David Haskell has won acclaim for eloquent writing and deep engagement with the natural world. In this talk he will describe how he has integrated contemplative, literary, and scientific studies of the natural world. What might we learn by paying repeated attention to very small parts of our neighborhoods or forests? David has explored this question by returning again and again to the same one-square-meter of old growth forest in Tennessee, then by repeatedly visiting individual trees in locations around the world. These explorations reveal the biological connections that sustain all life, in places as diverse as cities (Manhattan, Denver, Jerusalem), forests (in the Amazon, Rockies, and boreal) and areas on the front lines of environmental change (eroding coastlines, burned mountainsides, and war zones). In each place Haskell shows how human history, ecology, and well-being are intimately intertwined with the lives of forests and trees. In a world beset by barriers, Haskell reminds us that life’s substance and beauty emerge from relationship and interdependence.
David Haskell’s work integrates scientific, literary, and contemplative studies of nature. His first book, The Forest Unseen, was finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and received numerous honors including the National Academies’ Best Book Award. Haskell’s latest book, The Songs of Trees, examines biological networks through the lives of a dozen trees around the world. The book was winner of the 2018 John Burroughs Medal, named one of the Best Science Books of 2017 by NPR’s Science Friday, among other honors. Haskell is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, where his classes have received national attention for combining action in the community with contemplative practice. In addition to his books, he has published scientific papers, essays, poems, and op-eds.
$10 per person. Recommended for 12 and up.