Jimmy Karlan EdD
This book discusses how we can inspire today’s youth to engage in challenging and productive discussions around the past, present and future role of animals in science education. Animals play a large role in the sciences and science education and yet they remain one of the least visible topics in the educational literature. This book is intended to cultivate research topics, conversations, and dispositions for the ethical use of animals in science and education. This book explores the vital role of animals with/in science education, specimens, protected species, and other associated issues with regards to the role of animals in science. Topics explored include ethical, curriculum and pedagogical dimensions, involving invertebrates, engineering solutions that contribute to ecosystems, the experiences of animals under our care, aesthetic and contemplative practices alongside science, school-based ethical dialogue, nature study for promoting inquiry and sustainability, the challenge of whether animals need to be used for science whatsoever, reconceptualizing museum specimens, cultivating socioscientific issues and epistemic practice, cultural integrity and citizen science, the care and nurturance of gender-balanced curriculum choices for science education, and theoretical conversations around cultivating critical thinking skills and ethical dispositions. The diverse authors in this book take on the logic of domination and symbolic violence embodied within the scientific enterprise that has systematically subjugated animals and nature, and emboldened the anthropocentric and exploitative expressions for the future role of animals.
At a time when animals are getting excluded from classrooms (too dangerous! too many allergies! too dirty!), this book is an important counterpoint. Interacting with animals helps students develop empathy, learn to care for living things, engage with content. We need more animals in the science curriculum, not less.
David Sobel, Senior Faculty, Education Department, Antioch University New England
Thomas Wessels Professor Emeritus
In this compelling and cogently argued book, Tom Wessels demonstrates how our current path toward progress, based on continual economic expansion and inefficient use of resources, runs absolutely contrary to three foundational scientific laws that govern all complex natural systems. It is a myth, he contends, that progress depends on a growing economy.
Wessels explains his theory with his three laws of sustainability: (1) the law of limits to growth, (2) the second law of thermodynamics, which exposes the dangers of increased energy consumption, and (3) the law of self-organization, which results in the marvelous diversity of such highly evolved systems as the human body and complex ecosystems. These laws, scientifically proven to sustain life in its myriad forms, have been cast aside since the eighteenth century, first by Western economists, political pragmatists, and governments attracted by the idea of unlimited growth, and more recently by a global economy dominated by large corporations, in which consolidation and oversimplification create large-scale inefficiencies in both material and energy usage.
Wessels makes scientific theory readily accessible by offering examples of how the laws of sustainability function in the complex systems we can observe in the natural world around us. He shows how systems such as forests can be templates for developing sustainable economic practices that will allow true progress. Demonstrating that all environmental problems have their source in a disregard for the laws of sustainability that is based on the myth of progress, he concludes with an impassioned argument for cultural change.
Tom Wessels Professor Emeritus
Thousands of readers have had their experience of being in a forest changed forever by reading Tom Wessels's Reading the Forested Landscape. Was this forest once farmland? Was it logged in the past? Was there ever a major catastrophe like a fire or a wind storm that brought trees down?
Now Wessels takes that wonderful ability to discern much of the history of the forest from visual clues and boils it all down to a manageable field guide that you can take out to the woods and use to start playing forest detective yourself. Wessels has created a key―a fascinating series of either/or questions―to guide you through the process of analyzing what you see. You’ll feel like a woodland Sherlock Holmes. No walk in the woods will ever be the same.
Tom Wessels Professor Emeritus
This fascinating new book focuses on a rare and dramatic landscape: the granite summit balds of North American mountains. Tom Wessels synthesizes history, geology, biology, and personal narrative to enhance our understanding and appreciation of these high, wild places. He explores the unique and fragile ecosystem that is common to exposed granite expanses from Acadia to Yosemitehow it evolved slowly over millennia, and how it is threatened today by foot traffic and overuse. Wessels' dramatic photographs and Brian Cohen's beautifully detailed illustrations bring the denizens of the granite bald to life. The mountains they celebrate include: Acadia National Park in Maine; the White Mountains of New Hampshire; the Adirondacks of New York; the Wind Rivers of Wyoming; the Beartooths of Montana; the Enchantments of Washington; and Yosemite National Park in California.