Seeing the Woods

A blog by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society


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The History of Munich and Its Loam

„Ohne den Lehm daat’s München net geb‘n!“

This post by Julia Schneider, a student of the RCC-LMU Environmental Studies Certificate Program, stems from her research conducted as part of the exhibition project “Ecopolis: Understanding and Imagining Munich’s Environments.”


bricks

Figure 1. Details of clay bricks in Munich, from the Nordfriedhof (left), the Frauenkirche (center), and the Salvatorkirche (right). Photographs by author.

Thinking about houses and buildings made out of clay bricks, it is often cities like those in northern Italy that spring to mind. Bologna, Florence, or Siena; particularly those moments when the sun sets and the city glows red and ochre with all the big churches, towers, and palazzi made out of and covered with red clay bricks and tiles. Clay bricks are Italy. Thus, such an image doesn’t really fit with Munich, our Bavarian capital north of the Alps, quite far away from Bella Italia and its red sun—at least that’s what I thought before writing this article. Continue reading

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Munich’s Beautiful Botanical Garden

By Samantha Rothbart

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The Munich Botanical Garden may be a little sparse at the moment, but even without the vibrant green foliage that dominates the city in the summer, it is an impressive sight. You might expect the leafless branches to create an air of dejection. On the contrary, they serve to highlight the beautiful structure of the trees and plants—what Roy Campbell called the “clear anatomy” in his poem Autumn.

Even so, new signs of life are starting to soften the severe edges. Green shoots peek through the rich, dark soil in the ornamental garden. Soon, the tulips will begin to flower and the plants will need to be potted and then replanted, Dr. Andreas Gröger explains. He is a botanist and the scientific curator of the Botanical Garden. Though he is not overly fond of the stylized beauty of the ornamental garden—he was initially quite hesitant about having to assume responsibility for it—he acknowledges that it’s a magnet for the “normal” folk who find themselves out and about for the day. The manicured lawns and whimsical flowers are a gateway drug for first-time visitors and would-be botanists. They draw us deeper into the secretive greenhouses of the wild species that so fascinate Gröger, and expose us to what he calls “real ecology.” Continue reading


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CfA: Doctoral Program Environment and Society

Call for Candidates: Doctoral Program in Environment and Society at LMU Munich, Germany

The Doctoral Program in Environment and Society invites applications from graduates in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences who wish to research the complex relationships between environment and society within an interdisciplinary setting. Our program is based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, a joint initiative of LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum. The Rachel Carson Center is an
international center for research and education in the environmental humanities and social sciences: its mission is to advance research and discussion concerning the interrelationship between humans and nature.

The Rachel Carson Center and its partner institutions ensure that all doctoral students have access to a lively research community of international and interdisciplinary scholars. All doctoral students have a permanent workspace at the RCC or the Deutsches Museum, a program of regular colloquia, workshops, and talks by visiting academics; excellent supervision by members of the academic board; and a sociable and diverse peer group.  Continue reading


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Snapshot: Our Future in the Anthropocene

anthropocene

Prominent visitors at the Anthropocene Exhibition. Left to right: Wolfgang M. Heckl (Director General of Deutsches Museum), Ministers Gerd Müller and Peter Altmaier, and RCC Director Helmuth Trischler.

On 15 September the Deutsches Museum hosted a Zukunftskongress (Future Congress) together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Club of Rome; the event brought together international visionaries, experts, and activists to discuss ways to tackle problems such as climate change and hunger and move towards a more sustainable society. Continue reading


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CfA: RCC Researcher in Residence

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) is pleased to announce the creation of one or more Researcher in Residence positions starting at the earliest in January 2017. These positions are designed for postdocs or inter-disciplinary scholars who have a project that falls within the RCC’s research field of Environment and Society.

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) is an international, interdisciplinary center for research and education in the environmental humanities and social sciences. The RCC was founded in 2009 as a joint initiative of Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Deutsches Museum, and it is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Researcher in Residence positions will be remunerated for up to nine months; the salary is designed to finance the applicant’s residence at the RCC during this period to work exclusively on the development of the research project and grant application. The position is designed with the procurement of one of the following (or similar) grants in mind:

  • ERC Starting Grants
  • DFG Emmy Noether Independent Junior Research Groups
  • BMBF Junior Research Groups
  • Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation
  • Volkswagen “Freigeist” Fellowships
  • Major Grants of the Leverhulme Trust
  • DFG Eigene Stelle Grants

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Snapshot: RCC Olympic Table Tennis

rcc_olympics

Combining a well deserved break from the computer, green surroundings, and fresh air, some RCC’ers recently held their own table tennis competition! They took advantage of the warm weather and Munich’s outdoor facilities to share in the spirit of the Olympic Games. Thanks to all those who took part and a special congratulations to gold medalist Alan MacEachern!

 


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CfA: Internships at the RCC

The RCC is a joint project of the LMU and the Deutsches Museum. An internship here provides students with the opportunity to gain experience in working in an academic institution, as well as gaining valuable skills in the following fields:

• organizing conferences and events
• researching for our digital portal
• working on our publications
• writing conference reports
• editing videos
• coordinating our social media presences
• general office duties

Requirements
The successful candidate will speak and write English fluently; s/he will also have a demonstrated interest (relevant course work/degree/seminar papers) in environmental humanities or sciences.

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