Natural history and the “more-than-human world”



BAR HARBOR — Tom Fleischner, the Executive Director of the Natural History Institute in Prescott, Arizona, will discuss the importance of natural history Sept. 18 at 4:10 p.m. at College of the Atlantic’s McCormick Lecture Hall.

Fleischner’s talk is the college’s first Human Ecology Forum of the academic year. He defines natural history as “a practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy.” Natural history, Fleischner argues, forms the basis of biological sciences, the grounding for conservation, and the basis for healthy human individuals and societies.

His presentation will draw upon his many years of work as a field naturalist and conservation biologist and as the editor of the anthology “Nature, Love, Medicine: Essays On Wildness and Wellness.”

The mission of the Natural History Institute is to provide leadership and resources for a revitalized practice of natural history that integrates art, science, and humanities to promote the health and well-being of humans and the rest of the natural world.

Along with his role at the Institute, Fleischner is faculty emeritus in environmental studies at Prescott College, where he taught interdisciplinary environmental studies for 29 years, and chair of the natural history section of the Ecological Society of America.

The Human Ecology Forum is a free, weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend.