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. 


E2E_pod_Laura Beebe Transcript


Welcome to Emergency to Emergence, a podcast produced by Sterling college. I'm Nakasi Fortune and I'm Dakota La Croix. This podcast intends to engage in spirited, heart-centered dialog about intersecting, eco-social emergencies, featuring the voices and perspectives of people purposefully engaging in ecological thinking and action, while fostering active, community engaged responses that offer hope.


And joining us today is Laura Beebe, who is faculty in environmental humanities here at Sterling. Laura has lived and learned in a range of landscapes and culture from the warm sands of the Gulf of Mexico, to the frigid shores of the bearing seat, regardless of where or how she's, working, Laura seeks to understand how humans make sense of the world around them. Her practice and teachings, intersect storytelling, back country, field experiences, ethnobotany, plant medicine, folk arts, and spiritual rituals. Thank you so much for joining us Laura.


Thank you. Thank you for having me.


Yeah, Thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it.


Laura, can you share with us, what your definition of back country is, and what does it mean to you being in the back country?


It's such a descriptive term and it's also quite subjective. I think it's, I think it's a state of being as opposed to a geographic location. If you think about it back country is behind the country or behind civilization or human activity. I don't think it necessarily has to be there. There are, sort of political and ecological definitions of it.

But for me, it's any place that I can immerse myself in the natural scape, and that is the predominant experience that I'm having whatever the ecosystem is that the relationships I'm engaging in that place is centered around controlled and modified by the surrounding environment. And I think you can find that anywhere.

I think there are places that gets you into, that psychic space quicker in some places that it might take a little bit more time. I think it's what you bring into it. But for me, it's a place where the, ecosystem or the environment is. Uh, the predominant relationship that you're working with and then all these sub relationships of people and experiences and other life forms.

However we describe it. But yeah, it's a place where I just, I feel home. I feel connected. I feel alive and I think animated and sort of the best sense of myself. So that's, for me, that's what back country means. It's always evolving.


Is there an early story of a mentor or a guide in your life that shaped and influenced this current relationship you have or definition of back country?


I think I, when I go through different life stages, try to make sense of where I came from and how that influences where I am today. And there's all these little landmarks, even to my first memories of, as a child, like playing with worms or watching a deer in a field. Or building little forts in the back, uh, backyard.

So I think it's always been a part of who I am and sort of a compulsory experience. I just would find myself in these places, um, with, you know, some help along the way. I think where it really crystallized for me was being a teenager and going to do a back country course in the American sort of west, the Rocky mountains.

I was born and raised in Alabama. I didn't have any context for that landscape. I had never been on a plane by myself except to go to my grandparents house, just to state over. So I flew across the country, and stepped off into a vastly different area. And I had instructors there who were able to help, help me figure out how to live there in a way that was more comfortable that I felt like I could be myself. I don't think, I don't think it just happens a lot of times, if you don't have an experience or a context, it can be really great to have a mentor who can see you and figure out what's going to be best for you and introduce you.

It's like for me, entering into a relationship, how do I get introduced to this place and this way of being. So I had some amazing instructors who felt. Authentic and inspiring and energetic, and I saw how they move through the mountains and how they moved with a backpack and how they moved in this way of life and just helped me along the way.

And it was not natural. I cried my entire first week of my trip. I dropped my sleeping bag...


Oh no!


...on the ground. Um, cause it was just so different. I just felt like I was dropped off in a completely different culture, and like a foreign planet somewhere. And so I do think those earlier experiences really helped me and I've been leading, what we call wilderness trips for over 22 years and I think about that every single time my students arrive, like what did that feel like? I showed up actually for my backpacking trip with a big bow in my hair and some curls. I had no idea how out of place I was going to be, or was all all I knew is what I had seen around me and reflected back to me. So yeah, lots and lots of little experiences and mentorship along the way, but I think that very first time and those very first people I met.


How do you get from crying your first week, while at camp to where you are now?


