Story Preservation Initiative®

We believe in the importance of sharing ideas and the transformative power of story. For info on our K-3 Learning Lab projects, go to: www.storypreservation.org

Posts from the ‘Listen’ category

AUDIO UP! Dayna Baumeister – Looking to Nature for Sustainable Design

 

Click on links below to listen to Dayna’s story.  Guaranteed, you’ll love it.

Dayna Baumeister is the co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute and a big-time advocate for bringing the principles of Biomimicry into the classroom.

Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. Dayna works tirelessly to bring systems thinking into the school system.

The Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge is a new project-based learning experience and competition for students in grades 6-12. Piloted for the first time in 2018, the program challenges students to work in teams to devise a bio-inspired solution to a problem associated with climate change adaptation or mitigation. In 2019, 78 teams submitted projects for consideration by the judges. Stated one judge, “We would be wise to add these (and other) smart kids to the brainstorming table for countless issues we currently face. Their creativity, enthusiasm, ability to look to and be in awe of nature, and refusal to be daunted gives me hope for a more sustainable world!”  

Dayna’s fascination with the natural world began with daily forays into the woods and mountains around her childhood home in Colorado. Since, she has fused a lifelong fascination with nature into a career that began after she received a B.S. in marine biology from New College in Sarasota, Florida. After several years exploring the intricate relationships of coral reefs, she turned in her wetsuit and headed back to the mountains. She earned an M.S. in resource conservation and a Ph.D. in organic biology and ecology from The University of Montana in Missoula, where she specialized in the dynamics of positive interactions among animal and plant life.

Cover photo: Barn Owl in Flight, Luc Viatour; Wikimedia Commons

For more, go to: www.storypreservation.org and please consider making a donation to Story Preservation Initiative.   Details can be found on our website.  Donate = ❤  (-:

 

Stories Matter

AUDIO UP!! Charles Yarish – Fueling the Future

Photo courtesy of Peter Morenus /UConn

Dr. Charles Yarish heads the Yarish Seaweed Marine Biotechnology Lab at the University of Connecticut at Stamford, Ct. and is a pioneer in the field of sustainable seaweed aquaculture, otherwise known as seaweed farming. Yarish is nothing short of bullish on seaweed, and kelp aquaculture in particular, and it is no wonder why. The benefits of seaweed are enormous. Some seaweed species take CO2 out of the atmosphere at 5X the rate of land-based plants and it is a sustainable food source for humans and animals. Nori, a red seaweed, provides more protein than soy, more vitamin C than orange juice, as much heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids as many fish, as well as minerals like iodine, zinc, and magnesium – all with no need for agro-chemicals, fertilizer, or antibiotics. Kelp species could well be the biofuel of the future. Initial feasibility studies suggest that an acre of kelp can produce 2,000 gallons of ethanol, five times the amount derived from corn. This just keeps getting better!

With Yarish’s help, seaweed farming is experiencing a small boom in Maine, Southern New England, and Alaska and it is predicted to grow significantly over the next several years. Kelp farmer Bren Smith, formerly a traditional fisherman, contacted Yarish after hurricanes Irene and Sandy devastated his shellfish beds. It was Yarish who introduced him to kelp farming. Smith has gone on to found the non-profit GreenWave whose mission it is to create jobs and protect the planet; grow good, local food for communities; and to make a living on a living planet.

Click on links below to listen to Charlie’s story.

For more, go to: www.storypreservation.org and please consider making a donation to Story Preservation Initiative.   Details can be found on our website.  Donate = ❤  (-:

 

 

This recording and all accompanying materials, as uploaded to our Learning Lab site, were made possible with funding from the Dorr Foundation, Portsmouth, NH.

Audio Up! Eben Bayer – Are Mushrooms the New Plastic?

Click on links below to listen to Eben’s story.

