Last year several students and I blogged about the first place-based workshop with the Environmental Studies Certificate Program. This year we built upon our 2014 experiences at Osterseen. I was fortunate to collaborate once again with Professor Anke Friedrich (LMU Geology) and Tobias Schiefer, a landscape conservation practitioner. Carson Fellow HaI Crimmel and Professor Markus Vogt (LMU Katholische Theologie) joined the group along with program student Dorothea Hutterer, who led a walking session on reading landscape history and interpreting historic maps from the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv.
Over two days we explored the former Benediktbeuern Klosterland—a mosaic of fields, wet meadows, moors, forests, and alpine foothills. It has served as an area of continual agricultural settlement since the eighth century; since 1988, it has also been home to the Zentrum für Umwelt und Kultur, which is devoted to supporting renewed cultural value for the environment. Our arrival coincided with the G7 summit in nearby Elmau: the courtyard of the renovated seventeenth-century Maierhof where we stayed served as a temporary parking spot for police staffing a roadblock on the A95.
Several photographs were taken by Julie Weissmann—Masters student and second-year member of the Environmental Studies Certificate Program—and Stefanie Schlosser, a first-year member studying biology and education. Julie Weissmann made the following observations about this year’s workshop:
I experienced the workshop as enriching as a framework that makes the processes through which different disciplines approach/see/read the environment explicit, and that encourages us to reflect on how to make our own practices of interpreting landscapes tangible.
I enjoyed seeing people from different disciplines enacting their approach to “the field”: how they touch stones or plants, look at landscapes and develop a sketch, or hold and correlate different maps.
I noticed how the different perspectives/approaches relate to and enrich each other, gradually giving an interpretation more depth.
We always had enough space to experience new perspectives by ourselves: finding out the story behind a fallen tree; being exposed to interpreting an old map and its legend; realizing it is actually possible to unfold (parts of) the map’s story.