I think there are a lot of influences that got me there. I think there are a lot of people that got me to where I am. I would have to say the women in my family, none of whom had any background in anything that I was doing, or even really understood what I was doing, but just some strong women who were secure in themselves had this really amazing grace to them and took the time, particularly as a teenager and a young adult, to help me through some of those crisis stages and really disbelieved in me, no matter what sort of off the wall thing I wanted to do, or they just didn't understand.

And I think just some really amazing teachers that saw that I had the interest and the potential when I was 17, I did a course in Alaska and I was a really slow hiker and it was rainy and I couldn't read a map and I had an instructor pulled me aside and said, "I'm going to help you figure out this map and I think you have a lot to offer. And I spent an hour with him and I figured out how to read a map, which is fascinating because I ended up getting a graduate degree in geography. And I'm the first woman in my family with an advanced degree.


Oh, wow!


Just seeing that all connect, but having someone believe in you and then after that I asked, you know, do you think I can be a professional in this field? And he said, absolutely, and from that moment, I would tell people I'm going to be a professional. I'm going to do this. I don't know how I'm going to do it. This is what I'm going to do. And I came back from that trip and I went back to my high school in Southern Alabama and said, I'm going to be a professional outdoor educator, and no one had any idea what that meant, but they were like, you seem inspired, you seem excited, you seem like you're gonna make it work, and I think that has gotten me there, but I also think the absolute love of being outside in these places with these people, because it's hard, there's, there's sort of the romantic Instagram behind it, but then there's the practicality.

And I am teaching this adventure literature course. And we were talking yesterday about when people go on these expeditions or when they do these big new changes in their lives. There's some great ah ha's and we go because we are bored or we're dealing with the mundane or it's time to go out and do something exciting.

But in that excitement, if you're really going to do it, there are these long periods of monotony and doing the same thing over and over. So I always find this funny juxtaposition of, I need to go out camping. I need to go hiking and I need to go biking. And then I'm out there mile after mile at mile day after day doing the same thing, but somehow it doesn't feel mundane. It feels like a new sort of creation every single moment and every single time, and I think that's why I keep doing it. Yeah. I also feel this big need to pay it forward. I, I feel like I am the culmination, particularly of a Jew, like generations of women who worked really hard, um to get me to this place where I have choice and I have the freedom and the access to experiences, to positions of power, to opportunities in which they couldn't, I think even dream about. So for me, that has also been a driving force and I just love seeing people figure out who they are in this really beautiful way. And I think when you look at it like service and you can move beyond just, what am I getting out of it, it keeps you going.


Is it safe to say Laura, that many of the early mentors were mainly men and if you could speak to some of that paying it forward, and some of the barriers may be facing women and minorities, I guess I'm just so curious as to like how it's shifting from your perspective?


I think that's a great question. I think most people would agree that the outdoors has, definitely provided amazing opportunities and I think it is, there are barriers all over the place, which is really interesting if you think about it because we evolved, um, doing these things. Every culture on the planet has had a relationship with the natural world.

We have a history in finding our food, growing our food, being connected, moving in our, our bodies, being connected with our water sources, with our soil, and doing work, and yet it's often in my lifetime just been in this box of who gets access to that, and how do they get access? When a lot of actual practices that we do come from cultures who developed these technologies and ecological understandings and steward these lands and have deep spiritual connections and significance with these places that, that we go. So I think there's just a lot packed in there. I think there's some conversations starting definitely an incredible way, ah distance to go with it, and I think there's conversations and I think there's actions, and I think that there are lots and lots of actions that could happen, and should be happening in a more rapid pace.

So from the meta perspective of being human, it's really interesting to be like, okay, we have to look at why this is happening and what happened, because we didn't just discover the outdoors. Like the notion of outdoors is, is a very constructed sort of academic term that came when people were separated, this like outside, inside wilderness, not wilderness, and that doesn't work for everybody. That's every different cultural world views. There are different what we call cosmologies, epistemologies of ways you know, about your own realities that are, are quite different and quite classing. I think in my teenage program years, my earlier sort of camp programs, there were definitely women there.

