Category

imagination
This month’s Ripple cross-posted from Hilltown Families: Life Will Return to Our Rivers! The challenge we (who value these nonhuman lives) face is to turn the immense powers we have to obstruct life into powers that liberate it. Sweet as maple syrup, the thaw is coming. Sea lamprey, shad, herring, alewives, eels, sturgeon and the...
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Director’s note: A recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (which contains work thousands of years old from myriad cultures) confirms the idea that our perception of beauty in nature is innate and universally shared. For many of us, our first attraction to nature arose from a good feeling of perceiving beauty in flowers,...
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Aesthetic value is a keystone of environmental philosophy. We love, and take care of, things we find beautiful. Biocitizen and HCC professor John Calhoun have made a commitment to work together for a year, walking together, learning, and creating art that is beautiful, that expresses important moments in, and facets of, Holyoke’s biocultural history. You...
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In part 1, we learned that there is no scientific basis for “race” and “racism” and, therefore,  both are “cultural constructs”—myths invented and used for centuries by European marauders to justify and excuse their cruel economic behaviors of colonization and slavery, and their extensive crimes against humanity. Now, let’s examine how these constructs continue to...
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If you know what bugs live in a river, you can gauge its health. So, every year just as Summer slips into Fall, the Biocitizen Corps ventures out and catches some, following EPA protocols, in a national citizen science initiative called “Rapid Bioassessments of Benthic Invertebrates.” Certain bugs need lots of oxygen. The cleanest coldest...
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Alan Lightman, of the physics & creative writing departments at MIT, has published an essay in the NYTs that expresses his fear of “nature” and of dying. It is wonderfully naive, and a perfect example of the collapsing epistemology of industrial capitalism (that MIT has for its entire existence promulgated with brownfield, cancercluster and bankrupt-economy...
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“Epistemology” is a word that describes a system of knowledge and values. Every culture has an epistemology, as we find when we travel internationally and/or compare, say, Holland and Saudi Arabia. Epistemologies appear and disappear, along with their cultures. We can’t explain to ourselves what the Mayan epistemology was. We’ve seen a new one whelped...
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Allow me to give you an Earth Day gift I’ve been trying to wrap up ever since I studied under an eminent Thoreau scholar who, in his first lecture, handed it to me—by saying: “For Thoreau, nature was a symbol.” “A symbol of what?” I blurted, admittedly interrupting but…come on: a symbol? “Of God, of...
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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting some folks who are interested in learning about the little bit of the Dead Branch Brook in Westhampton that is home to endangered species. Thinking it might be of interest to many readers, I’ve decided to spread the joy—for isn’t it a special occasion, this sharing of scientific...
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Biocitizen Blogs

RSS Westhampton, MA

  • The River and the Machine: A Biocultural History of Holyoke Dam February 11, 2021
    WHAT IS BIOCITIZEN? The word “biocitizen” is a contraction of “biotic citizen,” a term and idea conceived by Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) who is widely celebrated for conceiving the “land ethic.” A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. A […]
  • Biocitizen MA Welcomes Charlie Schine, FEP teacher! December 31, 2020
    Charlie is a recent graduate from Wesleyan University who is just beginning to get his footing in the big wide world and figure out where he’s going. Although he majored in music, his studies always seemed to circle around environmentalism and the more-than-human world, a cross pollination which began the summer after his freshman year […]

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  • ¿POR QUÉ AMO EL CAJON DEL MAIPO? March 22, 2022
    Lugar son historias en las que vivimos. Y algunos lugares nos gustan más que otros. ¿Por qué? Ricardo Rozzi  nos cuenta una historia sobre un lugar que ama. —secundo de […]
  • Me encanta Palmar Ocoa del Parque nacional La Campana March 12, 2022
    Lugar son historias en las que vivimos. Y algunos lugares nos gustan más que otros. ¿Por qué? Yubitza Bermúdez nos cuenta una historia sobre un lugar que ama. —primero de […]