Amid an early-morning smoky haze, a man cleans the forecourt of Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Jan. 5. (Lukas Coch/Reuters)

Songs for when the world is burning

Last week I was tasked with selecting a song to play during an environmental communications guest lecture at the University of California, Los Angeles. A song to summarize the world burning. Finding anything at all that adequately speaks the unprecedented crisis and tragedy that my country is living through was quite a task. My first […]

LA River x LA Breakfast Club

Early next Wednesday morning (August 14, 7 am, at Friendship Auditorium on Riverside Drive), I’m delighted to be the guest speaker at the 94 years old Los Angeles institution that KCET has crowned the “strangest club in Los Angeles,” the Los Angeles Breakfast Club. If you’re up for LA River stories, with a generous side […]

How to arrive

Moving to a new city is a big deal. Even when it’s to an exciting shiny new place, there are all kinds of challenges that arise – logistical, existential, social, financial. I know it. In 2018 I stacked the must-keep belongings from my abundant Australian life, much like jenga rods, into a cramped 25-foot storage […]

A field guide to love and the Los Angeles River

The shortest version of my PhD is “It’s about loving a concrete river!” My next briefest version is “This thesis is a contemporary environmental history that reshapes understandings of how people interact with the rest of nature in urban landscapes.” And, for the keen folks, the entire thesis is now available online at http://hdl.handle.net/10453/123262 If you […]

Thesis snippets: Paint, Cats, and the L.A. River

I meet Leo Limon beneath the crisp winter sun in a tiny pocket park at the end of Oros Ave in Frogtown.[1] The pocket of land is called Steelhead Park, in recognition of the river’s indicator species, a trout that was last seen in the waterway in January of 1940.[2] We had planned to meet at the […]

Thesis snippets: how we write ourselves on landscapes

Roderick Nash, one of environmental history’s foremost scholars, recalls telling a college student that rather than devoting the semester break to scholarly reading, the time would be far better spent exploring the landscape.[1] Nash was convinced, as am I, that observing, questioning and considering places – and the impacts of human beings – would allow […]

I love you.

Project underwear continues. A few months ago, a few loved ones pooled our money and spent $250 on underwear to donate to The Wayside Chapel. The fantastic crew at BONDS in Market City matched our small gesture with two big boxes of brand new donations. Jump forward in time, and my mama and I are […]