Eben Bayer is the co-founder of Ecovative Design. He is a mover and a shaker in the field of biotechnology, using natural materials to solve important environmental challenges. Named one of Forbes 30-Under-30, Bayer and his Ecovative team have successfully developed a process that uses mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, to grow materials that replace plastics, with a focus on plastic packaging material.

Eben is an advocate for disruptive technology, defined as “one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.” And there is no better place to start the thinking process behind disruptive technology than with young people.

SPI recorded Eben’s story in late August 2019 with upload to SPI’s grades 4-12 Learning Lab coming soon!

Bayer, who grew up working on his family’s Vermont farm, is a pioneer in leveraging mycelium—”nature’s glue”—in mushroom materials to drive sustainable innovation in the industrial sector. Using biology to upgrade existing products and processes, Ecovative has commercialized products into multiple industries including a formaldehyde-free core for engineered wood & insulation; eco-friendly furniture; and home compostable protective packaging, as well as GIY (grow-it-yourself) materials for innovators, students, and educators.

For more, go to: www.storypreservation.org and please consider making a donation to Story Preservation Initiative.   Details can be found on our website.  Donate = ❤  (-:

 

 

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This recording and all accompanying materials, as uploaded to our Learning Lab site, were made possible with funding from the Dorr Foundation, Portsmouth, NH.

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SPI’s new K-3 Storytelling Project.

 

For this project, SPI is working in collaboration with master storyteller, Odds Bodkin to bring his timeless fictional stories, including fairy tales, myths, and folklore into K-3 classrooms.

For more than 40 years, Odds has enchanted his listeners with tales of magic and make-believe, complete with character voices, sound effects, and music. The project is designed to foster social and emotional learning and English language literacy.

Odds is a heavy-hitter! He has been called “a consummate storyteller” by The New York Times for his shows at Lincoln Center. He has performed at the White House and has been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival. Museums, such as the Peabody-Essex Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Sackler Museum at Harvard, and the Portland Art Museum have hired him to tell stories about works in their collections. His recordings and books have won Parents’ Choice, Indie, Golden Headset, Storytelling World, Pick of the Lists, Editors’ Choice and Dove awards.

Click on link below to listen to Odds talk about the SPI Storytelling Project.

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SPI supplements Odds’ stories with recommended reading materials, hyperlinks to related sites, and projects developed by Story Preservation Initiative. This is all designed to help young people connect what they are hearing to universal concepts, their own life experience, different cultures and customs, and other stories that they have heard or read. But most of all, it’s designed to instill in kids a love of story, which translates in later years to a love of reading!

Following Odds’ telling of the classic African folktale, The Name of the Tree, students can engage in a class-wide mural making activity. This is just one of a host of hands-on, creative, collaborative projects in the K-3 Lab.

Storytelling and reading aloud to young children is the foundation for literacy development.  It is the single most important activity for later reading success.

More?  Go to:  www.storypreservation.org

SPI is a 501c3 public charity.  Consider making a tax-free donation (details on our website)  and / or supporting us on Amazon Smile (although we’d much prefer you shop locally and support small businesses!)   Donate = ❤  (-:

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This project was made possible with funding from the Frances R. Dewing Foundation, Port Townsend, WA.

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AUDIO UP! Ben Kilham – In the Company of Bears

Click on links below to listen to Ben’s story.

Ben Kilham is a bear biologist who, for decades, has “studied wild black bears in a vast tract of Northern New Hampshire woodlands. At times, he has also taken in orphaned infants–feeding them, walking them through the forest for months to help them decipher their natural world, and eventually reintroducing them back into the wild. Once free, the orphaned bears still regard him as their mother. One of these bears, now a near 20-year-old female, has given him extraordinary access to her daily life, opening a rare window into how she and the wild bears she lives among carry out their daily lives, raise their young, and communicate. Kilham’s unique findings now interest bear researchers worldwide.”

His dedication to black bears has made him such an expert that China asked for his help with the giant panda, a collaboration that inspired the recently released documentary “Pandas.”

