Emergency to Emergence

Sterling College

This podcast intends to engage in spirited, heart-centered dialogue about intersecting ecosocial emergencies featuring the voices and perspectives of people purposefully engaging in ecological thinking and action while fostering active,community-engaged responses that offer hope.

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Building the Outdoor Movement with Josh Bossin
May 25 2022
Building the Outdoor Movement with Josh Bossin
Like many young boys, Josh Bossin, Sterling College Faculty in Outdoor Education, found a sense of belonging in the outdoors as a child. Unlike others, Josh resisted the many forces that draw adults indoors and keep us there for 90% of our lives, on average and kept his love for the outdoors alive, well, and thriving. Inspired by conservationist Kris Tomkins's notion that people only protect what they love and only love what they identify with, Josh set up to cultivate a love of the natural world in others. He does that by sticking to fundamentals, reducing barriers to getting outside, eschewing the culture of excess and consumption that often make outdoor adventure seem exclusive, and helping folks safely traverse unfamiliar spaces. This episode is best downloaded and listened to while walking beneath a canopy of new Spring leaves. Move Outdoors with Josh Bossin.  [03:22]-NOLS-National Outdoor leadership school, began working in Alaska, enjoying other people finding their ah-ha! moment, teaching became his focus and was inspired by Conservationist Kris Tomkins and her the idea that people only protect the things they love, and to love something you first have to inherently identify with it   [08:36]-Countering “Guide Halo” and encouraging students to ask questions and challenge leadership and how challenge is valuable, we don't naturally have it anymore, creating opportunities to challenge and grow  in outdoor programing  [13:02]-reducing barriers to entry, Sterling provides opportunities to use top of the line equipment, and redefining wilderness and backcountry experience, experiential education [18:57]-asking questions about inclusivity in outdoor recreation, from different segments of the population [24:37]-acknowledging there is a climate emergency and managing expectations in the outdoor industry, inspired by Kitty Calhoun and the last known ascent of a glacier and inviting conversations [29:54]-gets hope from seeing Sterling students seeing themselves as a part of that outdoor movement
Building the Outdoor Movement with Josh Bossin
May 25 2022
Building the Outdoor Movement with Josh Bossin
Like many young boys, Josh Bossin, Sterling College Faculty in Outdoor Education, found a sense of belonging in the outdoors as a child. Unlike others, Josh resisted the many forces that draw adults indoors and keep us there for 90% of our lives, on average and kept his love for the outdoors alive, well, and thriving. Inspired by conservationist Kris Tomkins's notion that people only protect what they love and only love what they identify with, Josh set up to cultivate a love of the natural world in others. He does that by sticking to fundamentals, reducing barriers to getting outside, eschewing the culture of excess and consumption that often make outdoor adventure seem exclusive, and helping folks safely traverse unfamiliar spaces. This episode is best downloaded and listened to while walking beneath a canopy of new Spring leaves. Move Outdoors with Josh Bossin.  [03:22]-NOLS-National Outdoor leadership school, began working in Alaska, enjoying other people finding their ah-ha! moment, teaching became his focus and was inspired by Conservationist Kris Tomkins and her the idea that people only protect the things they love, and to love something you first have to inherently identify with it   [08:36]-Countering “Guide Halo” and encouraging students to ask questions and challenge leadership and how challenge is valuable, we don't naturally have it anymore, creating opportunities to challenge and grow  in outdoor programing  [13:02]-reducing barriers to entry, Sterling provides opportunities to use top of the line equipment, and redefining wilderness and backcountry experience, experiential education [18:57]-asking questions about inclusivity in outdoor recreation, from different segments of the population [24:37]-acknowledging there is a climate emergency and managing expectations in the outdoor industry, inspired by Kitty Calhoun and the last known ascent of a glacier and inviting conversations [29:54]-gets hope from seeing Sterling students seeing themselves as a part of that outdoor movement
Protecting the Working Landscape with Farley Brown '85
Jan 26 2022
Protecting the Working Landscape with Farley Brown '85
