Volume 15: Where is Nature?

Published in 2008

With the great variety of landscapes in the human experience, nature’s presence is diverse and elusive. Does nature exist only outdoors, or is it also located within the molecules and processes of our bodies? Is there nature in technology? In the current age of websites, global markets and space travel, society’s conception of where to find nature may be expanding. Seeking priorities and strategies in environmental work, we grapple with the question: where is nature?

Volume 15 of Whole Terrain invites contributors to explore the question of where nature resides. Is nature limited to wilderness areas and indigenous ecosystems, or is it also located in city arboretums, street trees and community gardens? Do we connect with nature in the fresh produce we eat? In processed foods? Can it live in our memories of a place? Where do we discover nature when we travel to new countries or regions? How does it manifest inside schools, offices, restaurants, and museums?

As environmental practitioners, we often find ourselves in a virtual world, behind a desk and computer. Are we shut away from the ecosystems and resources we are working to protect, or are they alive in our software and text? Where do we find nature in our busy and isolated life styles? Where can we renew our connections with nature? In broader society, do computer games, social networking sites, websites and pod casts replace the experience of outdoor nature with a cyber-space reality? Can cyber space, along with movies and television, bring outdoor nature to people in urban, indoor or denuded environments?

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