Volume 7: Transience, Permanence, and Commitment

Published in 1999

Many of us feel the need to belong to a place—our own corner of the world where we can put down roots and feel a sense of purpose and responsibility. But often, circumstances prevent us from living or working where we feel we belong. Globalization, natural resource extraction, advanced communication networks, and career opportunities present powerful challenges to rootedness and place.

Transience implies diaspora, the forced migration of peoples and species. In a life of movement and impermanence, how do we strengthen our commitment to the environment as we change our commitment to place? What choices do we make between sense of place and love of work, and how do those choices affect our environmental concerns? How does the complex dynamic of transience and permanence affect our professions? What happens at the nature center when one works with students or staff who are here today and gone tomorrow? How does the activist organize in communities that are constantly changing?

For the 7th issue of Whole Terrain, we are interested in receiving for submissions which reflect, explore and illuminate perspectives on how “transience, permanence and commitment” affect our environmental involvement and activity. For example, themes might include place-based education, home and homelessness, migration, or globalization, especially in regard to ecological identity and professional choices.

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