Since she was a small child, Farley Brown '85, Faculty in Ecology, has had a firm connection to and curiosity about the land and how humans make use of it. Her formative experiences in the woods of suburban NJ and in the waters of the Hudson River caused her to wonder about how we make land use decisions, who influences those decisions, who gets to decide. Always an educator -- even when not working with students -- Farley encourages landowners, loggers, and legislators throughout Vermont to consider how they can work together to protect the working landscape and preserve wildlife habitat. Over the past 25 years, Farley has witnessed and participated in the emergence and evolution of the land conservation movement in Vermont -- consistently holding and living into those questions of how to steward this verdant lands and cool waters of this special place. Still connected, still curious, Farley can often be found clad in boots and waders, sampling streams, counting macroinvertebrates, and translating bio-indicators data into the stories about how human activity impacts riparian ecosystems and riverine health.   [03:56]-out of college came to sterling and fell and in love with land and future husband [08:44]-defining a watershed and thinking on it from different dimensions  [13:19]-gathering data, research with students mostly in rivers doing "Bio-Assessments"-indicators of river health and the macro-invertebrate are telling a story of the river and the rivers are telling us about our land use [21:00]Student's practicing skill sets in Black river in Vermont and use them traveling to the Monkey River in Belize [24:21]-people now understanding and translating watershed information into environmental ethics [27:55]-definition of environmental justice growing out of the civil rights movement
Baking Bread and Building Community with Richard Miscovich
Nov 22 2021
Baking Bread and Building Community with Richard Miscovich
Richard Miscovich works with essential, elemental forces to produce nourishment -- with water, air, fire, and grains from the earth, he makes the kind of bread that tells us a lot about what it means to be human. Baking, in the style Miscovich teaches at Sterling -- involves harnessing primal forces, respecting their inherent variability, and responding with a grounding in science but from a place of intuition. Making bread is so tangible, so substantial -- and yet the metaphorical power of making bread this way must also be respected. Listen to School of the New American Farmstead instructor Richard Miscovich share insights from several decades of foodcraft and then sign up to study with him in our upcoming Artisan Breadmaking & Heritage grains short course. [04:01]-Journey to authoring the book "The Wood-Fired Oven", began baking at home in the early 90's, learned from many and at his time with the San Francisco Baking Institute and oven builder Alan Scott [06:51]-defining a wood fired oven, thermal mass, high and low temp usage, discussing communal ovens and community   [12:16]-Heritage Grains, influenced by Stephen Jones from the WA State Bread Lab, growing food appropriate to the bio-region [15:58]-new generation of young bread makers and a new perspective on the traditional rules and how they can be reshaped, Essential questions like is Baking an Art, Science or Craft [19:16]-Many concerns like GMO's and corporate food culture yet  optimistic, examples like Elmore Mountain Bread,  American New Stone Mills with grains grown in Vermont and food equity focused programs like "The Approachable Loaf”   [22:42]-relationship to culture and place, breads and grains originating from all over the world
Examining Environmental Privilege with Renee Barry '16
Nov 18 2021
Examining Environmental Privilege with Renee Barry '16
During Earth Week, we celebrate our rare and precious planet and recommit to living in ways that care for, rather than extract from, it. If we are serious about shifting how humans live together on this planet, we must acknowledge and act to address the wide overlap between systemic harm against BIPOC communities and the Earth. On a special episode of Emergency to Emergence, Sterling alum and @suny.esf graduate student, Renee Barry, urges us to consider the complex interactions between environmental perception and privilege as part of our work to bring about environmental justice. For Renee, who is deeply committed to participating in intersectional, anti-racist, and inclusive environmental action, studying the ways in which advantaged groups intersect with their environment and with environmentalism is a key part of the equation for building power, shaping policy, and affecting change. Her fresh perspective and passionate pursuit are worth listening to, especially this week, when privileged performances of environmentalism abound. [05:20]-where does nature end and my house begin, where does me end and nature begin, learning to talk about things in less rigid ways [09:35]-discussing how human and non-human problems and solutions can be shaped by our privilege [12:31]-studying environmental privilege, somewhat new development in the literature of environmental justice, disproportionate social, political, economic power in creating policy and social norms     [16:39]-grief within an environmental context, emotions, feelings, reflecting on environmental problems, being brave and honor feelings  [21:35]-anti-modernism, belief of romanticizing the past, the masculine, history came out of industrial revolution, rethinking mainstream environmentalism, that takes justice into account and is more inclusive for all [25:07]-environmental justice, idea that people of color and economic status are disportionately affected and are often not contributing to the problem as much as the privileged
A Different Perspective with Shaun Chamberlin
Oct 31 2021
A Different Perspective with Shaun Chamberlin