When I got into longer courses, more technical courses, particularly around rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, um, I, as a young adult was really into high mountains. And then I got into Arctic studies and Arctic travel around the age of 24 and all men, by the time I got to higher ed. I studied this, as an undergraduate, had one female instructor, my whole time there, every mountaineering program, I went into all male instructors and mostly male participants. There might be one other female. Sometimes there were three of us, which was seen as really good enrollment. If you could get three women and seven men, like that was really good. And that wasn't always the reality. It has been a particular narrative in a particular position of power for certain people.

But that said, it's also this interesting dynamic because I am here because of really awesome men. I wouldn't have been able to have some of those doors open. I wouldn't have gotten the technical training I needed. I wouldn't have gotten the support and I wouldn't have been able to do it if there weren't men that just stepped up and said, this behavior is unacceptable to my male peers or coworkers, if folks hadn't seen some of the barriers and difficulties there, and really creatively worked and went out of their way to help with that. So, yeah, it's a complicated , and I think this is replicated in any domain that you want to look in, but I do think the outdoors has been this weird pinnacle in a way that it just shouldn't be like, it doesn't even make sense because like I said, we all have these relationships. All have our cultures. If we look back into it started in these places, I really respect, Linda Black elk, who she's a, a water warrior and a leader. Um, she's also an ethnobotanical professor at Sitting Bull College and I've heard her speak a number of times and she really advocates that everybody has plant knowledge in their cultural backgrounds.

You don't need to come pick Sage from her particular landscape or her reservation, you have an equivalent wherever you are that has the same medicine and it's really important that people understand their ancestral lineage with that, to it. It does exist and we'd all be healthier and make different decisions and think about the world in different ways if we understood that and made that a priority.


You're both an ethnobotanist and cultural ecologist and this gives you a particular lens through which you view the present moment and the mounting intersecting eco-social crisis facing Humanity. What at the core is wrong with the way humans are organizing themselves, spending their time and expanding their energy? What could we do differently to avert the crisis of our own making?


Yeah, one thing that I've been thinking about for the last couple of years is this great quote by a Southern Baptist preacher that I follow where he said, "we've got more degrees than a thermometer right now, but what we don't have as common sense, we need grandmother common sense right now". And he, he was specifically talking about George Floyd and what was going on, but, but broader as well, um, the Corona virus and just the way that we're living our lives. I think some of these things are getting back to basics of common sense. Like what...


I agree.


...what do we need to be healthy whole people? And some of those things are what we have always had. Relationships with one another, meals with each other, feeling connected, feeling connected is so powerful in some of the contemporary cultural ecology theories right now is that we used to say people needed shelter, food, water, all these tangibles, but what they're finding is they need meaningful social interactions. That is an indicator of health and life expectancy and that hadn't been factored in. It's not a materialistic, it's not pure circle per se. Some of those things yes are helpful, but we're like these full things and the things that we have always done, there are some solutions in there, but ultimately for me, I think a lot of it comes down to common sense.

And one thing that a mentor of mine always says, if you don't know what to do, do what makes you feel expansive versus contractive and the things that actually make us feel expansive are things that humans have always done and they're usually connecting with people or like getting up early and watching the sunrise or working with our hands or listening to someone who needs just someone to listen and I think that actually can go quiet far.


And in that same vein, Laura, you've spoken before about, you know, how learning to read maps, change your life, and sort of guided you to the career path that you're on today. What are some of the metaphorical maps that we need to learn to read, to navigate your way back into the right relationship with the rest of the natural world?


That's a really interesting and great question. Well, for me, I start with the inner landscape and my spiritual belief system rests on this idea that the inner reality is reflected in the outer. My teacher always said a person who can reform themselves can reform the world and Gandhi was one of his followers.

And so I think there's something quite, um, something there that has worked, and it's something that I really focused on, to start with like, what is going on inside of me? What are my own barriers and limitations? If I can address those, I can work more efficiently at some of the other barriers on the exterior of understanding that. I can be more resilient. I can have more energy. I can be less attached to sort of my smaller sense of self in whatever situation that I find. And I think giving people the space and time, in valuing that process of exploring the inner landscape, I think would revolutionize the world, but I think prioritizing the time and the space and the value of understanding ourselves and then understanding the immediate relationships and understanding those relationships beyond that.

