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 source: NIDTA Classic environmental thought How does one do critique in environmental theory? Our ENVS 350 class has been asking this question every week as they do an “isms critique” of one relevant chapter from Companion to Environmental Studies (Castree, Hulme, and Proctor 2018). And we have introduced the two notions of inclusivity and […]
This post builds on Approaching Environmental Theory and Environmental Theory Around Us, as well as a resource page on doing interdisciplinarity, and is part of a series of weekly reading posts intended for my students in ENVS 350 (Environmental Theory), fall semester 2019, Lewis & Clark College. I focus here on preparing students for particular […]
This post builds on Approaching Environmental Theory, and is part of a series of weekly reading posts intended for my students in ENVS 350 (Environmental Theory), fall semester 2019, Lewis & Clark College. I focus here only on readings we will do for this coming week; many important citations are not woven into the below. Featured […]
—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 […]
Professor, Lewis & Clark College. I do environmental theory. I'm Joy and Elise's proud daddy. I write songs. I do Kojosho. More on my website!