Shaun Chamberlin is an author and activist who describes his perspective as one of "dark optimism" -- unashamedly positive about what kind of a world humanity could create, while unashamedly realistic about how far we are from creating it today. He has written and edited diverse publications -- including creating Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economyfrom the work of his late mentor David Fleming -- and spoken at venues from Occupy camps to Parliaments. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course, he has held many roles: one of Extinction Rebellion’s first arrestees, pioneer of the Transition Towns network, chair of the Ecological Land Co-Operative, a director of the campaigning organization Global Justice Now and (for his sins) an advisor to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. Shaun also works with Sterling as a Consulting Scholar and the lead educator/convenor for  (our Surviving the Future courses and community). [05:13]-searching in life for answers; course at a Schumacher college, life after oil;  meeting Richard Heinberg, David Fleming, Rob Hopkins; beginnings of Transition Movement founded with David Fleming in mind at the community scale [10:25]-One Fleming quote that changed his life, "large scale problems do not require large scale solutions, they require small scale solutions within large scale frameworks." After Fleming's death; edited Fleming's life's work and manuscript Lean Logic into Surviving The Future, Culture, Carnival and Capitol in the aftermath of the market economy [17:32]-Evolution to surviving the future, conversations for our time into Sterling course [19:58]-Dark Optimism the essence of Chamberlin's work; facing the monsters and telling a story of our lives we are proud to tell  [22:49]-Having brave conversations by stepping into the grief of what we know can be a healing process [27:25]-Current adventures;Surviving the future course, Happy Pig; a non-monetary hostel; the informal and gift economy; relationship with re-wilding charity that's bringing back the natural forest ecologies of Ireland
Beyond the Classroom with David Gilligan
Oct 17 2021
Beyond the Classroom with David Gilligan
David Gilligan, Faculty in Ecology and Associate Dean of Sterling's Wilderness Field Programs, wants other humans to know that nature is our home.  He reminds us that wild nature is the ”wellspring of human being, of all diverse cultures on planet earth, of all creativity, of all thought.”  After many years of venturing into the wild nature and conceiving of it as the ultimate unbounded classroom, David remains awed by the depth and kinds of learning that are possible in extended backcountry field programs.  For this reason, he (along with recent guest Laura Beebe), lead Sterling’s Wilderness Field Program, which gives undergraduate and Gap Year learners an immersive opportunity to simultaneous participate in a liberal arts education and adventure in the American Southwest and emerge as influential interdisciplinary naturalists, environmental leaders, educators, and protectors of the wild.  Guided by the belief that free people are responsible for knowing about and caring for our earthly home, the Wilderness Field Program uses experiential, liberal arts education -- and a curriculum that blends outdoor skills with natural history and sciences, arts, humanities, and indigenous cultural studies -- to prepare the next generation to protect, preserve, and thrive as part of the natural world.   [05:08]-David speaks of the simple notion that nature is our home. “It's kind of the wellspring of human being, of all diverse cultures on planet earth,  of all creativity,  of all thought and goes from there. [08:56]-David speaks about one of his mentors of natural history who is fond of saying “there has never been a culture without natural history. It's part of being human. It is being human and the practice of natural history is the practice of being human, but never has there been a time in the world? Well, natural history has been practiced less than today, so that's kind of the conundrum we're in and briefly following the notion that historian naturalaus or the inquiry into nature is part and parcel with being human giving people experiences where they can connect with the natural world...the wilder, the better with a solid curriculum and really awesome mentors. Their world is changed and the way that they then go and engage in the practices of their own lives becomes more, essentially human, less industrial, less digital, less, kind of, emessed in the trappings of the 21century…” [14:15]- David talks of the origins of every single culture on planet earth coming forth from wild, natural landscapes. “It's in all of our heritage. So why not make that accessible to everyone? I found that one of the important pieces that accelerates the learning process for people out there is the distractions of modern life are basically eliminated...everything is pared down and simplified to a level where people's learning retention is amazing. People's stamina for learning new content and new skills is unparalleled. The results are just incredible.” [21:39]-David discusses trying to cultivate what we think from our perspective would be the ideal interdisciplinary environmental leader of the 21st century who is going to be very active through immersive experience. Like Rachel Carson was like Terry Tempest Williams is, like Gretel Ehrlich is, like John Muir was, like Henry David Thoreau was. All of these people, the signature is the deep experience that they had with the natural world. They weren't armchair ecologists.  They, they lived it, and that's what we want our people to do nothing less than what those mentors have done for us.   TIMESTAMPS [24:25]-  David speaks of spending time in small groups, in focused learning environments away from modern distractions gives us a tool kit. “ It gives us a skillset to interact with other human beings that’s so authentic and real that students could come out of this program, be amazing executive directors for nonprofits, be CEOs of corporations....
