Seeing the Woods

A blog by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society


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Snapshot: Celebrating Urban Green

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On European Day of Parks, the RCC is celebrating working right next door to one of Munich’s generous, wooded city parks—the Leopoldpark. Staff and students of the University can make the most of the view from the LMU’s canteen and cafeteria, which look directly out onto the park. It is home to many birds, mammals, insects, plants, and fungi, and it takes only a minute or two of patient observation to discover this. Complete with university kindergarten and a tischtennis table, the park also offers a green respite in the middle of the city to those living, studying, or working nearby, or just passing through.


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Making Tracks: Anitra Nelson

“Goolengook and Guernica”

By Anitra Nelson

In the Guernica of today’s universal threat from future climate change, environmental campaigners fight for light-bulb suns, such as the ecologically precious “Goolengook.” In the southeastern state of Victoria, Goolengook was the site of the longest-running forest blockade in Australia’s history. From January 1997, activists kept vigil for more than five years until a final, successful, raid in March 2002 by the government agency responsible.

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Mural of Picasso’s “Guernica” made in tiles and full size. Photo: Papamanila (CC BY-SA 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons. {FoP-Spain}

During this period, Goolengook became an icon and battleground to protect the old-growth forests of East Gippsland, forests said to have given birth to the eucalypts of southeastern Australia. Covering more than one million hectares, the forests of East Gippsland harbor hundreds of rare and threatened species of plants and animals. Such forests are villi in the lungs of the planet, significant carbon sinks. If, and as, they are cleared—for timber, settlements, agriculture, and even monospecies plantations—the entire planet suffers. Continue reading


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Photo of the Week: Annka Liepold

Seventeen-year periodical cicadas hatch in Kansas. Photograph: Annka Liepold.

Seventeen-year periodical cicadas hatch in Kansas. Photograph: Annka Liepold.

RCC Communications Associate and PhD candidate Annka Liepold recently witnessed the hatching of seventeen-year periodical cicadas on her six-month PhD research exchange at the University of Kansas: “The cycle of their reproduction doesn’t match up with that of their predators . . . Pretty cool . . . I don’t know how they know it’s time, but it definitely seems to work. And they are all over the place right now. I watched some hatch—they hatch white and then brown within a day.”