And it takes time it takes time and where do we value time and how much time do people actually have? Like, Ooh, who takes our time? Where do we give it away? And this idea of luxury, luxury is having spaciousness to do some of these things. And I think we have to look at structures and we also have to look at where we put our own, our own value systems and how that moves out.

I think with that, if you can bring it in the mentality of the world, you walk around, you are more observant of the natural systems. You are more sensitive. There is more empathy, whether that's watching a sunrise or being engaged. You know, an animal move across a lawn or scene, sort of the sentient or spiritual value of a rock or a glacier or something that's not supposed to be living and yet many people feel like it is very much alive with some sort of spirit or personality or right to be there. So I think those are some of the metaphorical. I'm not sure if that fully answers it. I feel like I want to sit with this question. Maybe the rest of my life.


You really spoke to the importance of experience and what comes to mind here are the four phases of experiential learning. Experience, reflect, think, and act. And I wondered if you could give our listeners a sense of what that looks like in practice when you're teaching in the Southwest?


An example that would be very tangible and is easy to go to is, the field of geology.

So we do teach geology on our semester. Course. We often hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and come back up, which is depending on the route about a 5,000 foot descent and a 5,000 foot ascent. And you are traveling through all of these different layers of time and incredibly diverse. Uh, geographic stratification and your body is moving over them.

Like you remember when you're on certain shale layers and the textures of it, or you remember when you hit. Layer of red rock where it's awesome because it finally flattens out and it's, it's not jagged. And there aren't these boulders that you're moving around or some of the limestone creates these caves where you can tuck in and get some shade if it's really hot out of there.

So something we will do and we do this over and over is we will have an experience in that landscape. We'll, front-load it, we'll have a lecture about, here are the rock types and here's what you can expect. And that might sink in maybe like 10% or 15% for some people might just get it and they love it, and their, their brains are sort of functioned that way and they're intrigued by it, but most people just aren't and I think that's how learning often happens.

And so when you go through it, then we can come back and we do a mapping exercise where we map all of those layers. And we talk about the history and we talk about the mineral composition. So there's the reflection of what did we just do? What did it feel like? What was your favorite rocks to hike on, on what was above that?

What color was the rock? 75 feet, a thousand feet above that? What was exposed? What was, what had, you know, junipers growing on them. And then we can start to, to put the puzzle together in a very informed way. And so I think that's, that's often what we do. So we would go hike, and then reflect back on what we did and oftentimes that will be creating a visual of what we just did.

And then we will have lectures around it and we'll make educated sort of interpretations is classically what naturalist do. It's not an invasive form of science. It's an observation interpretation of, of what we think is happening. One of the things that I really like about teaching in the field is it becomes your whole day and night, and people start to dream about seeing the animals that we talk about, or we might've tracked, or you might've seen in the distance, they start dreaming about bears or mountain lions. The conversation eventually becomes about what we're doing. What kind of weather, we might experience what we saw, what, what sort of swimming holes we hope to see?

Are there going to be pollywogs and frogs in there is the water going to be clean and fun to drink? Or are we going to have to filter out all this sand? So you're just living it all day. And everybody is thinking about that. And particularly on the semester course, we have a whole ancestral life-way section where we learn about the, the multiple generations and cultures who inhabited these places and still inhabit these places.

And so, as you are looking for water sources, you can easily. You're living like the same in some ways, very similar ways where people would go to these places to get water. And when you go there, you often find pottery shards of where people had walked with their pots to fill up, to get water in the way that we're walking with our Nalgene, and you, you can feel the generations.

