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.
My day job is as Professor and Director of the Environmental Studies (ENVS) Program at Lewis & Clark College.
There are two related online resources I’d like to share with the wider world.
In ENVS, we help students do innovative environmental scholarship, and apply it to the world to make a “different difference.”
Some of the approaches we take are available on an ENVS resources site.
Also, 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.
Alder Creek Community Forest (ACCF) is an outdoor education nonprofit I founded on my 80 acre forest in southern Oregon.
It’s probably the most practical and challenging thing I do in my life, given the realities and possibilities of rural America.
ACCF primarily does K-12 geography education. We are building a statewide curriculum called Story of Your Place.
I’m also the proud daddy of Joy and Elise; a singer-songwriter [site coming back soon…];
founded an educational nonprofit, Alder Creek Community Forest,
on my land in southern Oregon;
and a few other things.
Below you’ll find recent blog posts, plus occasional Instagram and Twitter posts.
Recent Posts: Words
—Image courtesy Wikipedia Theory as thinking about thinking; theory as a vehicle What is environmental theory? If not done carefully, it can quickly get meta, and for good reason. Let’s define environmental scholarship as thinking about environmental issues; if so, then environmental theory involves thinking about thinking about environmental issues! Don’t give up: thinking about […]
Finally, books! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted: 2018-19 has been a year of attending to medical health, and I’m recovering well but needed to give it full attention in fall/winter/spring. Now that summer is coming up, I’m looking forward to getting back to writing (and doing very well health-wise, thank you.) When […]
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! […]