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Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25.

East Asheville history and sites

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Feb 27.

The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Scott Dockery Feb 16.

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Mark de Castrique posted a blog post
Friday
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Oct 8
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event

Julia Nunnally Duncan at MACA Authors' Booth

October 14, 2017 from 9:30am to 1:30pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be signing her new books A Part of Me and A Place That Was Home at the Mountain Glory Festival in downtown Marion on Saturday, October 14, from 9:30-1:30. She will be located at the MACA Authors' booth on Main Street.See More
Oct 7
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Sample 8 Great Smokies Writers at Malaprop’s, Oct. 15

Writers in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP)read atMalaprop's Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 3 p.m., Sun.,Oct. 15 Elizabeth Lutyens, editor of the GSWP’s Great Smokies Review, leads the Prose Master Class and will host the reading. ·        Ellen Carr, who works in the financial industry, will read excerpts from her novel of uneasy relationships, Unmanned. ·        Sarah Carter, an artist and photographer who will publish an excerpt of her novel, Jolene, Joe-Pye,…See More
Oct 6
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

The Douglas Ellington effect: An Appreciationby Rob NeufeldIMAGE: Douglas Ellington’s original drawing for a City Hall-County Courthouse Art Deco complex.            “Dear Douglas,” Kenneth Ellington wrote his brother, the 38-year old Pittsburgh architect, on May 6, 1925, “I know things are…See More
Oct 6
Mark de Castrique posted a blog post

How To Kill Your Reader

Danger is a crucial element in a mystery novel. A killer is on the loose and no one is safe. But sometimes the killer can be the writer, and the victim, the reader.I'm talking about when the author turns into a preacher and the story becomes a sermon. Now I am not against using a mystery novel for social commentary. Writing doesn't happen in a moral vacuum, and, after all, isn't a mystery a morality play? As fellow North Carolina author Margaret Maron said there is no topic that can't be dealt…See More
Oct 5
Mark de Castrique posted a video

Hidden Scars - A Sam Blackman Mystery

Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson investigate a 70-year-old death that unleashes a killer.
Oct 3
Mark de Castrique posted a discussion

Black Mountain College as Backdrop for Mystery

My new book, HIDDEN SCARS, is released Oct 3rd.  D.G. Martin notes the star of the story is Black Mountain College.  http://chapelboro.com/town-square/columns/one-on-one/one-one-lost-college-still-shinesSee More
Oct 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Upcoming book--Sacred Sites for Secular Times

Sacred Sites for Secular Times: 50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina by Rob Neufeld              Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences.  They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance.             The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive…See More
Sep 25
Susan Weinberg posted events
Sep 22
Susan Weinberg shared their event on Facebook
Sep 22
Susan Weinberg shared their event on Facebook
Sep 22
Kathryn Hall posted a blog post

Aim for Beauty

In honor of my blog Plant Whatever Brings You Joy's 10th Blogiversary I've posted a chapter from my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden. This particular chapter was also excerpted in Fairview's GreenPrints magazine, which was greatly appreciated. Read more here: http://plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com/aim-for-beauty/…See More
Sep 11
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

McCrumb ghost-opened world in The Unquiet Grave

McCrumb sees stories behind haunting ghost by Rob NeufeldPHOTO: Sharyn McCrumb and her dog Arthur, 2017.  Photo by Laura Palmer, courtesy, Sharyn McCrumb In “The Unquiet Grave,” Sharyn McCrumb once again demonstrates her mastery at turning a folktale into something larger, different, and greater.The legend of the…See More
Sep 10
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

James Vestus Miller

­HISTORIC PHOTO James Vester Miller James Vester Miller had been a boy when his mother, a Rutherfordton slave, had responded to Emancipation by taking her three children to Asheville and getting a job as a cook in a boardinghouse—some say Julia Wolfe’s boardinghouse, Old Kentucky Home.  Growing up, Miller hung…See More
Aug 26
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Aug 25

Eco author in Asheville April 6

 

Citizen science can foster earth-saving policies

 

Journalist Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, speaks at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 6 in conversation with Mallory McDuff, Warren Wilson College environmental science professor.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle named Citizen Scientist one of the best books of 2016. 