And sometimes even for some people, the ancestors who still inhabit these places and, and it's, it's not an abstract thing. It's not this distant place. It's real. And you can feel like you're, you're actually on someone else's land because you start to look in their pot charts everywhere, and there are discoidal pieces of people making cutting edges.

scale of it's not just me in:

And I think feeling reconnected, I teach mythology. I teach in humanities and I love it when students recognize they're part of this very large, long lineage that we are both spectacular individuals. And we're actually very predictable at the same time. I think there's a comfort, there's a comfort in that because a lot of the narrative is, I'm all alone. I'm unique. I'm this, I'm that. And yes, and yes! Think about all those people who came behind you, different sort of outside visuals, but in some ways, doing really similar dealing with loss and love, and gains and confusion and triumph.


You've touched on this before, you know, the romanticism of the outdoors. And the natural world and being a back country guide or an outdoor educator or whatever you want to call it, requires a lot of training and experience for a number of reasons, you know, specifically with the risks involved with leading a trip and, you know, both guides and participants or students, they show up with their own baggage and their own trauma.

What challenges or gaps do you think currently exist within this space? And how can organizations try to fix those?


I think the conversations are just, just starting. I think recognizing that people show up with a life already, and it doesn't disappear when we start camping or moving or when we have a campfire or when we leave the parking lot and that...




...they're with us.

So people are bringing past relationships into the present. So I think recognizing that it is it's a service position. It's not about you rock climbing, it's not about you a mountaineering and doing your amazing challenges. It's about you serving and helping other people. And I think you really have to love that.

I think there's some really interesting work starting that a number of people have really spoken up against, this idea that when we talk about risk management, we often talk about the physical risks of rockfall. Or, flooding, like river crossings. We talk about people's decision-making styles and how personality challenges can lead to risky places.

But we don't talk about how things like racism and sexism and homophobia. All of the oppressive forces are actually risk management of like, there are physical ramifications that can happen. There are emotional traumas that can happen. And without understanding that the experience of the participant might be vastly different than other participants.

And if you look at the research of who's enrolling or who doesn't stay on a course, or who has an accident, they will fall often down some of these lines. And I think that that is a big area for growth. And I think there are a number of people who have been speaking out against this. So the wilderness risk management conference that's happening, it's put on by NOLs, it's happening this fall.

We are starting to see these topics come in as an actual, like, not just, oh, it's good practice or it's a good practice to be trauma informed or it's good practice to have, instructors from these identities of the participants that you're working with, or from their communities or from their country.

It's not just the good thing to do, but it's also. It's the professional thing to do. It's the safe thing to do. It's the good education thing to do. It's on all, aspects of that job description and that of what the industry is is doing, because I really honestly feel like anyone who wants to be on these trips or who wants to do some of these things should, it's a right.

It's a human right. And it's what we have been doing. So the industry needs to do a better job and there's been really great folks advocating for it.


What are some of your primary values that guide your work as a back country guide and experiential educator?


For me, I always looked at myself as a facilitator.

There's some really great profound quotes out there by people that are much more articulate and I always sort of land on some of those quotes. Around," I can't open the door for you, but I can help you get to the door". And I think that allowing particularly younger people, this space and the freedom, the encouragement to try things and do things and own whatever they're doing, but doing an in place that is, I'm not going to use the word safe, but you've got a container and you've got someone there who.

If you're about to do something that is going to cause serious harm to you or other people or unintended harm that they're going to be able to see that because they can see what you can't see. So having that comfort and security of knowing that there are these sort of handrails along the way, but giving folks the opportunity to discover who they are, who they want to be, how they want to grow, giving them the support and the mentorship, but letting it be a self guided experience as much as possible.

In a sort of graceful and sophisticated way. And that's always been my guiding principle and I started with teenagers and I think it works really, really well. And I think we would have a lot less angst and behavior problems and just a lot of hardships if we allowed younger people, the encouragement and the confidence to say, no, I believe in you.

And I think that for me, what was really helpful in the mentorship I had. And then also giving feedback when appropriate when folks want it, when they're open to it to be like, I see this in you, I see this in you. And I would really encourage you to continue on that direction. And I'm seeing this in you.