Ben’s work with bears, however, is just part of his story. Ben is dyslexic, which, for years, kept him from pursuing an advanced degree. As a result, his work and rare insights into the social and emotional lives of bears went largely unpublished. With the support of wildlife preservationist George Schaller (whose story is also included in the Story Preservation 4-12 Learning Lab), Ben enrolled in a doctorate program at Drexel University where he completed his course of study and now holds a Ph.D in Environmental Science. In a review written about In the Company of Bears, Brock and Fernette Eide, authors of The Dyslexic Advantage write, “Kilham perfectly exemplifies how much the world has to gain from the exceptional insights of dyslexic individuals, who often possess a special talent for finding order hidden in the complex patterns of the real world.”

SPI recorded Ben’s story in late July 2019 with upload to SPI’s grades 4-12 Learning Lab later this fall.

 

For more, go to: www.storypreservation.org and please consider making a donation to Story Preservation Initiative.   Details can be found on our website.  Donate = ❤  (-:

 

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This recording and all accompanying materials, as uploaded to our Learning Lab site, were made possible with funding from the Dorr Foundation, Portsmouth, NH.

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AUDIO UP!!! Sherri Mason – Leading the Charge on Microplastics

Click on links below to listen to Sherri’s story.

Story Preservation recorded the personal narrative of Dr. Sherri A. “Sam” Mason on July 22nd on the campus of Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont.

While there has been much study and media attention focused on the spread of microplastics into our oceans, Sam has emerged as a leader in the small but growing study of their affects on lakes and rivers far from the coasts.

In 2018, The Heinz Family Foundation named Dr. Sherri Mason as the recipient of the prestigious 23rd Heinz Award in the Public Policy category. She is recognized for her groundbreaking research identifying the presence of microbeads and microfibers in fresh water, and for raising awareness of the potential impact of microplastics and associated contaminants on the food chain and human health, resulting in state, federal and international policy change.

Her work has drawn international attention to the threats posed by microplastics in freshwater and led to the enactment of the federal Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. Other countries are following suit. The Canadian and New Zealand governments banned microbeads in early 2018, and the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and other Scandinavian countries are rolling out bans on microbead-laden products over the next two years. To date, 448 brands from 119 different manufacturers have promised to remove plastic microbeads from their products.

Dr. Mason is also using her expertise to expand her focus to include the presence of microplastics in drinking water. In March 2018, the results of a study conducted by Dr. Mason analyzed bottled water from nine countries — the U.S., China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Lebanon, Kenya and Thailand — and found that 93 percent showed some contamination from microplastics, or plastic debris less than one millimeter in length. Microplastics have also been found in samples of sea salt, freshwater sediment and even in air samples.

She currently serves in the role of Sustainability Coordinator at Penn State University, Behrend.

For more, go to http://www.storypreservation.org and please consider making a donation to Story Preservation Initiative.   Details can be found on our website.

 

INTRO TO RECORDING:

PLASTIC IS EVERYWHERE:

MICROBEADS AND MICROFIBERS:

LEGISLATION:

TAP AND BOTTLED WATER STUDIES:

WHY WE NEED MORE SCIENTISTS:

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This recording and all accompanying materials, as uploaded to our Learning Lab site, were made possible with funding from the Dorr Foundation, Portsmouth, NH.

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Mary Evelyn Tucker ⎥ Religion and Ecology

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Image from Religion and Ecology, Island Press, 2014

This is a talk that spans 13.8 billion years – from our cosmic origins to our place in the Earth’s ecosystem. Happy to say audio is up!

The relatively new alliance between religion and ecology is based on the belief that religions are a primary source of values in any culture and the environmental crisis that we face is fundamentally a crisis of values.

Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University, where she teaches in a joint master’s degree program between the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies.  She directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim.

While environmental issues are most frequently viewed through the lens of science, policy, law, and economics, in recent years the moral and spiritual dimensions of this crisis are becoming more visible.

