The Desert Lab on Tumamoc Hill meeting (Aug. 2010)

Gary Paul Nabhan hosted a meeting on Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, AZ (home of The Desert Laboratory) to advance the proposal for a network of long term ecological reflection sites patterned after the Spring Creek Project’s work done at Andrews Forest.

From the meeting Agenda:

“This meeting is intended to honor and build upon the work coordinated by Fred, Kathy and Charles at Andrews Forest and the Spring Creek Project which has added dimensions to the Andrews Forest LTER; however, we envision a network that may extend beyond LTERS to include sites where early naturalists like Leopold, Thoreau and Shreve took field notes, photos and sketches;  and to sites with deep oral histories from current and past residents, as Peter and Terry have collected. It may include National Literary Landmarks, as well as independent field stations and sites such as The Shack that attract not only scientists, but nature writers, photographers, environmental historians and others.

In this retreat, we will attempt to cover three proposals that I have discussed with Curt, Fred, Charles and Kathy over the last few months, so that we can refine or radically revise them in advance of the larger September gathering:

  1. How can we better use earlier naturalists’, residents’, or (native and non-native) migratory visitors’ about these particular landscapes as benchmarks by which to monitor and reflect upon change and its causes? The change in question may be habitat integrity or fragmentation, phenology, human uses, erosion and deposition, or cultural perception.
  2. How can we foster more interdisciplinary, cross-cultural dialogues about the history and future of such “places of the heart” through means in addition to those which Fred and Kathy have already nurtured at Andrews Forest, training young scientists and writers to think and reflect upon their landscapes in a more un-siloed way?
  3. How can we build financial and infrastructural resilience into such a network, encouraging funding not only from NSF, DOI and USDA, but from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities as well?”