About

<Version: 07.03.17>

Alder Stone
Dover-Foxcroft, Maine on the way to the west coast of Scotland

Education

  • PhD, Evolutionary Biology & Ecology, 1990, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • MS, Probability Theory & Mathematical Statistics, 1984, University of Memphis
  • MS, Biological Systematics, 1976, University of Memphis
  • BS, Invertebrate Biology , 1973, University of Memphis

Professional Experiences

  • 2013: Created Ermah Ge
  • 2011 –  now : Seminars, courses & consulting
    in system & life sciences, geophysiology & climate change
  • 2001 – 2010 : founded and taught at a small, independent school in Eugene, Oregon, focused on system sciences, geophysiology & climate change
  • 1998 – 2000 : professional hiatus for travel, study
    & development as an independent educator
  • 1990 – 1997 : taught biology & math full-time at
    Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque
  • 1973 – 1989 : various graduate teaching & research positions in biology & mathematics during graduate studies at universities, and a part-time faculty position.

Personal description

Welcome to my personal and professional site, blog and vlog.  I hope you find value here.  An episode of the Stone’s Map video series focusing on this page is in production.  It will include a slide show of my life. 

Even though I often use my pen name — Alder Stone — my given full name is Ollar Stone Fuller III.  The “III” is there because I was named after my father and grandfather.  The designation III sometimes implies aristocracy, but we were poor; I grew up in a trailer behind my father’s gasoline station in a small town near Memphis, TN.  

In my 50’s, after a lifetime of searching for the origins of my name, I finally learned that “Ollar” is old English for Alder.  In recent years, I have taken Alder Stone as my pen & nick name.  My web site name adds a 3 to represent “III”.

After completing my formal education, independent study of the complexity (system or network) sciences during the 1990’s changed my views of nature, Earth, life, science and education so profoundly that I became disinterested in teaching science and mathematics from a traditional reductionist and mechanistic perspective common in contemporary schools and colleges.

These new ideas were not only much more powerful than those I’d studied at university – including inspiring new answers to those age-old questions, “What is life?” and “How did it begin?” — but they also offered a much more effective way of articulating what I felt about nature as an outdoors person and wilderness walker.  Teaching about life — and the universe within which it is embedded from a systems and Gaian perspective is more fulfilling intellectually.

Like many of the great scientists, writers and philosophers of our time, Lynn Margulis (with whom I studied and worked in August, 2010), James Lovelock, Ilya Prigogine, Fritjof Capra, William Irwin Thompson, Diane Dumanoski, and others – I came to deeply understand that the principles of systems sciences can – and must – provide a foundation for the emergence  of truly ecologically sustainable cultures in the face of our formidable 21st century planetary challenges.

However, introducing new ideas into an established curriculum in an integrated way requires years of convincing curriculum committees.  Yet, these new ideas are urgently needed now; there is not time to proceed through ‘normal channels’.  

Therefore, since 2001, I have been an independent or freelance educator offering lectures, seminars, courses and consulting not available anywhere else in the US in such an integrated way.  I teach independently rather than in ‘mainstream’ educational institutions so that I can offer these ideas in creative ways in a timely fashion.  Plus, by working outside of mainstream colleges and universities, I can make them available to not just college students, but to all people.

From 2001 to 2010, I founded and taught at a small, independent, college-level academy in Eugene, Oregon (with some lectures and seminars in Portland) to develop and teach my current curriculum.  During that time, I offered a complexity sciences perspective to thousands in classes, seminars, workshops and public lectures.  I have experienced the joy of watching many reach what one of my advanced students calls an “AH HA!” moment, when the elegance and awe-inspiring beauty of life takes on a deep, new meaning grounded in an intuitive understanding.  (Click here to read student reviews of the ideas that I teach and the teaching methods that I employ.)

In July, 2010, I migrated to Maine for a complex suite of personal and professional reasons, including its geography, ecology, geology, human cultures and favorable location for coming climate changes.  

However, where as in Oregon, I met with modest professional success, taught many hundreds of students, including about 75 advanced students who studied with me for years, I unfortunately cannot say that about my seven years in Maine.  Even though I have loved (most of) my stay here, met some wonderful friends and visited many beautiful places — Maine is unequivocally my favorite US state of the many I’ve visited — I have been unable to generate sufficient interest in my program outside of the climatology component of Earth Studies Program (priority 3 in the program), which contributed to me earning an unfair name in some communities — Dr. Doom — which I emphatically and vociferously and angrily deny.  I am NOT a doomer, and any who project their doom and gloom views onto me get my ire aimed at them in an impolite, politically-incorrect, George Carlin manner**.)

(** As I will explain in Stone’s Map, my personality can be best understood as a psychological chimera of David Suzuki (science and biology educator and broadcaster), George Carlin, Ani DiFranco, and Jim Bridger, a 19th-century, mountain man relative.)

That label based in both a misunderstanding of my views of climate change, what to do about it, and my larger Earth Studies Program contributed to six very challenging, financially depauperate years (infuriatingly frustrating and difficult) that included living in 30 different places.  I’m happy to say that now I am stable, living in a relatively-nice government subsidized housing — complete with a beautiful, large set of hike-able woods out back — where I hope to remain until I leave for Scotland.

Thus, for that and numerous other reasons (to be addressed in Stone’s Map), I’ll be going to the United Kingdom — my genetic homeland — in Spring, 2018.  My focus will overwhelmingly be Scotland, especially my mother’s clan’s territory (Argyll), the western highlands and the Inner Hebrides; my hope is to settle there long term.  (Yes, I am researching options for that already.)  My transition is already being arranged and paid (by a European benefactor), and I am working on a professional game plan.  My focus there — as here in Maine for the remainder of my stay — will be on video production, including my full set of seven introductory seminars.

I am — slowly; ever so slowly — writing a book about complexity sciences, biological systems, geophysiology, and their relevance to the future evolution of human cultures.  It is a compilation – a primer – of ideas that I use in my introductory and advanced seminars and courses.  Numerous early draft components can be found on this site as essays and blog posts. 

I am also a backpacker, alpinist, lover of big wilderness and a student of bushcraft (modern and primitive); a student of the relationship between science, art and mythology; a photographer and budding videographer; an electronic percussionist, and passionate dancer to electronic dance music with fast beats, often called ‘techno’.

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