Farewell, 2020

Our classic interdisciplinary course Ecology Through the Writers Lens ran under a different format this year, with local day trips instead of week-long overnight visit to the Flint Hills. Of course, everyone masked up. Photo by Amy Milakovic. As this extraordinary year winds down, I find myself reflecting not so much on what 2020 took … Continue reading Farewell, 2020

Words of Courage, Comfort, and Contemplation

Prairie wildflowers brighten the summer months at Jerry Smith Park, Kansas City, MO There are small things I can point to as bright spots inside the pandemic. Among these, I've discovered the pleasure of podcasts. I know: I'm years behind on this one. I'd never listened to podcasts before March 2020, but being away from … Continue reading Words of Courage, Comfort, and Contemplation

Biodiversity Includes Knowledge Diversity

According to many textbooks, an ecosystem is defined as a community of living organisms interacting with each other and the nonliving components of their environment. Whenever I introduce this concept to students, I ask them to consider what is meant by "living" and "nonliving." Common examples of "nonliving" parts of an ecosystem include air (oxygen, carbon … Continue reading Biodiversity Includes Knowledge Diversity

Radio Silence

I've been away from my blog and most things internet during July, enjoying a family vacation in Germany. By 'family,' I mean family in the broadest sense of the word. This was a very special trip, celebrating the 80th birthday of my father. We were able to bring together so many people over our three-week … Continue reading Radio Silence

What We Believe

In Costa Rica, celebration of Easter is embedded in the larger event of Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Semana Santa are national holidays. Many families take the entire week off to travel to the beach or the mountains. Others enjoy their vacation in the city, with friends and family at home. For the faithful, … Continue reading What We Believe