What is missing? Maya Lin’s memorial to the vanishing natural world

Maya Lin has put together an interactive website she calls a ‘memorial’ to a vanishing natural world.

Not only is the website excellent, it is an interesting idea on several levels. Its a kind of living memorial, for instance. But it is also interesting because many theorists want to do away with the concept/construct of nature. And while that goal may be worth pursuing (depending on how we go about it) we are nevertheless living in a time when nature, its loss and destruction, is a powerful part of how we imagine ourselves.

A podcast with Maya Lin is here and an interview is here, both are from Yale 360.

Dalhousie Water Resources Centre

Dalhousie University, in Halifax, has a great website up and running for its Centre for Water Resources Studies.

The centre’s faculty are a combination of social scientists, environmental health scientists, and engineers. They have posts actively recruiting graduate students here. It has been in existence since 1981, and so my happening onto its new(ish) website says more about me than it.

At any rate, I’m excited to see where this initiative goes with the current projects it has listed, not only because I live nearby, but because it has interesting projects on water issues in the Atlantic region and also in the Northwest Territories. So as I drive by “no fracking” signs all along the Northumberland Shore (there are also a lot of “no windmills here!” signs, which is a different though related issue of how communities conceptualize their own prosperity in relation to energy development) and prepare for the upcoming Keepers of the Water conference in Ft. Nelson in 10 days, I’m reminded of how water has that wonderful quality of not being only physical, but not wholly social.

Initiatives like this one have the potential to set up at this juncture between the ways things are and what we make of them; a critical intersection as pressures on water use grow.