Beavers, Starlings and the Network of Life

It would not be breaking news to suggest that modern society needs to repair its relationship with the natural world. The rationales for this necessary shift are myriad, from ethical and moral obligations to our fellow planetary inhabitants to literally existential concerns for many species (including our own), including the very real possibility of over-cooking our only home in the not-too-distant future. The question is: How? How do we begin to heal and restore our relationship with the rest of the web of life? 

There are many answers to this essential question and this week we share three different approaches – Respect, Knowledge, and Partnership. 

Naturalist Lyanda Fern Lynn Haupt explores the “infinity of living intelligences,” by way of time spent raising a starling in her home. Legendary explorer, scientist and “Arbornaut” Dr. Meg Lowman describes bringing an entire class of mobility-limited students high into the forest canopy over half a decade to support cutting edge research. And journalist Ben Goldfarb discusses the very real potential for ecological restoration by partnering with the American Beaver, once responsible for shaping the very face of our continent before being trapped nearly to extinction. 

Starlings, Infinity, and the Kith of Kinship | Lyanda Fern Lynn Haupt

The starling bird’s impressive ability to mimic the sounds of life as it unfolds around them speaks to the way that song illuminates their practice of sharing in the web of life. In this excerpt from the brand new book, Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations, Lyanda Fern Lynn Haupt reflects on the beyond-human kinship her relationship with starlings has illuminated, and the infinity of intelligences cradled by reciprocity in a world that both includes yet surpasses the limits of human knowledge. 

Read more here.

The Arbornaut – A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us

Author, conservation biologist and explorer Meg Lowman is one of the world’s first arbornauts. Whereas astronauts explore outer space, arbornauts make discoveries in the tops of trees. In this excerpt from her brand new book, The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us, Meg skilfully weaves together conservation, water bears, and increasing access to the outdoors and science for marginalized communities. 

Read more here.

Beaver Believer: How Massive Rodents Could Restore Landscapes and Ecosystems At Scale

In his brand new book, EAGER: The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, journalist Ben Goldfarb dives into the past, present and potential future of the American Beaver. Goldfarb explores the historical extent of beavers in North America and the dramatic transformation of the entire landscape as a result of the truly barbaric fur trade that led to colonization of the interior of the continent and the near extinction of the species. In this interview Bioneers’ own Teo Grossman, Ben discusses how he came to write Eager and the important ecological role beavers play as incredible agents of ecological restoration.

Read more here.

Ben Goldfarb will be speaking at the 2021 Bioneers Conference. Register today and join Ben and many others in the Bioneers community!

Video: Biomimicry with Janine Benyus

The designs inherent to the world we live in can serve as blueprints to how we curate solutions to infrastructure and other challenges. Bridging the divide between biology and design can help advance how we approach innovation. Rather than setting ourselves apart from the genius that surrounds us, humanity can design a harmonious destiny with the same biological patterns that construct our world.

Watch here.

Pachamama Alliance’s Global Community Gathering

Bioneers is happy to support Pachamama Alliance’s Global Community Gathering on November 4th, a gathering of allies from around the world working toward a thriving, just, and sustainable future. Join to hear from speakers including Van Jones, Paul Hawken, Lynne Twist and more! And discover how you can be a part of the movement for a thriving, just, and sustainable future with Pachamama Alliance. 

Register by November 3rd here.

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