February 16, 2012
The beauty and fragility of reefs
There’s a wonderful blog post right now on NPR by Robert Krulwich, one-half of the amazing team that produces Radiolab (a show that makes science not just accessible but downright captivating). It talks about sculptors and weavers who’re drawing attention to the beauty and fragility of coral reefs.
This is one of many sculptures by Jason de Caires Taylor, who designs underwater “parks” to relieve tourism from the world’s endangered coral reefs. His sculptures are made out of pH-neutral cement that’s designed to host undersea life.
A new "White Reef" coral reef crochet by Dr. Axt.
Here’s a crocheted coral reef by an artist pseudonymed “Dr. Axt,” a member of The Institute for Figuring, which strives to create and appreciate the beauty in and of natural and mathematical forms.
Lots more photos and intriguing descriptions on the original blog post over at NPR.
February 8, 2012
Conservation International’s stunningly beautiful online magazine Team Earth has launched a new issue (#4 of a series), and it’s full of both amazing photos and stories of good news for the planet.
A family from a floating village, Prek Toal, on Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia.
You can read about the projects they help fund and focus on: slowing deforestation, preserving healthy, adaptive ecosystems, and bringing oft-ignored indigenous groups to the forefront of political and economic decisions that affect them and their traditional lands. This issue focuses on a life-giving lake in Cambodia (replete with floating houses!) and how CI is helping the people of Papua New Guinea preserve their forests, as well as a look forward to the next Copenhagen climate summit.
It always warms our heart to see the good work that so many conservation-oriented organizations are doing in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government ministries all over the world. CI is a terrific advocate for all of us who want to respect the Earth’s breathtaking diversity and the sustainability of its resources.
We laugh that these kinds of online treats are what naughty sites are for others. If it’s wrong, we don’t want to be right. ; )
February 8, 2012
Sticking up for natural history
The Natural History Network is “a group of educators, researchers, and writers who are passionate about the importance of natural history and natural history education in the development of healthy people, vibrant human communities, and integrated learning institutions.” Its mission: “to promote the value of natural history by discussing and disseminating ideas and techniques on its successful practice to educators, scientists, artists, writers, the media, and the public at large.”
They recorded a bunch of members speaking to why studying natural history is so important. University of Washington professor Julia Parrish talks about how environmental science is considered a “soft science”, for example, but how she believes natural history is just as if not more important than calculus, and why. And Government advisor Gary Machlis talking about how science is civics. And Gary Paul Nabhan (pictured above) talks about how understanding and engaging with natural history is an act of creativity.
And there are lots more. It’s called “Conversations” and it’s a great listen. Especially invigorating for teachers and artists who want to engage with science. Like me.
Fascinating, passionate, and a real shot in the arm.
January 5, 2012
Photographer Mitch Epstein won the third annual Prix Pictet, the recently established Geneva-based photo prize for excellence in environmental photography. The Prix theme in 2011 was “Growth.” (This year, it’s going to be “Power.”)
"Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond City, West Virginia, 2004," Mitch Epstein
Epstein’s epic images of energy consumption in the United States are truly breathtaking, in all senses of the word.
December 14, 2011
L.A. Urban Rangers
When many people (including Angelenos) think of L.A., they think of smog and unending stretches of traffic. But one playful group of artist-environmentalists wants to open its neighbors’ eyes to the natural wonders of the City of Angels.
How do they do it?
The Los Angeles Urban Rangers develop guided hikes, campfire talks, field kits, and other interpretive tools to spark creative explorations of everyday habitats, in our home megalopolis and beyond.
Join their mailing list, check out their toolbox, or take a peek at their field site projects and find out about how easy it is to engage with some pretty amazing nature in Los Angeles.