When you work in an environmental field, you get used to the daily barrage or alarming news: dying whitebark pine…thinning Arctic ice…dwindling coastal wetlands, etc. Despite the great work we do at Biohabitats to restore the Earth and inspire ecological stewardship, it can sometimes feel like the “doom and gloom” news ticker is constantly crawling along the office wall.
That’s why it was incredibly refreshing to put together an issue of Leaf Litter which focused on the education of tomorrow’s practitioners in ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design. Nearly everything I heard from the students and professors with whom I spoke while working on the issue gave me hope.
Al Unwin, who teaches restoration ecology at Canada’s Niagara College, said that today’s students are more eager and willing than ever to take action on behalf of our environment. Students in Nathan Gauthier’s sustainability courses at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in Rwanda are not just engineering, design, and environmental science majors; they’re education, business, and political science majors who recognize sustainability as linked to their future professions. Every year since 2005, a new group of leaders emerges from a unique, international masters program in Sweden, and they are already changing the world. Our own summer intern Nick Cloyd said to me, “The movement is happening, and I do have hope. That’s why I’m in this field.”
Take that, ticker.
If you, too, could use a healthy dose of hope, check out this issue of Leaf Litter and let me know what you think.
Further ReadingPandemic Pause
E+D Podcast with Keith Bowers: The state of ecology and design in landscape architecture
Living Infrastructure: Green is great, but alive is even better
Water, Equity, and Ecology in Urban Planning
Composting Toilets: When Nature Calls
More From This AuthorThoughts On Earth Day
Thoughts on Hibernation/Seasonal Slumber
Thoughts on Eco-Voluntourism
Repercussions of a repealed stormwater fee in Baltimore County
Can agriculture reclaim its significance to urban life?