 

“Citizen science is our best strategy for stemming the sixth mass extinction going on right now, and the disastrous loss of biodiversity in general,” Hannibal says.

Check out: 

https://www.workman.com/products/citizen-scientist 

www.maryellenhannibal.com

 

Becoming a Citizen Scientist

by Mary Ellen Hannibal

 

Citizen science is the grand tradition of the amateur, and in general means regular people contributing to science.  It’s a very old practice, in which you can rub historical elbows with the likes of Aristotle and Thomas Jefferson.  Beyond Western European traditions, indigenous cultures have long observed nature to create “traditional ecological knowledge.”  Charles Darwin is perhaps the poster child for citizen science.  He did not have an advanced degree, and he worked under the aegis of no institution.  Darwin made direct observations of nature from which he developed his ideas about evolution by way of natural selection.  His thought, and those of natural selection’s co-creator Alfred Russel Wallace, was based in biogeography – where we find what plants and animals, in what amounts, and how they got there.  These concepts are the basis for how citizen science can help save nature today.

 

Here’s how I became a citizen scientist.  While researching my 2009 book Evidence of Evolution, I interviewed scores of PhD scientists virtually all of whom said, “I’ll help you understand how life begins, but let me tell you first how it is prematurely terminating.”  Upwards of 23,000 species today are threatened with extinction.  In just the past 40 years, wild species populations have shrunk in alarming numbers:  39% of marine wildlife and 76% of freshwater wildlife are gone.  A billion birds have disappeared from the continent since 1970.[1]

 

My life changed when I fully grokked this.  I wrote my next book, The Spine of the Continent, to help explain how and why it’s happening.  Along the way I asked myself, “What could scale to actually save nature?” I reported on the valiant efforts of many – scientists as well as nonprofit and agency personnel – but the basic news is not good.  We are losing nature at a horrifying rate that is not letting up.  Is anything working here?

 

Researching The Spine I participated in some citizen science projects.  I helped monitor the health of Utah forests, which led to changes in grazing rules.  I participated in carnivore tracking in Arizona, which helped establish highway overpasses to help wildlife avoid becoming roadkill.  I joined teams of people from multiple ages, races, and walks of life.  No one talked politics.  Once people observe and document nature, they are likely to become advocates for their study subject. I saw this happen with my own eyes.  Direct participation in nature helps save it.

 

Today citizen science is turbo-charged by smartphone technology and vast computing power – I don’t think we have yet begun to unpack its potential.  I was inspired to write Citizen Scientist to investigate that and to help spread the word.

 

One of the biggest impediments to saving nature is that we have incomplete information about where it is, in what amounts, at any given time.  This goes back to that biogeography context for understanding evolution.  Evolution of course not only encompasses how life begins, but how it ends.  Extinction is a natural part of evolution, but today it is occurring at a vastly accelerated rate due to human impacts.  Folded into my book are stories about the discovery process behind some of the major concepts around how and why too much extinction happens.

 

The biggest culprit in worldwide species reduction is habitat loss.  When new development is on the docket, we need to be more informed about the habitat being displaced.  Data collected even from urban decks and suburban back yards (with highly vetted programs like eBird and iNaturalist), can help create a better picture of what species are on the landscape.  Plants are ground zero for documenting the impacts of climate change on the biotic world, and projects that monitor when buds open and leaves drop (Budburst and Nature’s Notebook) are essential to helping plan adaptation strategies in a time of uncertainty and change.

 

Citizen science is about much more than data points.  It is about being where you are, knowing what other life forms are present with you.  It entails appreciating how living and nonliving systems create the world we call home, and how all this evolved. The citizen scientist, of course, is an amateur – the root of that word is from the Latin, amo, amare, meaning to love.  One of the very best things about citizen science is that it is flexible and can incorporate dimensions of history, literature, art, and direct personal experience. This is our time, this is our place:  discovering these dimensions of life is a revelation that helps us co-create a vibrant future.  Co-creation is citizen science.

 

[1] The World Wildlife Fund’s 2014 Living Planet Report and The State of North America’s Birds Report.

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