We’re honored to present some very accomplished and inspiring speakers for the Transformation without Apocalypse symposium, February 14-15. We’ll be sharing more information about them in the New Year, but for now here are brief bios to introduce them.


Tim DeChristopher was arrested for sabotaging a 2008 auction of Utah public lands by registering and bidding without the intention to pay. His action became an inspiration to others concerned about the environmental crisis, as well as the story for a documentary, Bidder 70. Together with other activists, he formed Peaceful Uprising, a volunteer-based climate action group committed to defending a livable future from the fossil fuel industry. Tim was released from prison in April 2013 and currently attends Harvard Divinity School. www.peacefuluprising.org

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin was born in 1929 in Berkeley, and lives in Portland, Oregon. As of 2013, she has published 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, 12 books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many honors and awards including Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, and PEN-Malamud. Her most recent publications are Finding My Elegy and The Unreal and the Real. www.ursulakleguin.com

Kim Stanley Robinson is a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. Themes in his writing often explore environmentalism, science, and humanism. He is the author of the bestselling Mars Trilogy and many novels, including Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Antarctica–for which he was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation as part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers’ Program. www.kimstanleyrobinson.info

Kathleen Dean Moore is a philosopher, nature writer, public speaker, and defender of all that is wet and wild. She is also a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and co-founder and Senior Fellow of the Spring Creek Project. Moore speaks widely to audiences of interested citizens, scientists, church groups, etc. about the need for a moral response to climate destabilization and species loss. Her newest book is MORAL GROUND: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. www.riverwalking.com

Rob Nixon is the Rachel Carson Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he teaches environmental studies, postcolonial studies, creative nonfiction, African literature, world literature, and twentieth century British literature. He is the author of Homelands, Harlem and Hollywood: South African Culture and the World Beyond; Dreambirds: the Natural History of a Fantasy; and Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. www.english.wisc.edu/rdnixon/

Susana Almanza is the Co-Director of People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources (PODER), and is one of three co-chairs for the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice. She has served on numerous committees including the EPA’s Title VI Implementation Advisory Committee and the City of Austin Environmental Board, and she is a former Planning Commissioner for the City of Austin. She resides in East Austin, Texas. http://www.poder-texas.org/index.html

Amy Franceschini is concerned with notions of community, sustainable environment, and the perceived conflict between humans and nature. Her work manifests itself on- and offline in the form of dynamic websites, installations, open-access laboratories, and educational formats that challenge the cultural, social, and economic systems we live in. Amy founded Futurefarmers in 1995 and Free Soil in 2004. She has received the Artadia Award, the Eureka Fellowship, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA Art Award. www.futurefarmers.com

Joanna Macy is an eco-philosopher and scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. Her work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and contemporary science. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application. www.joannamacy.net

Carolyn Finney is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where her work explores how difference, identity, representation, and power play a significant role in determining how people negotiate their daily lives in relation to the environment. Finney serves on a number of national boards and committees including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Orion Magazine, and the Center for Whole Communities. ourenvironment.berkeley.edu/people_profiles/carolyn-finney/

Sarah van Gelder is the co-founder and executive editor of YES! Magazine, for which common topics include the new economy, climate solutions, alternatives to prisons, food, water, peacemaking, health care, and happiness. She also co-founded Suquamish Olalla Neighbors, which builds bridges between Native and non-Native residents of the Port Madison Reservation, and co-led a statewide effort to return the home of Chief Seattle to the Suquamish Tr

Gore.Ramble pic.Oct2013

PHOTO: Marie Gore, “spiderweb and rain drops”

Photographer Cub Kahn and writer Jill Sisson were so smitten by last spring’s Campus Creature Census, they offered to do a satellite event, the Autumn Campus Creative Ramble. On Sunday, October 27, Spring Creek volunteer Marie Gore joined the Ramble and shared this account, as well as her beautiful photograph.

“Fourteen of us headed out to ramble around campus, armed with writing materials and cameras of all kinds. At each of the four stops, our leaders offered a nature-related quote to focus our creative juices, followed by ten minutes for taking photos and writing. Unpredicted rain arrived halfway through the Ramble, but that didn’t stop us hearty Oregonians, dressed for anything Mother Nature threw at us.” The Ramble participants gathered again ten days later to share their writings and photos. Many thanks to Cub and Jill, and everyone who joined in the fun.

Spring Creek will again sponsor the Campus Creature Census next spring. We encourage everyone to keep your senses tuned to discover the creature—plant, animal, or natural process—you will want to add to the Census.