“Our current ecological challenges are such that they require the insights of the world’s religions to awaken moral passion and concern,” Tucker says. “And these voices are needed now.”

Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with John Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard (1995-1998). Together they are series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences distributed by Harvard University Press. In this series she co-edited Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000).

After the conference series she and Grim founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology at a culminating conference at the United Nations in 1998.

Books include: Ecology and Religion, John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Island Press, 2014 /  The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology, University of Utah Press, 2014 / Worldly Wonder, Open Court, 2013

For Mary Evelyn’s full bio and additional information on projects and publications, go to: http://www.emergingearthcommunity.org/mary-evelyn-tucker

Information for this post was taken from numerous sources, including the Emerging Earth Community website.

To listen to Mary Evelyn talk about the alliance between religion and ecology, click on links below (run time 34:00):

Vivian Perlis  Preserving the Voices of American Music

Used with permission. Photographer unknown.

Perlis, Copland. Photo credit: David Walker

I have to say I am especially looking forward to sitting down with and recording Vivian Perlis.  I’ve known her personally for more than 30 years and admired her deeply since the day we met. Vivian is an historian in American music.  She is widely known for her publications, lectures, and recording and film productions.  In addition, she is a groundbreaking oral historian.

Vivian Perlis is the founder and former director of the Oral History of American Music (OHAM) project at Yale University.  OHAM is known to be the preeminent project in the field of music dedicated to the collection and preservation of oral and video memoirs of the creative musicians of our time.

Her story begins:  In 1969, while working as a reference librarian at the Yale School of Music, Vivian started a project of tape-recording interviews with those acquainted with the composer Charles Ives, a Yale graduate. Her work – thorough, methodical, and revealing – culminated in 1974 with the book: “Charles Ives Remembered: An Oral History,” for which Vivian was awarded the Kinkeldey Prize of the American Musicological Society.  Hailed “a vivid memory portrait of an enigmatic American composer, told in the voices of the people who knew him best.”

Beginning with her pioneering work in 1969 and extending through to the present day (via OHAM), there are “thousands of recordings and transcripts accessible to a wide range of users including scholars, musicians, students, arts organizations, and the media.”*

From the OHAM website: Following the Ives Project, it was evident that no systematic scholarly research was in progress to document creative musical figures by means of tape-recorded interviews. Several composers had spoken about Ives, and in so doing, about themselves as well. (It is not a good idea to ask a celebrated composer to talk only about someone else.) These formed the nucleus for a broader-based project, Oral History of American Music (OHAM). Included were Elliott Carter, Lou Harrison, Nicolas Slonimsky, and Dane Rudhyar. Through the decades since the founding of OHAM, composers have continued to be the project’s primary focus.  

Perlis, Bernstein, Copland. Used with permission. Photographer unknown.

Perlis, Bernstein, Copland.
Used with permission.
Photographer unknown.

A list of interviewees can be found at: http://web.library.yale.edu/oham/major-figures

In 1984 Copland: 1900 through 1942 was published.  Perlis and Copland co-authored this “enduring record of an American maestro’s explosively creative coming of age.”  The book garnered a Deems Taylor/ ASCAP award.

A review upon its release: Aaron Copland is one of America’s most beloved musical pioneers, famous for Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Lincoln Portrait, as well as the movie scores for “Our Town” and “Of Mice and Men,” and numerous orchestral and chamber works. This candid, colorful memoir begins with Copland’s Brooklyn childhood and takes us through his years in Paris, the creation of his early works, and his arrival at Tanglewood. Rich with remembrances from Leonard Bernstein, Virgil Thomson, and Nadia Boulanger, as well as a trove of letters, photographs, and scores from Copland’s collection.

In 1989 Copland Since 1943 was published, again to much acclaim.

In 2013 The Complete Copland was issued, combining the earlier two books into one volume.

