We reflect on the progress made toward fomenting a “natural history renaissance,” which we called for in the first article published in this journal— and the important role the journal plays in this renaissance. We then describe changes in the publishing institution for this journal: the Natural History Network has recently closed its operations, but the Natural History Institute is continuing and expanding efforts at providing resources for the rejuvenation of natural history practice, inside and outside academia. The Journal of Natural History Education and Experience will continue to play a key role in this work. [full article]
The mission of the Natural History Network is to promote the value of natural history by discussing and disseminating ideas and techniques on its successful practice to educators, scientists, artists, writers, the media, and the public at large. For the last four years, this journal has worked to promote that mission by providing a venue for information of use to natural history educators. The Network’s board has learned that open-access publication, when standards are maintained, is an excellent tool for disseminating ideas and perspectives to help fuel a renaissance in the practice of natural history. As a result, at the end of 2010, the board decided to expand the range of its publication efforts to provide an outlet for a wider range of perspectives about natural history beyond just education. Rather than launch a new journal, however, we decided to expand the scope of the existing one. [full article]
Yes, the title of this editorial is a mouthful. Yet it makes an important point. Over the past year and a half since the Natural History Network launched the Journal of Natural History Education, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with numerous people about developing articles for the journal. … Without exception, all of them had interesting and important stories to tell about teaching natural history. But also without exception, my conversations with them … revealed that teachers are enormously intimidated by and uncertain about telling their stories. [full article]
It is our misfortune to live in an age of rapid biological decline. Ever since the emergence of Homo sapiens as a tool-using species, capable of altering natural communities and harvesting species past their abilities to regenerate, species extinction and degradation of habitats have become increasingly common. We have come to the point where we can now speak of living in the time of the sixth mass extinction event in the history of life on Earth with no sense of hyperbole (Jablonski 1991, Wilson 1992).
But this human-induced mass extinction progresses largely unnoticed–this age of biological decline is, not coincidentally, also an age of human indifference to the more-than-human world. [full article]