Michelle Frank

Read the previous piece in this RESILIENCE series here: Moss In Prisons

Last month we published an article about the science education programs created by a remarkable canopy ecologist — Nalini Nadkarni. For over fifteen years, Nadkarni has brought earth scientists, NASA astrobiology educators, prison reform advocates and prisons together, increasing access to nature for incarcerated individuals. Her projects not only support prisoners and the planet — they also uncover patterns in the acquisition of science knowledge among underrepresented students, both inside and outside of prison walls. You can read more about Nadkarni’s prison education initiatives here.

Courtesy of Dr. Nadkarni

Nadkarni is committed…


by Michelle Frank

Part one of a forthcoming RESILIENCE series on the scientific and social justice work of Nalini Nadkarni

“There is, on average, a correctional institution within 20 miles from all academic institutions.

This means there is potential to enact a STEM program regardless of wherever a scientist is based.”

Nalini Nadkarni [1]

In 2003, Nalini Nadkarni, a canopy ecologist with an appetite for outreach and an “across-the-aisle” style of communication, laid the foundation for an unexpected partnership. She launched a program that would later grow into a multi-state, prison-reform collaboration between environmentalists and corrections departments. The idea started with some moss.

Sybil Gotsh (Courtesy of Dr. Nadkarni)


by Rory Curtin

This past fall I relocated to Lisbon, Portugal, in the midst of our quaking world, and found myself curious to explore how this small European city compared to other places I have lived and worked in terms of resilience, sustainability, and its vision for future urban development. As a first year PhD student studying Public and Urban Policy at The New School, I was keen on considering the effectiveness of urban policy here, and the interplay of stakeholders in their food system. The following essay briefly tells the story of what I discovered.

Portugal presents a unique laboratory for contemporary…


By Noemi Florea

“Martiu! Are you ready to practice your hose ingestion again?” I called my child, wanting xem to get used to xyr new digester and just the sorts of ordeals that could come up as xe went to the stall to output. Xe had xyr digestive surgery just about three weeks ago, as an effect of the government’s new campaign on ultra-efficiency for renewables and the circular economy. …


By Anna Gelb and Zef Egan

Woodbine has started a seed library, open to all. We are building a collection of vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower seeds, which you can view here.

February 21 is sunny after a week of snow. The chalk sign outside Woodbine reads Seed Exchange. A founding member takes emails and temperatures by the door. At a table to the left, the organizers of the event Anna, Hester and Caroline accept seed donations and field questions.

Anna and Hester Field Questions (Photos by Daniel Horowitz)

Folks explore tables full of seed envelopes. The seeds are sorted by herbs, vegetables and flowering annuals and perennials. Their careful arrangement places, for example, Atomic…


By Loretta Lopez

Ana Sofia Remis

Bienvenida

Las Marías llegan a la ciudad
llena de trampas
ciudad que convierte ambiciones
en tus asesinos lentos
que convierte tiempo escurridizo
en noches despiertas
Un infierno oscuro
pero adiamantado
con población de inagotable
pero frágil paciencia
Ciudad de la que todos
se quieren adueñar
porque se sienten
uno solo
y si uno está solo
necesita lo suyo
La Marías llegan
y la ciudad les extiende
su mano plateada
pero luego
indecisa
la retira

The Marias arrive at the city
full of traps
city that turns ambitions
into your slow assassins
that turns slippery time
into open-eyed nights
An inferno both dark
and diamond-encrusted
with a population whose patience
is…


By Melissa Ingaruca Moreno and Gaston Horacio Hermida

Psycilumis gave us access to the internet of Earth’s sensorial worlds through altered states of consciousness, it gave us the ability to connect with other species’ sensorial systems and to “borrow” their abilities.

We were of the idea that we only have one reality, one world. But life was a bit like when you look through soap bubbles floating in the air, each bubble creating a little distorted version of the world. Each one of us, humans and other species were living in a unique sensorial world, each of us with a unique way to experience and understand nature, but…


Zach Murphy

The wildflowers wilt over their own feet as I trudge through the dusty, jaded soil. One of my legs is broken. My mouth is parched. And my stripes burn.

I wonder if the workers before me dealt with this kind of heat. I wonder if the workers after me will suffer even more. I wonder if there will even be workers after me.

The honey isn’t so sweet here anymore. The dream has melted away. This planet is no longer my garden.

As I use my last shred of will to drive my stinger into the wrinkled ground, I pray…


by Richelle Gribble

Systems Thinking, charcoal, ink, and graphite on Stonehenge, 55.75 x 44.5 inches each (triptych)

Artist Statement
I explore life at all levels of living systems — organisms, social systems, and ecosystems — to examine and promote our interdependence. Under closer scrutiny, neural-like nodes of connectivity reveal themselves as even smaller networks. By visually revealing structural patterns and characteristics within cross-disciplinary and embedded networks, the blending of distinct social, biological, and technological systems form one integrated whole — the Earth. My work has evolved from comparing networks (molecular systems, social networks, neural pathways, freeways systems) to deep analyses of their interactions. How does connectivity, for better or for worse, influence our lives and our future?

Urban Systems Lab

Research, design, and engagement for more equitable and resilient cities. http://urbansystemslab.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store