Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take “us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.
"As a leading researcher in the field of biology, Robin Wall Kimmerer understands the delicate state of our world. But as an active member of the Potawatomi nation, she senses and relates to the world through a way of knowing far older than any science. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she intertwines these two modes of awareness--the analytic and the emotional, the scientific and the cultural--to ultimately reveal a path toward healing the rift that grows between people and nature. The woven essays that construct this book bring people back into conversation with all that is green and growing; a universe that never stopped speaking to us, even when we forgot how to listen"--
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world. Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.
Author: Melissa K. Nelson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2008-01-16
Indigenous leaders and other visionaries suggest solutions to today’s global crisis • Original Instructions are ancient ways of living from the heart of humanity within the heart of nature • Explores the convergence of indigenous and contemporary science and the re-indigenization of the world’s peoples • Includes authoritative indigenous voices, including John Mohawk and Winona LaDuke For millennia the world’s indigenous peoples have acted as guardians of the web of life for the next seven generations. They’ve successfully managed complex reciprocal relationships between biological and cultural diversity. Awareness of indigenous knowledge is reemerging at the eleventh hour to help avert global ecological and social collapse. Indigenous cultural wisdom shows us how to live in peace--with the earth and one another. Original Instructions evokes the rich indigenous storytelling tradition in this collection of presentations gathered from the annual Bioneers conference. It depicts how the world’s native leaders and scholars are safeguarding the original instructions, reminding us about gratitude, kinship, and a reverence for community and creation. Included are more than 20 contemporary indigenous leaders--such as Chief Oren Lyons, John Mohawk, Winona LaDuke, and John Trudell. These beautiful, wise voices remind us where hope lies.
Author: Andrew Stuhl
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2016-11-03
This rich portrait of Arctic science, informed by ethnographic fieldwork and Inuit perspective, speaks to the interplay of science and international politics. It looks at episodes of exploration, colonial control, exchanges with indigenous populations, and the process of knowledge gathering on the Arctic s natural and living resources. Andrew Stuhl s compelling narrative weaves together distinct episodes into a backstory for what some have wrongly called the unprecedented transformations in the circumpolar basin today. "Unfreezing the Arctic" is among the first books to undertake a sustained examination of scientific activity in the Arctic across the long twentieth century, and it will be warmly welcomed by anyone interested in the commingled political, economic, and social histories of transboundary regions the world over."
Author: Peter Crane
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2013-03-19
DIVPerhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, ginkgo has remained stubbornly unchanged for more than two hundred million years. A living link to the age of dinosaurs, it survived the great ice ages as a relic in China, but it earned its reprieve when people first found it useful about a thousand years ago. Today ginkgo is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity. This engaging book tells the full and fascinating story of a tree that people saved from extinction—a story that offers hope for other botanical biographies that are still being written./divDIV /divDIVInspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, renowned botanist Peter Crane explores the evolutionary history of the species from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration, and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees. Readers of this extraordinarily interesting book will be drawn to the nearest ginkgo, where they can experience firsthand the timeless beauty of the oldest tree on Earth./div
Author: Kat Anderson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2006
Demonstrates how Native American knowledge and uses of California's natural resources can contribute to contemporary conservation efforts, exploring the land management practices that Native Americans recall from their grandparents, such as how and when areas were burned, which plants were eaten and which were used for basketry, and how plants were tended. Original.
Who would imagine that plants can become master teachers of a radical new way of seeing and interacting with the world? Plants are dynamic and resilient, living in intimate connection with their environment. This book presents an organic way of knowing modeled after the way plants live. When we slow down, turn our attention to plants, study them carefully, and consciously internalize the way they live, a transformation begins. Our thinking becomes more fluid and dynamic; we realize how we are embedded in the world; we become sensitive and responsive to the contexts we meet; and we learn to thrive within a changing world. These are the qualities our culture needs in order to develop a more sustainable, life-supporting relation to our environment. While it is easy to talk about new paradigms and to critique our current state of affairs, it is not so easy to move beyond the status quo. That’s why this book is crafted as a practical guide to developing a life-infused way of interacting with the world.
Are plants intelligent? Can they solve problems, communicate, and navigate their surroundings? Or are they passive, incapable of independent action or social behavior? Philosophers and scientists have pondered these questions since ancient Greece, most often concluding that plants are unthinking and inert: they are too silent, too sedentary -- just too different from us. Yet discoveries over the past fifty years have challenged these ideas, shedding new light on the extraordinary capabilities and complex interior lives of plants. In Brilliant Green, Stefano Mancuso, a leading scientist and founder of the field of plant neurobiology, presents a new paradigm in our understanding of the vegetal world. Combining a historical perspective with the latest in plant science, Mancuso argues that, due to cultural prejudices and human arrogance, we continue to underestimate plants. In fact, they process information, sleep, remember, and signal to one another -- showing that, far from passive machines, plants are intelligent and aware. Through a survey of plant capabilities from sight and touch to communication, Mancuso challenges our notion of intelligence, presenting a vision of plant life that is more sophisticated than most imagine. Plants have much to teach us, from network building to innovations in robotics and man-made materials -- but only if we understand more about how they live. Part botany lesson, part manifesto, Brilliant Green is an engaging and passionate examination of the inner workings of the plant kingdom. Financial support for the translation of this book has been provided by SEPS: Segretariato Europeo Per Le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche.
