Seeing the Woods

A blog by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society


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Snapshot: Katrin Kleemann Takes First Prize in Photo Competition

Katrin Kleemann has been awarded the jury’s first prize in the LMU GraduateCenter’s “Mein Forschungsgegenstand/My Research Object” photography competition for her photo of the Laki fissure in Iceland. Katrin is a doctoral candidate in the Rachel Carson Center’s Doctoral Program Environment and Society and a research associate of the Environment & Society Portal. Her research project studies the impacts of the Icelandic Laki fissure eruption of 1783 on the northern hemisphere.

The GraduateCenterLMU has been organizing this photo competition every year since 2009. The winning photographs will be displayed in the offices of the LMU Graduate Center and used by the LMU Munich to promote doctoral candidates’ diverse research. All the submissions to the competition can be viewed here.

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Worldview: Watch Your Step!

“Moss Conservation in Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland”

By Katrin Kleemann

All photographs were taken by Katrin Kleemann and used here with her express permission.
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View of the southwest half of the Laki fissure from Mount Laki.

Lakagígar is a fissure volcano in Iceland’s remote highlands that erupted in 1783–84 and left behind a landscape full of lava fields, now covered in lush green moss. Tourists can travel to the Laki fissure only with a four-wheel drive because the terrain is very rough and you have to cross several rivers to reach it. Most of the year, routes to the area are impassable due to the harsh climatic conditions, so visitors can only gain access during the summer months (mid-June to mid-September). Continue reading


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“Very Old Stone With Fire Inside”: Kindergarten Explorers Visit the RCC

Post by Katie Ritson (Managing Editor, RCC)

DSC_0406I am used to explaining what exactly the Rachel Carson Center is, and what my work there involves, but I don’t usually have to do it to a room full of five and six-year-olds. However, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that it’s actually much easier to explain the workings of a research institute to a kindergarten class than it is to most adults. Kids are natural researchers and the pursuit of knowledge is an entirely logical one from their point of view. Moreover, they don’t worry much about what things actually cost – the idea of having visiting fellows from all over the world living and working in Munich in order to share their research was one they seemed to grasp with no trouble at all, presumably since they weren’t busy working out who is footing the bill and in whose national or international interest this could possibly be. So for once, there was no need to launch into a spirited defence of the humanities in our pragmatic solution-defined knowledge economy. Continue reading