubled times: a manifesto” (2018) What to do in these troubled times in the U.S.? I’m a member of the Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences (AESS), a higher education organization, and a glance at its email list following the 2016 election provided an overwhelmingly consistent answer: resist! […]
Now that I’m coming up on, um, about thirty years of publications it’s finally dawning on me that maybe no one knows what I’ve written because they don’t bump into it. So for the last month or so I’ve been mulling over my online presence, both for my sake and as a model for my […]
Just last week I participated in the AESS conference in DC, and now in Ireland I have some time to reflect on it. I’m always interested in Big Words: the general concepts we find most meaningful. Without a doubt, the biggest Big Word in environmental studies today is sustainability: one would find it on posters, […]