Author: Donald Trent Jacobs
Publisher: Sense Pub
Release Date: 2009-11-30
This book begins a long overdue dialogue between Western neuropsychology and Indigenous wisdom. The latter holds that technology, including that which supports the neurosciences, is an important aspect of humanity, but that without a deeper understanding of the sacred, natural world, its consequences will continue to disrupt the balance of life on Earth. This book argues that without incorporating Indigenous wisdom into theories relating to brain research and scientific assumptions about human nature, humanity may never learn how to avoid this problem. After summarizing current studies about such important topics as generosity, truthfulness, courage, humour, art, spirituality and lateralization, two indigenous scholars and a South Korean neuroscientist discuss the research conclusions. In most cases, the ancient knowledge of Indigenous Peoples reveals significantly contrasting perspectives. By offering students of neuropsychology and the various schools of neurophilosophy radically different views than those seen through the lens of Western science, this book will help assure that understandings about the human brain may lead to a more healthy balance in human affairs. Questions at the end of each chapter give opportunities for the reader to continue the dialogue and find further studies to support or refute the Indigenous assertions.
Author: Charles R. Menzies
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
Release Date: 2006
Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural Resource Management examines how traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is taught and practiced today among Native communities. Of special interest is the complex relationship between indigenous ecological practices and other ways of interacting with the environment, particularly regional and national programs of natural resource management. Focusing primarily on the northwest coast of North America, scholars look at the challenges and opportunities confronting the local practice of indigenous ecological knowledge in a range of communities, including the Tsimshian, the Nisga’a, the Tlingit, the Gitksan, the Kwagult, the Sto:lo, and the northern Dene in the Yukon. The experts consider how traditional knowledge is taught and learned and address the cultural importance of different subsistence practices using natural elements such as seaweed (Gitga’a), pine mushrooms (Tsimshian), and salmon (Tlingit). Several contributors discuss the extent to which national and regional programs of resource management need to include models of TEK in their planning and execution. This volume highlights the different ways of seeing and engaging with the natural world and underscores the need to acknowledge and honor the ways that indigenous peoples have done so for generations.
Sacred Ecology examines bodies of knowledge held by indigenous and other rural peoples around the world, and asks how we can learn from this knowledge and ways of knowing. Berkes explores the importance of local and indigenous knowledge as a complement to scientific ecology, and its cultural and political significance for indigenous groups themselves. With updates of relevant links for further learning and over 180 new references, the fourth edition gives increased voice to indigenous authors, and reflects the remarkable increase in published local observations of climate change.
Author: Richard Karban
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2015-06-22
The news that a flowering weed--mousear cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)--can sense the particular chewing noise of its most common caterpillar predator and adjust its chemical defenses in response led to headlines announcing the discovery of the first "hearing" plant. As plants lack central nervous systems (and, indeed, ears), the mechanisms behind this "hearing" are unquestionably very different from those of our own acoustic sense, but the misleading headlines point to an overlooked truth: plants do in fact perceive environmental cues and respond rapidly to them by changing their chemical, morphological, and behavioral traits. In Plant Sensing and Communication, Richard Karban provides the first comprehensive overview of what is known about how plants perceive their environments, communicate those perceptions, and learn. Facing many of the same challenges as animals, plants have developed many similar capabilities: they sense light, chemicals, mechanical stimulation, temperature, electricity, and sound. Moreover, prior experiences have lasting impacts on sensitivity and response to cues; plants, in essence, have memory. Nor are their senses limited to the processes of an individual plant: plants eavesdrop on the cues and behaviors of neighbors and--for example, through flowers and fruits--exchange information with other types of organisms. Far from inanimate organisms limited by their stationary existence, plants, this book makes unquestionably clear, are in constant and lively discourse.
Author: Daniel Chamovitz
Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 2012-05-22
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it actually feel an insect's tiny, spindly legs? And how do cherry blossoms know when to bloom? Can they actually remember the weather? For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form—from Charles Darwin's early fascination with stems to Seymour Krelborn's distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. But now, in What a Plant Knows, the renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing and scrupulous look at how plants themselves experience the world—from the colors they see to the schedules they keep. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, he takes us into the inner lives of plants and draws parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. Chamovitz shows how plants know up from down, how they know when a neighbor has been infested by a group of hungry beetles, and whether they appreciate the Led Zeppelin you've been playing for them or if they're more partial to the melodic riffs of Bach. Covering touch, sound, smell, sight, and even memory, Chamovitz encourages us all to consider whether plants might even be aware of their surroundings. A rare inside look at what life is really like for the grass we walk on, the flowers we sniff, and the trees we climb, What a Plant Knows offers us a greater understanding of science and our place in nature.