What it is ain’t exactly clear.
So begins one of my favorite songs of all times,
“For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield.
But this post is not about music. It’s about things happening in my life, mostly professional - including updates about fall classes in Maine and a new non-profit organization – but some personal as well. In reality, the two blur into one. I hardly make a distinction any longer.
This is an overview – an announcement, of sorts – of topics to be addressed in coming weeks. This blog has been inactive since May - long story about why; it’s been an ”interesting” few months – but it’s time to fire it up again. And for good reason: there’s a LOT of something happening here, even if the full story ain’t exactly clear … yet.
Here’s the list. Most of these will be addressed in near-future posts,
though not necessarily the order in which they will appear.
1 – My seminars, courses and workshops for academic year 2012 – 2013, will begin in October. In that post, I’ll introduce my new curriculum map (finished) and course catalog (under development). The map represents all of my courses, seminars and workshops – including some new ones - in five categories : systems, life (i.e. biology), geophysiology (Earth system sciences), climate and adaptability – as a graph with links suggesting which should be completed before others (i.e., prerequisites), and most popular courses and paths to them. Here’s a thumbnail for now to offer you the idea; the full-sized version will be included in a later post.
2 – A new seminar on abrupt climate change and its probable effect on Maine weather for the next few decades is under co-development and will be co-taught by me and meteorologist Ed Hummel of Dexter, ME. We wish to help people understand the relevance of the more globally-oriented information presented in my Climate 1 lecture and seminar to weather here in Maine. In it, we’ll be making specific references to …
3 … big – no, wait, GARGANTUAN changes in the Arctic – especially loss of Arctic Sea Ice (ASI) – at breathtaking speed. A new record minimum is expected this year. Loss of ASI will change Earth’s climate in ways that most cannot yet conceive. Those changes have begun – the jet stream has been ‘rearranging’ and is having very big effects on weather patterns – but much bigger ones will come. This is a game changer.
4 – A process is underway in Portland, ME to introduce my work there, beginning with public lectures and seminars. We’ll start with Climate 1 (Abrupt Climate Change), but others will be offered later. The schedule is not yet finalized, but the first lecture could be as early as the first of 2013.
5 – A new component of my curriculum : seminars and workshops about ‘survival’ skills and tools to optimize adaptability. To be clear, this is not about ‘survivalism’ in the sense of ‘bugging out’ to a fortified camp with an AK-47 during a zombie apocalypse. Instead it’s about backpacking and bushcraft skills and tools that I have acquired over 5 decades as an outdoorsman that are even useful every day at home and in daily travels – including a concept called the ‘every day kit’ (EDK) – and that will be of great value in emergencies like natural disasters and the inevitable disruptions to civilization’s infrastructure caused by abrupt climate change punctuated by petro-collapse (aka ‘peak oil’) and global economic disruptions.
The post describing these ideas will include descriptions 0f my recent excursions into relatively wild areas of mid-Maine – including the 100-mile wilderness and mountain bike rides on an ATV/snowmobile trail near Dexter – my ‘every day kit’ (EDK), and more extensive survival kits that I carry on those excursions (layers, tarps, sitting/sleeping pads, etc).
For example, here is a pic of my mountain bike with my EDK (small pack) and extra gear carried in a crate affixed to the rear rack. With that, in an emergency – such as an injury or a mechanical failure miles from a road and out of cell range – I can survive overnight if necessary, even if not comfortably. Why all the orange? 1) I am more easily seen by drivers; 2) it’s easier to find items on a forest floor, especially near dusk, and 3) it adds safety during hunting seasons.
6 – My arguments about why the East-West Corridor - an insidious development project through the heart of mid-Maine – must be stopped. I can explain that most easily from within the context of my curriculum.
Life is an adventure. I hope to experience some of it with you this year and beyond.