History, Wonder, and Care in the Canadian Rockies, by Charles B. Hayes

Charles B. Hayes is a philosopher, naturalist, poet, and outdoorsman. He spent the summer of 2019 with the Mountain Legacy Project helping to reproduce photos taken in the Canadian Rockies a century ago. This comparative record provides an invaluable data set for tracking climate change and human use of the landscape. Charles' reflections on map-making …

When People, Dogs, and Fungi Form an Inseparable Whole

This was the third time I had witnessed Andrea, the gruff Italian woodsman and truffle hunter, working closely with his dog Zara. Zara is a short-haired pointer, an awkward-looking blend of floppy ears, long legs, and bountiful canine energy who just happens to be excellent at sniffing out the black truffles that lie beneath the …

Biodiversity Loss and (What is Not) Rocket Science

It’s the habitat, stupid! Such a well-worn phrase – or something close to it – could serve as a tag line for the alarming report on biodiversity loss released in summary form this week by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The report doesn’t mince words about the fact that human impacts …

Of Moose and Sturgeon: Lessons from the Ragged Edges of the Anthropocene

A mother and calf moose were found bedded down in an alleyway in downtown Missoula, Montana this last Friday morning. They were resting up somewhere between a law office and a bank. People showing up for work at the end of the week were warned to look both ways before they ran across the street …

The Ethics of Wiping out a Mosquito Species

The latest blog post on the Plastocene reflects on a genetic technology that could eradicate an entire species of malaria-carrying mosquito. It sounds like an ethical no-brainer.  Some people, however, are a little more hesitant. "The announcement that a new genetic technology had successfully eradicated a carefully contained population of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes grabbed headlines last week across …