A Blog by Nature

AKBN Hero: John Muir

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

 

The first time Muir saw Yosemite, he wrote in his journal that he was “overwhelmed by the landscape, scrambling down steep cliff faces to get a closer look at the waterfalls, whooping and howling at the vistas, jumping tirelessly from flower to flower.” -- John Muir


Image credit: "John Muir 1912" by Underwood & Underwood available from the Library of Congress's Prints & Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3a10297.


John Muir was a pioneer in saving our wild areas. He led the fight to keep places like Yosemite and Sequoia National Park safe from development and he founded the Sierra Club to encourage others to advocate for forests and parkland. Known as “the Father of the National Parks,” Muir changed how Americans thought about the land and all the many plants and animals that share it with us.


See a 10-minute biography of John Muir, and learn why wild spaces were so important to him.

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Video credit: produced by the National Parks Service, starring Lee Stetson as Muir.

AKBN Hero: Chris Jordan

Posted on January 8, 2015 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (1)

"Realizing the meaning behind his photos of waste “was an experience that was almost like waking up from ‘The Matrix.’ “ -- Chris Jordan


Chris Jordan is a photographer and filmmaker who documents the effects of our mass consumption on wildlife and the planet. Read more about Chris here.

Image Credit: www.chrisjordan.com/contact.php

 

When we show fourth-graders a four-minute film by Chris Jordan called Midway, the effect is profound. The film shows exactly what plastic means to a colony of birds on Midway Island; watch this and you, too, will feel a strong resolve to stop adding plastic to our planet.

 

Chris Jordan was once a corporate attorney who loved photography. After ten years of work as a lawyer, he quit his day job and used his talents to show how our garbage was affecting the planet.

 

His films and photography are beautiful, compelling, and startling. His photo series “Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of Mass Consumption” gave people a new perspective on how much waste we generate.

 

 


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Midway: Message from the Gyre shows where some of the plastic we discard ends up – a fatal attraction to birds. Please watch Chris Jordan’s short film and tell us what you think.

AKBN Hero: Richard Louv

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (0)

 

"We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth…. In my children’s memories, the adventures we’ve had together in nature will always exist.” — Richard Louv

 

 



Richard Louv is a journalist and author who investigate what happens when humans separate themselves from Nature. Think about yourself. When you go for a long walk in the woods or spend a day by the ocean, how do you feel? Mr. Louv has written eight books but is most famous for his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. In this book, Mr. Louv explains why time in nature can help kids (and grownups) be healthier and learn better. Click here to learn more about him. 


Join A Kid By Nature on Facebook and tell us your favorite place to spend a day outdoors.


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Listen to Richard Louv talk about wonder, and why our connection to nature is critical to healthy development.

AKBN Hero: Rachel Carson

Posted on December 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson


Rachel Carson, 1940, Fish & Wildlife Service  employee photo

When Rachel Carson was a little girl, the two things she loved most were animals and writing stories. She often had animal characters in her stories. Ms. Carson grew up to become a marine biologist during a time when not many women went into this field. She became concerned about pesticides when she saw how they affected fish and other marine life. (Pesticides are any chemical meant to kill insects.)


In 1957, Ms. Carson saw how the United States Department of Agriculture fought fire ants by spraying pesticides mixed with fuel oil. She wondered how this affected all the animals in the areas sprayed, and soon realized that the fire ants caused less damage to the environment than the spraying did. Ms. Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring, which explained how the pesticide DDT killed not just insects but the birds and fish who ate those insects as well as bigger animals who ate the poisoned fish and birds. The title Silent Spring refers to how quiet it becomes when pesticides kill all the songbirds. Many people call Ms. Carson “the conscience of a nation” because she worked so hard to make sure the lives of animals weren’t forgotten. Because of Rachel Carson, people understood more about protecting the Earth and all its creatures.


Watch a short video about Rachel Carson’s life. Join A Kid By Nature on Facebook and tell us which animals you are most concerned about right now. Will this affect what work you choose to do when you’re an adult?


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AKBN Hero: Pam Longobardi

Posted on November 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

photo courtesy of Pam Longobardi


Pam Longobardi is an artist and an art professor who collects plastic debris and sometimes has to swim to collect her art materials. She cleans up beaches, sea coves, and even dives into the ocean to pick up floating trash. She has removed thousands of pounds of garbage from the sea and the shoreline, and she makes beautiful art work from the trash she gathers. What do you think of Pam’s art. Would you like to make art from the trash you pick up on Coastal Cleanup Day? What does it mean for marine life that so much trash is in our oceans?