Lessons in the Backcountry with Laura Beebe
Oct 3 2021
Lessons in the Backcountry with Laura Beebe
Laura Beebe joins Emergency to Emergence hosts, Nakasi and Dakota, for a rich conversation on the importance of the backcountry to human development -- her own and her students.  Resisting a guide’s tendency to define backcountry in geographical terms or locate it far from the places that bear obvious marks of human development, Laura conceives of backcountry as a "state of being" reached through immersion in natural places, relationships with other species and with ecologies, and a sense of belonging among the same.  But in this ranging and rich conversation, Laura also resists the all-too-common tendency to obscure the modern cultural forces that force separation, replicate problematic hierarchies and tend to make adventure and discovery exclusive.   Reflecting on several decades of often being the only women in male-dominated spaces, Laura also delves into the inclusive aspirations of Sterling College’s Wilderness Field Program and illustrates how extended backcountry education, paired with the study of natural history and cultural ecology, allow students to see into deep time, celebrate continuance, and figure out more about how they want to be in  the world.  [01:36] -Laura's definition of backcountry, "state of being" as opposed to geographic location and any place she can immerse herself in the natural space and a relationship to the ecosystem and environment that is the dominant relationship and describes feeling at home, alive, animated and as her best sense of self. [06:21] -Twenty two years later Laura speaks of crying on one of her first backcountry outings to becoming an experienced backcountry guide with amazing mentors along her path and how she was first woman in her family with an advanced degree and the need to pay it forward and  love of seeing people figure out who they are while in the backcountry. [09:19]- Relationship to natural world, who gets access, indigenous cultures stewards of the natural world, outdoors is an academic term, different cosmologies, epistemologies and discusses her respect for ethnobotanist Linda Black Elk and the notion that the same medicine exits in our own culture and land.  [19:21] -Four phases of experiences on the Sterling Wilderness Field Program explained with examples of hiking the Grand Canyon and traveling through layers of time and the diverse landscape and what it feels like for the body moving over it and how being in the field becomes your whole day and night and participants begin dreaming about animals and the colors etc.  [25:39]- Laura discusses how people show up with a life already and about serving people and the  idea of talking about risk management such as physical risks, like rock falls and risky decision making but we are not talking about sexism, racism, homophobia and all the oppressive forces that are actually risk management and that there are physical ramifications and emotional  traumas that can happen.  Laura thinks anyone who wants to be on these trips should and that it's a human right.    [31:30]-Laura expresses that we are called right now as humans in ways we haven't been or that look different and that we are here because we have the capacity to rise to the challenge of being joyful in this journey and t's about having fun or avoiding it, it's about fully embracing what's in front of us remembering we that we are not alone and the belief that if we can get ourselves in some of these situations, we can definitely get out of these situations and do it in ways that are fun, inspiring and connective and makes the whole journey worth it.
A Nourishing Conversation with Gwyneth Harris
Sep 17 2021
A Nourishing Conversation with Gwyneth Harris
Gwyneth Harris, Sterling College’s Garden Manager joins Emergency to Emergence hosts, Nakasi and Dakota, for a rich conversation on the intricacies and advantages of small scale farming. Though farming is often misconstrued as a simple vocation, Gwyneth portrays the elegant complexities of an agro-ecological farming system, particularly one that balances education, experimentation, production, and nourishment. Sterling’s educational farms offer opportunities to learn core skills for cultivation, puts animal, plant, and soil science into practice, and integrates food sovereignty, social justice, and systems thinking. The farm management choices Gwyneth and her colleagues make have ripple effects on the land, the people in our community, and the plants, animals, insects, fungi, and microbes with whom we share this space. Those choices also influence the lessons that students draw from the Sterling farm and carry forward onto their future farms that will nourish their communities in the years to come. This conversation also illuminates the enduring contributions of smallholders and positions community-scale food and fiber production as a viable and valuable alternative to industrial agriculture and production systems of extraction. By listening to Gwyneth, you’ll get a better sense of why so many of our students come to Sterling to study Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems -- and of the intentionality that they find when they work alongside our farm managers.  [03:17]-educational farm, not a single path; carpentry; animal, plant; soil science overlayed with food, social justice and systems is endlessly fascinating [10:01]-Sterling farm experience has real impacts on animals and community [14:04]-scale; systems of production; smallholders produce most of food; recognizing value of community scale [21:22]-synergistic farm systems; thinking beyond the U.S. model of agriculture [24:33]-balance of education of food and production; relationship to Sterling and outside community; Sterling addressing food insecurity regionally