6. Designs For Life: Priority Threat Management and Nature-Based Plans
With Dr Tara Martin & Herb Hammond.
Today we are joined by Dr. Tara Martin and Herb Hammond, who have pioneered fascinating methods in developing large-scale maps and management plans for biodiverse, high-priority conservation landscapes. What really sets them apart is their ability to integrate both cutting edge Western science and indigenous worldviews, a synthesis called "two-eyed seeing."
In these interviews, they debunk the misguided idea that separating humans from nature is the best way to restore and manage ecosystems, and show instead how human touch is vital in tending to the land. Tara and Herb are bridge builders, between the hard data science and predictive modelling, between governments and policy, along with private investment, and most importantly, the lived realities on the ground.
Dr Tara Martin is a scientist, professor, and the founder of the Martin Conservation Decisions Lab at the University of British Columbia. We cover the basics of conservation decision science and “priority threat management” (a tool she’s pioneered) and discuss her lab’s work with First Nations across Canada, especially in the Fraser River Estuary, along with the role of art and beauty. Peppered throughout the interview are glorious descriptions of the eco-cultural landscapes that she’s worked tirelessly to protect.
Herb Hammond is one of the most respected elders in the space of nature-based planning. Herb started out as a conventional forester but soon became dispirited with the destructive practices of the industry, and went on to found The Silva Forest Foundation which he ran with his wife Susie for 30 years. Over the course of their career they’ve developed over 25 large scale nature-directed plans for Canada and around the world, upending ways that landscape management is conceived and implemented.
Episode Website Link: lifeworld.earth/episodes/naturebasedplans
- Tara Martin Decisions Lab
- Research: Frasier River Estuary
- RELAW: West Coast Environmental Law
- Briony Penn Ecological Art
- Silva Forest Foundation
- Book: David Korten’s Change The Story, Change the Future
- Book: Maintaining Whole Systems on Earth's Crown by Herb Hammond
Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes.
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18. 18. Satellites, Data and Earth Observation: Signal from Noise – with Dan Hammer55:37How can satellite data and computation fundamentally shift how we understand our place on a changing Earth, and amongst other species? Can we use all that newfound knowledge, transparency, and intelligent data architecture to become better stewards? Allowing the earth to behold itself and its own lifeworld in a whole new way… And what are the ethical implications of having the power of such oversight? In whose hands? Today our guest is Dan Hammer, Managing Partner at Ode, a data and design agency for the environment, and prior chief data scientist at the World Resources Institute, where he co-founded Global Forest Watch, a tool that tracked and monitored global deforestation patterns. He is founder of Spaceknow, a satellite image analytics start-up, and was a senior advisor in the Obama White House, a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA, creator of Global Plastic Watch and Amazon Mining Watch. His work has used direct earth observation to locate every wastewater pond in rural Alabama; to watch illegal mining unfold in the Amazon; and to find every plastic waste site along rivers in Vietnam. He created the application Climate TRACE for former Vice President Al Gore, the first facility-level global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, and much more. In this episode speak about his new endeavour which is attempting to create an open source foundation model for nature – where you can “start to query the landscape like you would Google Maps”. I ask Dan how he manages to strike a balance between high level global information layers, and local relevance, and whether is it really possible that a global model can actually help people on the ground develop a deeper intimacy and action with the lifeworlds of where they reside. Episode Website Link Show Links: Dan HammerClimate TRACECarbon Mapper - methane plumeswatch illegal mining unfold in the Amazonfind every plastic waste site along rivers in VietnamAmazon Mining WatchGlobal Plastic Watch Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes. Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock & Ellie Kidd
Meditation | The Cosmos in Your Food12:36A guided meditation to bring you into a state of communion and intimacy with the Earth through the daily, sacred act of eating. Many ancient traditions have their ways of giving thanks to our connection with food and the planet’s bounteous harvest. Here, I have been inspired by the Zen Buddhist lineage of Plum Village, and the tenderness and beauty of bringing in all of life through every bite.I recommend you do it as you are about to enjoy a special meal… (Audio: New Earth - Beautiful Koshi Wind Chimes Healing Spring Meditation 432hz; Image: grapevinedesigns.in)
