Category: Series

Book Review: Elizabeth Hennessy, On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden

By Rodrigo Salido Moulinié

The reports said they wanted to kill the turtle. They surrounded the research station and refused to let supplies go through to the 33 people—and the colony of reptiles—inside the building. Yet the fishermen went on strike and took the building not because they hated that turtle (they did not even intend to harm it), but because of what it meant: an allegory of the politics of conservationism, development, and the local making of science.

Starhawk, Henry Vaughan, and the Environmental Imagination

By Zane Johnson

Times of widespread crisis often challenge conventional ways of being in and seeing the world. Sometimes these challenges take on a millenarian character, heralding the end of an epoch or the dawning of a new age.

“This madness has to stop!” Indigenous Voices on the Destruction of the Amazon

By Teresa Millesi

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on Indigenous groups in Latin America, especially in Brazil, where the president Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed its severity, with his ministers calling it an “opportunity” for illegal logging in the Amazon. Horrifying videos of hospital corridors lined with corpses and pictures of mass graves in Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, are a shocking indicator of the toll the pandemic has taken on Brazil and its people.

Studying Scientists in their Natural Habitat

By Melissa Haeffner
Growing up in a small suburb in the United States, my dream was to move to the big city, to agilely navigate through shoulder-to-shoulder masses of humanity and revel in the clashes between cultures. I didn’t pay attention to the “environment” or “nature,” and it was not a central part of my sociology studies in college.

Noticing Tiny Things

By Ghislaine (Platell) Small
I have always been drawn to the environment and to understanding how living things work. My parents are both plant molecular biologists, and I had a limited understanding and familiarity of DNA and photosynthesis long before it was taught to me at school.

We Are All Antarcticans

By Fern Hames
As a teenager in the 1970s, I was shocked by the environmental destruction described by Rachel Carson in Silent Spring and entranced by the idea of living in the forest and studying animals, as demonstrated by Jane Goodall in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. These two highly influential women influenced me to study science and, in particular, biology.

Not All Penguins Are Clean

By Lindsay Stringer
Geography always made sense to me. I’d learn about how a river meanders in a lecture, for example, and then I’d go outside, find a river, and see it for myself. There’s far less reliance on imagination in geography compared to other subjects where you learn about the small or the large at scales you can’t see for yourself.

A Geologist on the Rocks

By Jessica Reeves
I am not someone who ever dreamed of going to Antarctica. Many of my friends are, and most have succeeded in those endeavors. So when the opportunity came for me to take part in a 3-week leadership course on the Antarctic Peninsula, I was…cautious.

Plant Blindness

By Margaret Barbour
I’m a plant physiologist, and I study how plants respond to the environment and how plants have shaped the earth’s biogeochemical cycles. I’m interested in both natural ecosystems, like forests, and managed ecosystems like crops. Antarctica is not at all an obvious place for a plant physiologist to want to go.

Soil Down South?

By Dr Samantha Grover
Once upon a time there was a little girl who spent all her days at kindergarten down at the back of the garden playing in the mud. Fast forward 20 years and you will find her up the front of the class, eagerly discovering a new way of looking at the world, called soil science.