Biocitizen teaches environmental philosophy by
—introducing you to basic environmental ideas and issues through a process of reading, writing and discussion.
—bringing you to sites charged with natural and human history. There we apply our learning, interpreting our experiences together in focused discussions, and alone in our field journals.
Biocitizen’s curriculum combines “book learning” with roaming, following the peripatetic tradition of Aristotle. During our expeditions, we closely observe the world as it presents itself to us, with the goal of perceiving biodiversity, and feeling the character of the biome.
There is a world out there that many of us have never experienced. It is our biome, the world we share with black bears and porcupines, and soil bacteria and cooper’s hawks. It supports our civilization, and predates it.
Here is a map of the Northampton region showing names and infrastructures we associate with civilization:
Biocitizen courses begin with, and never entirely escape, the “built-up” world depicted in this map; but they provide you with the intellectual tools and physical experiences you need to recognize our biome, also known as the Nonotuck bioregion.
This map depicts the same territory as the one above, but it is filtered to show the watersheds, each one of which has a character, and a biotic community:
You live on the map with the roads and municipal boundaries. Biocitizen intensives help you see, and inhabit, the biomes depicted on this map.