17. 17. Tales of the Arctic Deep – with Sylvia Earle, Johan Rockström and Taylor Griffith01:55:16A special three part episode recorded onboard a Climate and Oceans expedition in the Norwegian Arctic. We’ll hear about the dark mysteries of the deepest realms of the ocean from “Her Deepness” herself, Dr. Sylvia Earle (possibly the most admired and loved oceanographer of the last century). Followed by the latest Planetary Boundaries Earth science from Johan Rockstrom, and the role of ocean storytelling and immersive art installations from Taylor Griffith. Together, their voices weave a tale of the predicament and possibility of the Arctic and high seas; how to sense the lifeworlds of all the creatures who glow and sparkle and live in the dark within the greatest unexplored part of Earth's biosphere; we learn about ocean exploration in the 21st century, the dangers of deep sea mining, and the role of discovery and art in bringing us into the pulsing heart of the planet’s watery body. I love this episode so much, and I hope you will too. Episode Website Link Show Links:Sylvia Earle biographyMission Blue and Hope SpotsDeep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER Submarine vessels)Johan RockstromPlanetary BoundariesMission Blue DocumentaryDeep Sea Mining Challenges - Oxygen ProjectTaylor Griffith artist pageCampaign Against Deep Sea MiningAnna Atkins Ocean cyanotypesPope’s new Laudato Deum Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes.Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd & The Rising by Tryad CCPL
16. 16. Climate Grief, Eco-anxiety, and Loving a World in Turmoil – with Britt Wray01:10:34A necessary and beautiful episode on the emotional terrain of climate grief, loss, sadness, anxiety, and all the ways we can cope either maladaptively or adaptively to this challenging moment in time.This is an intimate conversation that makes the case for allowing ourselves to ‘feel it all’. Because from the depth of feeling comes the power of action, hope, resilience and community. If we ignore the reality of this mental health crisis, we are turning our backs on the potential that can emerge on the other side of initiation. We discuss different frameworks for processing climate anxiety - practical resources, approaches and philosophical underpinnings of a phenomenon that is sweeping the world, especially among youth populations.Dr Britt Wray is one of the world’s most esteemed and loved researchers on this topic, having published the viral newsletter and book Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis. She is Director Special Initiative of the Chair on Climate Change & Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences of Stanford Medicine, advancing research and approaches in the field with communities facing the reality of ecological and social breakdown.Show Links:Lifeworlds Resources PageBritt’s websiteBritt’s books: Generation Dread & Rise of the NecrofaunaJoanna Macey: World as Lover, World as SelfEdwards & Buzzel: The Waking Up SyndromeBlanche Verlie: Learning to Live with Climate ChangeGood Grief NetworkElizabeth Bechard: Parenting in a Changing ClimateJo McAndrews: Supporting children in the face of climate changeMartin Shaw: We Are In The Underworld And We Haven’t Figured It Out YetClimate Psychiatry AllianceRoy Scranton: Learning to Die in the AnthropoceneMusic: Electric EthnicityPhoto: Midsummer Eve Celebration
Myth | Remembrance & Initiation of the Soul34:56An essential part of living into different lifeworlds resides in the mythic realm – the currents of poetry, mysticism and story that stream in the archetypal world below the world. Today I bring you a myth, from Darren Silver, rite of passage and vision quest guide; it is a myth that has laid dormant for many years and is finally here to be told. On the surface it’s a story of twins, of a brother and a sister, and of their initiation. There is magical surrealism here, and mythic beings, ancient and enduring laws of reciprocity, of the ways of the forest, of how to barter in ancient exchanges of the soul. There are riddles and agreements and creatures that speak and weave wisdom through grit and pain and love. The enduring message that this myth leaves me with is that initiation does not come bundled in cozy sound baths and sipping cacao on a beach — initiation is painful and tears us to our bones, and yet it is a sublime liberation, because through initiation, we manifest our gifts into the world. And as Darren says, for our gift to manifest, we have to wager our own skin. So sit back and listen to this one closely. Be present, receptive, and dignify the messages that are coming through as medicine for you, because something will strike you close. Allow yourself to be carried away by the myth. And so we begin.Credit: Photo of Stag (Flickr)
15. 15. Re-Weaving Landscapes: Wildlife Crossings & Designing for Nature as the Client01:10:41The roads on which we drive are unlikely to strike us as an exciting source of design innovation or interspecies dialogue. And yet, some of the most fascinating experiments and living laboratories are taking place around the world in how humans can build structures of hope and creativity for other species to flourish, despite having their habitats sliced in half by concrete veins. Earth is a fluid organism and needs connected landscapes like a canvas upon which to paint its life. Roads, on the other hand, are the single most destructive element in the process of habitat fragmentation (not to mention the millions of deaths due to collisions and the massive economic cost of these accidents). Over the coming 30 years, an additional 25 million km of roads will be built across the planet’s surface. So today in the show, we speak to pioneers in the world of wildlife crossings and design competition leaders who have spurred the process of globally rethinking and redesigning human structures to grapple with the concept of “wilderness” and the radical interconnectedness of nature and culture.Jeremy Guth is a trustee of the Woodcock Foundation, and an ARC founding sponsor. Nina-Marie is the Graduate Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University where she leads the Ecological Design Lab, and has created a series of courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Design called Wild Ways. Episode Website Link: https://www.lifeworld.earth/episodes-blog/reweavinglandscapes Show Links:ARC websiteCrossings for Wildlife websiteBiophilic Cities NetworkEcological Design Lab.caWild Ways Harvard CourseWild Ways publicationInteractive map of wildlife crossings in the USAeon article: Reweaving the Wild(Re)Connecting Wild filmNYT wildlife crossing articleLook out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes.Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd & The Rising by Tryad CCPL
14. 14. Musicians of the Planet: On Making Interspecies Songs – with David Rothenberg01:01:38A clarinet plugged into an underwater hydrophone, playing with liquid humpback whale songs below the surface. A huddled group of musicians under a night-time forest in Berlin, singing with nightingales. A 17-year swarm of cicadas alighting upon a sole jazz musician. These are the scenographies that David Rothenberg provokes with his interspecies music compilations, asking us, why should we only play music with other humans and not improvise along with the original musicians of the planet herself? For human music and song emerged from a world that sings, hums, beats, chirps, and human translations of these sounds have captured our imaginations from our tribal origins through to the first recordings of humpback whales that spurred anti-whaling conventions in the 70s and electronic synthesizers. Today’s episode brings us into this creative engagement with the planet, exploring how we are transformed when we open up to a world of music, beauty and art created by nature every day. So my friends, listen wider, expand your sense of music, and have David Rothenberg, interspecies musician, writer, and philosopher, show us how to become not just passive listeners but active participants in the symphony. Episode Website LinkShow Links:David’s websiteDavid Rothenberg music on Spotifyall David Rothenberg books on AmazonNYT making music with cicadasIf Nietzche were an animal bookTim D recording windSlowing down nightingale song into whale songOn making music with whalesSounding SoilsBernie KrauseDavid’s workshop in Costa Rica Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes. Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock & Ellie Kidd Songs: Nightingale sounds are from David, and the Monkey Chant is from Kecak from Bali (Bridge Records)
13. 13. The Sounds of Life: Bioacoustics, A.I. and Ethics – with Karen Bakker01:01:48The world around us is constantly vibrating with sounds we cannot hear. This magical soundscape evades our senses, tempts us by its elusive presence and beckons us to look deeper. Our ability to listen in is rapidly evolving. Over the last decades, scientists have begun installing digital listening devices in nearly every ecosystem. This process of deciphering what nature is saying is called “bioacoustics” and “ecoacoustics”. Massive advances in both hardware and artificial intelligence are permitting us to go where no artificial ear has gone before. Recent breakthroughs unveil that many more species are speaking in ways we didn’t know were possible, with far richer behaviors than were previously known. Karen Bakker - Canadian scientist, author, Professor at UBC and Rhodes Scholar - tells us how bioacoustics is poised to alter humanity’s relationship with our planet by expanding our sense of sound. We can develop mobile protected areas for animal climate refugees. Simply by singing, a whale can turn aside a container ship. Acoustic enrichment can help corals regenerate. Acknowledging these forms of communication requires us to confront our entrenched ideas of sentience and intelligence. This seeks to understand non-human communication on its own terms and brings up new ethical and moral dilemmas. Who grants us consent to listen in to the conversation of bats? And as we inhabit such different lifeworlds, might we have enough shared concepts that would enable any kind of translation? Episode Website Link Smart Earth Project Sounds of Life Yale article Project CETI Interspecies Internet Earth Species Project Sonification Elephant listening project Wild Dolphin Project Sounds of Reef Marine mammal communication & cognition Biologgers Photo: Karen’s Book Music: Electric Ethnicity Coral sounds Tim Lamont Bat sound Tomáš Bartonička
Meditation | Deep Time21:19This is a meditation I wrote and recorded to plunge us through epochs of cosmic time, through the tremendous evolutionary processes that preceded us, became us, and are us. It grants us invaluable context on the great tales of life whose memories are held in our bones. This is our origin and lineage. I hope you find yourself nourished and moved by the experience. This script is inspired by and takes language from the deep time practices of Joanna Macy and the Deep Time Walk of Stephan Harding and colleagues, along with some of the evolutionary notions explored in Otherlands by John Halliday – to them I am deeply grateful. My script here. Please credit if used or shared.Music attribution: Take Off and Shoot a Zero. Stunt Island Album. Written, produced, and performed by Chris Zabriskie. Published by You've Been a Wonderful Laugh Track (ASCAP). © 2011 Chris Zabriskie.Art made with… You guessed it. Midjourney.