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Observing, Exploring

caleb.eckert's picture

In registering this account, my username was not difficult to choose. I think I am becoming more genuine with my written words, and by extension, more honest with others about who I am and where I am at in that lifelong exploration. So I have simply chosen to use my first and last name.

My avatar shows me, a few years back, taking a photo of a deep green valley in Southern Colorado. Having spent half my life in Alaska and half in Northern Arizona, nature has always been a place to return to, a place to reflect in, and a place to escape from a society built on busy-ness and a narrowly-defined “productivity.” I feel that this image embodies some of my own relationship to and interactions with a wider world: a figure living in a much greater landscape, a figure who observes, a figure that needs nature’s solitude and slowness in many ways.

At the same time, I struggle with my own relationship to nature. William Cronon, Emma Marris, and others have called into question my conceptions of “wilderness” and my engrained stark divisions between nature and culture. Thus, through my anthropology major and environmental studies minor, I continue to further explore our many relationships with environments—be it a concrete jungle or a ponderosa pine forest—and my own rootedness and connection with nature.