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Category archives for Education

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

Crops Rising from a Cracked Desert

By Nexus Media, with Michael Kotutwa Johnson Michael Kotutwa Johnson is an environmental policy expert in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. He is also a Hopi dryland farmer. He sat down with Nexus Media to share centuries-old techniques for growing food on an unforgiving landscape. This interview…

Long lost story-telling Sioux, Reaching-for-Peace Pipe carrier, comes to light

A remote cabin high in Utah’s Kolob Canyon country above the famous Zion Canyon seems an unlikely place for the “discovery” of an iconic piece of American Indian history. A beaded peace pipe bag has come to light that depicts a soldier holding a rifle with fixed bayonet and a Native American with bow and arrows.  Both…

Resource Extraction and American Indians: The Invisible History of America

The recent American Indian protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota, protesting environmentally irresponsible and culturally damaging resource extraction, encouraged me to reach out to my American Indian friends.  The blood of the Cherokee Nation flows in the veins of my own family members.  I wanted to draw out their stories and to report on…

Hawiian Coastal Plastic Cleanup by Young People

Optimism versus pessimism, how do we find balance between the two when confronting the environmental challenges of today? The older generation has many opportunities to help young people to be optimistic about the future — by encouraging them to take action.  The sea offers us inspiration to act (it is la mere in French, our…

A Fisherman’s Son Who Cannot Swim

Mayur, a young Koli fisherman’s son, never learned to swim because the beaches of Mumbai are too polluted. Few Koli youth want to follow their parent’s footsteps to be fishermen in Mumbai. The consumer demand for fish though is ever on the rise. Mayur teaches me to dig for clams and offers his perspective on Koli culture among shifting tides.

Side Gig: Canopy Tour Guide

One of the many safety precautions I take in my work is to never climb alone. Sometimes that just means bringing someone else into the forest to hang out on the ground while I battle the ropes, branches, string, ants, and any number of other hazards above. Whenever possible, however, I like to bring people…

Shark attack survivor says people should respect, not fear, the seas

Brian Correiar, a California-based diving master and certified diver for more than 18 years, says he’s always been more comfortable in water than on land. His sense of ease in the seas was seriously shaken on Saturday, March 18, 2017, when a great white shark attacked the 14-foot, single-person ocean kayak he was paddling in through Monterey Bay.

Karoo Stories: Narratives from Gariep and Van der Kloof dams

Farmworkers and farmers share their experiences of working and living near Gariep and Van der Kloof dams on the Orange River.

Storytelling in a Slum’s Silicon Valley

“We have a different kind of Silicon Valley here,” Nawneet Ranjan explains. Founder of the Dharavi Diary: Slum and Rural Innovation Project, Ranjan tells how his students use storytelling, technology, and the power of their diversity to raise awareness and develop solutions for issues facing the Dharavi slum community in Mumbai, India.

Help Me Define (Bio)Diversity

What does diversity mean to you? Is it important?

How Music Inspires and Empowers Rural Africans to Steward Their Environment

The Power Of Music We all have a song that we never forget. Maybe it carried us through tough times. Or perhaps it reminds us of good times we’ve had. It may have taught us an important lesson… maybe even at just the right time in our life. Whatever the reason, it stays with us.…

Karoo Stories: When it rains, it pours

An introduction to my travels following the Orange River into the Karoo, a huge semi-arid area in South Africa. Drought, and the sudden easing of it, is on everyone’s minds in these parts.

Building home and friendship in Africa

Safina Center Kalpana Launchpad Fellow Kate Thompson sends her dispatches from the field in Tanzania back home to New York.

Forests Are Worthless Until Cut Down

Dasho Neten remembers a time when “people simply acted on their values informally,” while now the general sense of citizenship wanes. As a farmer and prominent activist in Bhutan, Dasho Neten challenges us not to depend on the government to build our societies. “We need to wake up! There is an inconvenient truth lingering, and we need to ask: are we really moving towards self-reliance? Sometimes we need reminders, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.”