Friday, May 17, 2013

Orion Magazine and Urban Nature and Urban Ecology

Yesterday I participated in a live web event with Orion Magazine discussing urban ecology and urban nature.

The podcast should be available here orion magazine podcast

Orion Magazine began in 1982, and I first began reading it in my last year of college in 1984. By far, it is the most interesting and important environmental magazine for its focus on the nature/culture divide and its support by the best American nature writers. Go subscribe today!

The panel for the podcast consisted of academic ecologists from Chicago and Montreal...and me. I had never done this kind of "talk in a barrel" where we are all on a conference call to chat. Awkward and we mostly talked about ecology and the discipline of ecology rather than nature, but it is hard to do much in an hour. I was taken by the contrast between my experience in Texas and their northern concerns - Chicago Wilderness and Montreal's buried streams, and their grounding in academia and community with my odd life as a public utility/city government/semi-academic.

So I am chewing on some of the contrasts and some of the realizations that emerged as I reflect on this experience. I will be posting separate reflections on these over the next week.

But today my strongest reaction is how much work there is to do on reassessing our expectations of urban nature [and all nature] around fundamental concepts nature and ecology. And how much work we need to do in environmental history of the Americas.


Anonymous said...

One only need look to marginal/interstitial habitats, particularly in cities, to observe communities of organisms that are by their nature uniquely suited to adapting to climate changes.

Anonymous said...