Tag Archives: sense of place

Heavy Metal Environmental Education: Part 3 of 3


In the last two parts of this series, we looked at metal music as a¬†strategy for cultivating a sense of empathy and connection to a place. When it comes to cultivating a sense of empathy for a place, we looked at Freeman Tilden’s six principles of interpretation.

1. Interpretation that does not somehow relate what is being displayed or described
to something within the personality or experience of the visitor will be sterile.
Interpretation should be personal to the audience.

Great- so now what?

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Posted by on August 20, 2016 in Metal


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Finding a Sense of Place with Malcom X

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Malcom X at the nature center. Malcom X at a National Park. These don’t seem to go together, do they? Well, why not? There isn’t a way to answer without including some aspect of racism. The cultural forces of the past 50, 100, even 200 years have shaped “nature” in the US to be catered to a culturally white space. Where there is land ownership, decision making, and wealth, there is power. In the US today, that power rests predominately in the networks of white folks. To understand how this power works, let’s look to Malcom X’s autobiography. Although Malcom X is a common historical figure to look to in the topic of race, let’s look a little deeper for an insight to the land. After all, he did say that “to understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth, must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient” (p.153).

There are four situations, or “ingredients” in Malcom X’s autobiography that I’ll highlight which pertain to the natural world and his relationship with it. After that though, we’ll be better able to re-frame our sense of place -both in the US and beyond- towards a reflection of a diverse, democratic humanity.

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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Reconciliation


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The Natural and Not-So-Natural History of House Plants

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When learning about plant ecology and plant natural history we often focus our attention outdoors. Well, that’s obvious! But how about our indoor habitats and the plants that help compose them? The lobby, coffee shop, and library plants we stroll past daily all have their own natural histories. These plants bring life to our indoor spaces, and get us through long wretched winters. But what’s more, lets take a look at how the stories behind these plants can inform and enhance our indoor living spaces.They are our living history.

Here’s three common house plants you may see around town this Winter:

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Posted by on January 25, 2014 in News/ Field Notes, Reconciliation


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Glorious Landscape & Rich History in Copper Country


Standing atop the pile of mine refuse tailings at Old Victoria.

MICHIGAN U.P.– Over the past week I had the amazing opportunity to trek across the North Country Trail for 6 days, covering about 50 miles from Trout Creek to the Trap Hills near Berglund.

The immensity of the Ottawa National Forest and the beauty of these forests are still leaving their impression on me days after my return to a bed. My legs miss the hills, my eyes miss the grand views, and my ears miss the haunting, wild calls of the coyotes and wolves. Compared to the Porcupine Mountains and Minnesota’s Superior North Shore, this is unfortunately a less-traveled segment of the North Country Trail. This segment, which is the Peter Wolfe Chapter, holds so much for both adventure seekers and history buffs alike.

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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Reconciliation


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A New Sense of Place: The Inner Struggle

Balsam Firs: The stubborn view-blocker

Balsam Firs along the walking path… view blockers or perfect scenery?

September 25th, 2013

CONSERVE SCHOOL– A few weeks after moving up to the Northwoods, the adjustment process was well underway. It was exciting, beautiful and wild. Despite a bit of nostalgia for the common smells, sights, and sounds back home in the Twin Cities… it was freeing to be living up close to the forest. But, to my surprise there was a discomfort after the initial excitement faded. I noticed a dissonance to the copious pine trees that surrounded me daily… especially the Balsam Fir.

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in News/ Field Notes, Reconciliation


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