And I might encourage you to think about doing it this other way of seeing you do it and finding some tactful ways to do it. But ultimately it's not my trip. It's the individuals, it's the students. Who are you? What do you want to be? You're a unique being, and this moment is unique to you. So when I, when I talk about helping people find meaning in their life, let's put you in the complexities, help you find meaning, and I can reflect back on back on things and help you, help you makes a little bit of sense, but ultimately it's your reality.


And Laura, as we come to a close here with our conversation, what, what in your heart and your head here is emerging that brings you hope for lack of a better word. I know it's an overused word and yet what is it or at least getting you curious and inspiring you that's coming from all of this wisdom over the years here.


I think that suffering and challenges has always been a part of the human story. It just has been, and it's, it's different for different people in different ways. So recognizing it's there and that it's just part of being a human. So why not engage in it directly because that's what we're up to. Um, I do think that we're called right now as humans in ways that maybe we haven't been, or that just looks different. And I have some great spiritual mentors who are like, we are born for these times. Like we are here because we have the capacity to rise to the challenge of, uh, of being joyful in this journey. And that it's not about having fun or avoiding it. It's about fully embracing what is in front of us, because that is exactly what we have showed up for. And that we're not alone, that there are so many amazing folks out there doing really incredible work and that there have been generations and generations and 2.5 million years of hominid history behind us pushing us, pushing us for.

If we can get ourselves in some of these situations, we can definitely get ourselves out of these situations and we can do it in ways that are fun, creative, inspiring, connective, and just makes the whole, the whole journey totally worth it. I think if you enter it begrudgingly and with fear, that's not going to feed you.

There's a great piece by this Norwegian. I don't know if I even call him a scholar is a personality. His name was Arnie ness. He wrote a piece, something to the lines of the self, the ecological ecological self-realization. And he was writing in the forties and fifties. And his response is the ecological crisis are directly as a result of our social ills.

And if we are going to address it, the one of the only things we'll get there is an absolute love for nature and for each other and the joy of life, it can't be done out of fear. It's not going to sustain you, it's it can't be done. Um with lots of resentment, like those things are part of the process, but if you want to do this and you really want to see the world that, that see the world, how you want it to be. One of the most sort of a renewable energetic source in addressing these is, is joy, is connection is love and that there's no limit on that. And it, it can grow and swell in connection with other people and in our relationships with the natural world. So it's hard and it's a grand adventure.


That's a beautiful way of bringing things to a close Laura, thank you so much...




...for engaging in this very enriching conversation.

Um, I personally learned a lot, you know, and as someone that's now getting into this leading students on, on, you know excursions and courses, it's quite fascinating to be learning from, you know, uh, a genius such as yourself. Thank you so much again.


Thank you.


Yeah. And I can, again, add nothing to that. Cause other than just, this is such a joyful and educational experience, to be able to ask you a few questions from all your experience and have access to this knowledge and again, this wisdom, so thank you so much.


Yeah, thank you all.


If you enjoyed this conversation, do come back for the commendation. We'll spend a few more minutes with our most recent guests identifying the specific works that inspire them. So you can route further draw new sources of nourishment and connect to the emergence of vital possibilities.

And before we come to a close Sterling, it acknowledges that the land on which we gather, places now known as Vermont and Kentucky are the traditional and unceded territories of several indigenous peoples, the Abenaki in the North and the Shawnee, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Osage people to the south. We also learn in, and from a range of landscapes that belong to other indigenous peoples and more than human kin. As we seek deep reciprocal relationships with nature, we respect and honor the place-based and cultural wisdom of indigenous ancestors and contemporaries. Words of acknowledgement and intention are just a first step. We must match them with acts of respect and repair.

Thanks so much for listening, you can subscribe to Emergency to Emergence wherever you listen to podcasts. And a very special thanks to Sterling alum, Fern Maddie, for her musical creations.

For more information on how Sterling is advancing ecological thinking and action. Visit

If listening has prompted something new to emerge in you, we invite you to share your thoughts as a written message or voice recording, which you can send to [email protected] Until next time, this is the Emergency to Emergence.

Filed Under:

Social Media

Connect with Sterling College