Everyone Has a Nature Story
By John Leiser, professor of biology,
Most days, I prefer the company of a forest of trees to a crowd of people, the whisper of leaves in the wind to the murmur of a dozen whispery conversations, and the
interrupting din of the drumming of a woodpecker on a distant tree to the unsilenced "ring" of a nearby cellphone. Whether I glimpse the woodpecker or not, the encounter will give me another story to share about a bird, about an experience in and with nature.
I say "everyone has a bird story," but I mean "everyone has a nature story." We all interact with the natural world; it affects us, and we affect it. Not all of these interactions mirror the harmony of a quiet woodland morning. After all, I drive my car (SUV) to school. I heat my home (not with 100% solar energy), and I worry about my impact on the natural world whose stories I long to gather and to share.
To say the impact that 7.5 billion people can have and are having on the natural world is significant is an understatement. This impact, our impact, is explored by journalist, author, and activist Bill McKibben. Whether searching for "his place" in nature in his book Wandering Home or lamenting the irrevocable harm that humans are capable of inflicting on the planet in The End of Nature and eaarth, McKibben's works reflect his own (and evoke in others a) passion for protecting and preserving our world so that future generations may have their own nature stories to share.
Bill McKibben will share his passion, his nature story with all of us on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at NCC's Bethlehem Campus in the Arthur L. Scott Spartan Center at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the McKibben lecture are free, but reservations are required. Make reservations online or call 610-861-5519 with questions. The lecture will be live streamed at NCC's Monroe Campus, Tannersville, Room 202, Keystone Hall. No reservations are required for the live stream.
John Leiser is a biology professor at Northampton Community College. He is the coordinator of NCC's 2016-2017 NEH Humanities Series: "Flying Free: Birds and the Human Spirit." In 2011, Leiser was named the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He has involved many students at the Monroe Campus in research and service learning projects having to do with watersheds, bird populations, invasive plant species and community-supported agriculture.