I seldom make recommendations to friends and colleagues, but sometimes it is necessary to share an exceptional book, article, or video. Not long ago I “attended” the live, online presentation by Dr. Tom Fleischner, founding director (now retired) of the Natural History Institute based in Prescott, Arizona. I’ve recently become immersed in the institute’s programs and mission, and highly recommend that you too investigate its resources, including its online programs.
The 50-minute PRESENTATION by Tom Fleischner is in essence a summation of his life’s work to bring the “study” of natural history back to the attention of a larger portion of the public, because this “oldest continuous human endeavor” is, frankly, at its lowest point ever in the realm of human attention. Please watch/listen to this presentation on the importance of natural history (including the concluding Q & A dialogue).
Natural history—a verb, not a noun—is the practice of falling in love with the natural world. It is about paying attention. Natural history integrates science, art, and the humanities (e.g., literature and storytelling). “We need to love this world! Loving the natural world matters,” says Fleischner.
Natural history forms a basis for moral behavior. Quoting Aldo Leopold and his simple definition of a Land Ethic: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. . . . We can be ethical only in relation to something we can see, feel, understand, or otherwise have faith in.”
Through attention to and immersion in nature, we develop kinship and a reciprocal relationship with the more-than-human world. Thus, the practice of natural history might promote healing for both ourselves and the world. Please listen and be moved by this lecture. Pass it on, and most important: let’s work to move others to discover or rediscover natural history.
—Chuck Roe, President, Southern Conservation Partners
Conservation, viewed in its entirety, is the slow and laborious unfolding of a new relationship between people and land.
There is in fact no distinction between the fate of the land and the fate of the people. When one is abused, the other suffers.
From the President
SCP President Chuck Roe looked at land conservation along the route of John Muir's "Southern Trek."
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