Consider that we live in an age when we have more frequent distractions and greater numbers of sources of information than we know wisely how to handle. All we read, hear, see and encounter floods us with sensory overload leading to a dissolution of the context that once provided proportion and meaning to what we analyze. We are no longer starved for details about the world. Instead we are lost in a glut of trivial details where confusion of facts and opinions becomes a widespread problem.
Deluged by details most people are unable to determine important from trivial known facts. Some practitioners and specialists are unable to distinguish known facts from fabricated fantasies, or convenient fictions.
Fictions are elaborate stories that assist people in understanding an otherwise unclear situation. Some specific legal fictions are created by well meaning folks to generate certainty. The need for certainty where, too often, there is only vague feelings, unexamined emotions or prejudices that shape our "misunderstanding" of everyday events, is understandable, but not desirable.
An overt goal of all my classes is to challenge our shared prejudices and examine our follies in the light of gentle dialogue. This is done with respect for you as a source of individually inherent value. The aim of this challenge is to allow you to exercise good judgment in distinguishing between trustworthy, widely accepted facts and erroneous but commonly held fictions.
Unless we practice reasoned discourse, respect for the beliefs of others, and an honest commitment to substantiated facts we run the risk of indoctrination. Any set of unexamined ideas that rest on shared fictions has the potential of leading us toward a fatally flawed, fascistic acceptance of the "general will." One purpose of a Liberal Arts education is to nourish the soul to unshackle the mind to behave in ways that harm no one.
Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River between Zimbabwe and Zambia, 2000; Barbara Siry.
Here are some more pages to assist you in what you need to know about me as an educator.
|Is the 5th dimension here on Earth?||Climate Change Talk|
An idea's power
|Wildlife as a public trust||Symbolism: 5 kingdoms of life|
|Darwin was right, so get used to it!||Global Warming's here now.|
|science of complex systems||word webs|
Historian of Science, Technology and Environment
B.A., Emory University; M.A., Ph.D. University of California
at Santa Barbara
2002-2003 River Restoration Project Coordinator, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Gainesville.
1996-2004 Director of Environmental Management, Rollins Brevard Campus, Melbourne, FL
2001-2002 State Director, Natural Resources Defense Council’s Florida Climate Alliance.
2001-2002 Executive Committee member, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Gainesville, FL
1999-2001 State Coordinator, Alliance for Florida’s Future (MacArthur Grant), Winter Park, FL
1995-2000 Vice-president, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Gainesville, FL
1996-1999 Member of the Board of Directors, Florida Audubon Society, Winter Park, FL
1985-1995 Member Advisory Board, Florida Defenders of the Environment Gainesville, FL
1986-1988 Secretary, City of Winter Park Environmental Review Board Winter Park, FL
1986-1991 Editor, "Practicing Essentials," North American Environmental Education Association's Environmental Studies Section Newsletter.
1987-1988 Associate Editor, Bulletin of Human Ecology
1988-1993 Associate Professor, Environmental Studies, Applied Quantitative Systems, and Master of Liberal Studies Departments, Rollins College.
1991-1993 Publications Review Committee:
North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE)
July 1990 - "Culture, Energy and Ecology around the World"
January 1991 Tour of 21 countries including: Peru, Australia, India, Africa, and the EU.
June - Aug. 1991 Researcher-in-Residence: Evergreen State College, Department of History
June 2-14, 1992 Non-governmental Organization (NGO) participant in Global Forum,
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (U.N.C.E.D.)
"Earth Summit"; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 2-10, 1992.
"What is the Electric Car?" Nemours distribution, 2010
"The Florida Everglades: Shaping A National Treasure" - original documentary, WGCU-TV, 2001
Masters of Liberal Studies: M.A. thesis Advising, Supervision, and Sponsorship.
With first year students on the Lake's edge, Fall, 2010.