Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sense of (dis)Place

November 19, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Jon Christensen threw the bomb and plenty of people registered the blast. “Muir’s a dead end,” he told L.A. Times reporter Louis Sahagun last week. “It’s time to bury his legacy and move on.” More than 170 comments on the piece include “I hope these two guys aren’t actually teaching our children,” referring also to […]

Here we are now

October 24, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

I’m old enough to not quite take it for granted that as I type this on a laptop, eventually to hit “send,” I am thus speeding written words to what could be a nearly limitless distribution. I once used “carbon paper” to make a single copy of work that was smudged with corrected typos. But […]

Into the Wilderness

October 14, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Last night I wrangled a Litquake event in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act made great by the writers who joined me and by a smart, engaged audience. As with the best conversations, there was some friction. I had an inkling of this when I was briefing Ken Brower on the other […]

Carry a Torch

September 24, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

“Many Native people would say this needs to be burned.” Rob Cuthrell, having just the weekend before become a newly minted doctor of archaeology, looked down from the edge of the 225-acre Quiroste Valley Cultural Preserve in Año Nuevo State Park north of Santa Cruz. We stood on the site of the ancient village Mitinne, […]

Wrestling Climate Change to the Ground

August 11, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

This originally appears in the July issue of Bay Nature, which is a fantastic magazine I highly recommend subscribing to! The view east from Pepperwood Preserve to Mount St. Helena highlights the dramatic topography of this protected research site in the Mayacamas Mountains. (Photo by Tom Greco, Pepperwood Preserve)   It’s July 2010, at state-of-the-art Dwight […]

A Statistical Inquiry into Vincent van Gogh

July 21, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

 A vegetation map models the climatic water deficit around Pepperwood Preserve over the last 30 years. (Stuart Weiss, TBC3) This is a blog adding a fillip to a piece I wrote about the TBC3 Initiative and Pepperwood Preserve in the July issue of Bay Nature. Biodiversity scientists tend to love the outdoors. Ironically, most of their work occurs […]

Dig Deeper

June 25, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Over the past couple of months I’ve been immersed in researching and writing a piece on indigenous burning practices, particularly in California.  My mind is blown! I’ve long kept tabs on the Northern California Prescribed Fire council, which is a very interesting consortium of fire ecologists, state and federal agencies, tribal members and all sorts […]

Sleeping with the Enemy

May 31, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

It’s strange to see a subject you know a lot about treated by another journalist.  “Green is Good,” T.D. Max’s story mostly about The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in the May 12 New Yorker, starts out covering TNC’s current strategy to partner with big polluters to get them to mitigate in the interest of their own […]

Facts of Life

May 8, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

“What is citizen science?”  I’m at my desk in San Francisco, on a conference call.  Surrounded by books and papers and a cup of cold coffee, and otherwise writing a book on what some people call “public participation in scientific research.”  Past my computer screen on the deck outside, a hummingbird zips around a passiflora.  […]

Fake Fights about Big Forces

March 10, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Oh dear, I thought this morning upon reading “Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?,” an op-ed piece in the New York Times by Arthur Middleton, a post-doctoral student.  This is going to make lots of people hopping mad, and for no good reason.  It comes on the heels of another challenge to the trophic […]