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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.

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Rap Monster posted a blog post

#RapMonsterRadio Will Interview You On Our Hip Hop Rap Radio Station

Get interviewed by Lil Dee of Rap Monster Radio.  Rap Monster Radio is an online hip hop radio station with more than 60,000 listeners a month in over 180 countries.We will interview and provide you with an mp3 copy of the interview.Get the worldwide exposure you deserve.…See More
May 17
Caroline McIntyre posted events
May 4
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A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

April 21, 2018 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm, join nationally celebrated storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she hosts her "Taking the Stage" workshop participants, for an enchanting evening of storytelling in picturesque Black Mountain, NC. You'll enjoy a variety of stories and storytelling styles featuring tellers Jane O Cunningham from Rome, GA; Gabriele Marewski from Black Mountain, NC; Christine Phillips Westfeldt - Fairview,…See More
Mar 21
Glenda Council Beall posted a blog post

Writers Circle around the Table

We are located in Hayesville, NC. In April we begin our new season with outstanding Poet Mike James. Mike will read at Writers' Night Out in Blairsville, GA on Friday evening April 13. On Saturday, April 14, he will teach a class at my studio.Formally SpeakingThis class will focus on different types of traditional poetic forms such as the sonnet, the villanelle, and the sestina, and will also include other verse forms such as erasures, found poems, prose poems, and last poems.Contact Glenda…See More
Mar 12
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Rachel Carson, Silent Spring Chautauqua History Alive at UNC Asheville, OLLI Reuters Center, Manheimer Room

April 15, 2018 from 3pm to 4:30pm
Step inside the revolutionary book, Silent Spring as its author Rachel Carson reveals the reckless destruction of our living world. Written more than 55 years ago Silent Spring inspired the Environmental Movement and has never been out of print. And now you have a chance to ask the author, Rachel Carson, how this came to be. But these aren’t just performances. They’re a chance to step into Living History – to ask questions and go one on one with a women whose books shaped our country and our…See More
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"She looks like I look in my imagination right before I've had my coffee ... relaxed, bothered (by something, anything) and fully aware that I'm almost, but not quite, the center of the universe ... a feeling that quickly fades after that…"
Mar 4
Lynn Hamilton-Rutherford replied to Kathryn Stripling Byer's discussion Mary Adams's new chapbook COMMANDMENT
"This is so perfect ... the thought of every woman, who KNOWS what the men are thinking!  But now at least we have an idea! This makes me happy in a sad, lovely sort of way!"
Mar 4
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Mom in Her Writing Nook ...

She was working on the "About the Authors" section of "Echoes Across the Blue Ridge" when I captured this one morning. Though you can't see it, her coffee cup was within gentle reach that morning. Roxie is at her feet.
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Lexie likes to sleep in the sunshine even on cold days.
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Latest non-fiction book

In 1945 Indiana prohibited marriage between a white person and anyone with more than one-eighth "Negro blood." Yet Daniel (black) and Anna (white) gave up family, friends, and eventually even country to create a life together. Their 42-year marriage…
Feb 5
Nancy Werking Poling replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Bent Creek, the 4-part story
"Rob, Thanks for putting this into one document. I've been following the narrative in the Citizen-Times. I find it an added resource for my next writing project. In 1910 my husband's grandfather (1866-1947) showed up in Missouri and said…"
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Lee Ann Brown replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Writer Olive Dargan rises from obscurity
"Great Article!  Heart wrenching about her destroyed manuscripts and letters and notes but I will look for more of Olive Dargan!     Lee Ann Brown"
Feb 5

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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