Bill Yake, writer and ecologist, just completed his residency at the Andrews Forest. He writes “Nine days in contact with the forests, streams, people, smaller mammals, and above-and-below-ground fungi of the Oregon Cascades in the McKenzie-Blue River drainage. A stay capped off by a visit from a (my first) Northern Spotted Owl in the old growth up a nearby ridge.”
We wanted to share this link Bill sent us to his photo album. It includes some beautiful shots of the forest, a terrific pic of that Spotted Owl in flight, and a nifty video of a ‘flying’ squirrel.

Bill Yake’s Andrews Forest residency album

On October 18-19, 2013, the Spring Creek Project hosted a gathering at the Andrews Forest to celebrate the first 10 years of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program and to think about ways to further collaborations among scientists, writers, artists, and philosophers over the next 190 years.

Since its inception in 2002, Long-Term Ecological Reflections has hosted more than 40 writers-in-residence at HJ Andrews Forest and sponsored field symposia on challenging topics such as “The Meaning of Watershed Health” and “New Metaphors for Restoration.”  Writings produced by our writers-in-residence have appeared in prominent national publications such as The Atlantic, Orion, and OnEarth.  With funding from the PNW Research Station and programmatic leadership of the Spring Creek Project, Reflections has garnered attention from the leadership of the National Science Foundation, been the focus of an article in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and helped inspire more than twenty other sites around the country to initiate Reflections-type programs.

From left to right: Kathleen Dean Moore, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Terry Chapin, Michael Nelson, Tom Spies, Mark Schulze, Chris Still, Leslie Ryan, Mark Harmon, Lissy Goralnik, Nathaniel Brodie, Julia Jones, Hannah Gosnell, Carly Lettero, Tom Titus, Robin Kimmerer, Charles Goodrich, and Fred Swanson.
From left to right: Kathleen Dean Moore, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Terry Chapin, Michael Nelson, Tom Spies, Mark Schulze, Chris Still, Leslie Ryan, Mark Harmon, Lissy Goralnik, Nathaniel Brodie, Julia Jones, Hannah Gosnell, Carly Lettero, Tom Titus, Robin Kimmerer, Charles Goodrich, and Fred Swanson.


One of the most promising trends in ecological awareness is a growing respect between analytically trained environmental scientists and advocates and practitioners of Traditional Ecological Knowledge or TEK. The Spring Creek Project has convened a number of gatherings that bring gather people with deep knowledge in one of the disciplines and a respect for the other. It’s especially fruitful when we can host one of those rare individuals who is adept in both Western science and TEK. Robin Kimmerer, mother, biologist, professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, is one of those rare individuals. Rarer still, she is a graceful and eloquent writer, and her new book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants is full of wisdom and beauty. Her elucidation of the “Honorable Harvest” and the ecological role of gratitude is a profound guide and challenge for mindful living. She writes, “The evolutionary advantage for cultures of gratitude is compelling. This human emotion has adaptive value, because it engenders practical outcomes for sustainability.”

Jane Goodall says about Braiding Sweetgrass, “Robin Kimmerer has written an extraordinary book, showing how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people. It is the way she captures beauty that I love the most—the images of giant cedars and wild strawberries, a forest in the rain and a meadow of fragrant sweetgrass will stay with you long after you read the last page.”
Robin recently gave a moving talk in New York for the Center for Humans and Nature. You can read the text of her talk here: http://www.humansandnature.org/earth-ethic—robin-kimmerer-response-80.php
And, even better, you can hear Robin speak Saturday, October 19, 7:30 pm at LaSells Stewart Center, C&E Auditorium. She’ll be joined by poet Alison Hawthorne Deming for an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of Long-Term Ecological Reflections program. It’s free and open to all.

Welcome to Spring Creek’s new website! We invite you to poke around, read some stories about our people and programs, and see what interesting events we’re cooking up.
In the process of re-designing the website, we discovered that our interests and concerns have lead us to take on recurring topics at different times and from different angles. Having noticed these patterns among our programs and events, we decided to organize them according to themes. We suspect we’ll be re-visiting many of these topics in the future, bringing different ways of knowing to the most pressing issues of our time. Check out the “Themes” tab at the right, and let us know what you think.

The challenge of the Spring Creek Project is to bring together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the clarity of philosophical analysis, and the creative, expressive power of the written word, to find new ways to understand and re-imagine our relation to the natural world.