Other works include:

Composers’ Voices from Ives to Ellington, co-authored with Libby Van Cleve, includes two CDs and is derived from interviews in the OHAM archive.

Among her productions are recordings of the music of Leo Ornstein and Charles Ives, and television documentaries on Ives, Eubie Blake, Aaron Copland, and John Cage.

Honors and awards received include: The Charles Ives Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1972); a Grammy nomination for “Charles Ives 100th Anniversary” (1974); the Harvey Kantor Award for excellence in the field of oral history (1984); a Guggenheim Fellowship (1987); and the Irving Lowens Award for distinguished scholarship in American Music from The Society for American Music (1991).

In 2010, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the archive, Vivian was honored at both Carnegie Hall and Yale’s Zankel Hall.  She stepped down as the director of OHAM the same year; however, she remains active and ever-influential. She continues to serve as a senior research scholar at Yale University.

TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW, CLICK ON LINKS BELOW. 

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Stories Matter

Make Way for Sy!

AUDIO UP! on this fabulous recording.   It’s impossible to not love and be inspired by Sy!  

Photo by Paula Gordon

Photo by Paula Gordon.  Used with permission.

To research books, films and articles, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica, worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba and handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana.

She has been deftly undressed by an orangutan in Borneo, hunted by a tiger in India, and swum with piranhas, electric eels and dolphins in the Amazon. She has searched the Altai Mountains of Mongolia’s Gobi for snow leopards, hiked into the trackless cloud forest of Papua New Guinea to radiocollar tree kangaroos, and learned to SCUBA dive in order to commune with octopuses.

smontgomery_soulofanoctopusSy’s 20 books for both adults and children have garnered many honors. The Soul of an Octopus was a 2015 Finalist for the National Book Awards. The Good Good Pig, her memoir of life with her pig, Christopher Hogwood, is an international bestseller. She is the winner of the 2009 New England Independent Booksellers Association Nonfiction Award, the 2010 Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award, the Henry Bergh Award for Nonfiction (given by the ASPCA for Humane Education) and dozens of other honors. Her work with the man-eating tigers, the subject of her book Spell Of The Tiger, was made into in a National Geographic television documentary she scripted and narrated. Also for National Geographic TV she developed and scripted Mother Bear Man, about her friend, Ben Kilham, who raises and releases orphaned bear cubs, which won a Chris award.

Sy writes for adults and children, for print and broadcast, in America and overseas in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible at what she considers a critical turning point in human history.

“We are on the cusp of either destroying this sweet, green Earth—or revolutionizing the way we understand the rest of animate creation,” she says. “It’s an important time to be writing about the connections we share with our fellow creatures. It’s a great time to be alive.”

She speaks frequently at schools and museums, libraries and universities.

She is a 1979 graduate of Syracuse University, a triple major with dual degrees in Magazine Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and in French Language and Literature and in Psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Keene State College in 2004, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Franklin Pierce University and also from Southern New Hampshire University in 2011.

 

 

 

Remember Dita

Dita (1)

WORDPRESS GLITCH!  If you aren’t seeing the audio bars and want to listen to this recording, click on the post title “Remember Dita.”

 

Kathy Preston tells the unforgettable story of her life as a young girl in Nazi occupied Transylvania, a stunningly beautiful region previously part of Hungary and now Romania.  This is a story to sit with and listen.  It will never leave you.

Kathy’s young friend, Dita (pictured) died in Auschwitz.  It is Kathy’s wish for us all to “Remember Dita.”

Kathy’s father was Jewish and her mother was Catholic. At five years old, Kathy escaped the Nazi roundup of Jews in Hungary when a neighbor hid her under the hay in the attic of her barn. Her father was forced into a ghetto and was arrested by the Hungarian police when he snuck out to try to see his daughter. He would perish in Auschwitz along with 27 other members of his family. Kathy and her mother survived.

Audio copyright Story Preservation Initiative.  All rights reserved.

Stories Matter