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The Nature Institute
20 May Hill Road
Ghent, New York 12075
Telephone: (518) 672-0116
Fax: (518) 672-4270
Email: info@natureinstitute.org
For directions to the Institute, click here.

 

 

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Calendar of Events

This calendar includes both events at the Institute and lectures/workshops given by staff in other places. For questions or pre-registration, please contact us: 518-672-0116; email: info@natureinstitute.org.

Unless otherwise noted, the events take place at The Nature Institute, 20 May Hill Road, Ghent (Harlemville), New York. For directions, click here.

Click here for lodging near The Nature Institute

Upcoming Events
Friday, September 26, 2014 (7:30 pm)
Overcoming the Cartesian Split
Presentation by Craig and Henrike Holdrege at The Nature Institute

This Friday evening presentation, which is open to the public, introduces the weekend workshop described immediately below.

September 26-28, 2014
A Pathway to the Spiritual in Nature
Michaelmas Workshop at The Nature Institute with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege

Two things are easy to say: that there is nothing spiritual in nature or, that there is spirit working in nature. It is not so easy, in our modern times, to learn to see the spirit in nature. In this weekend workshop we want to practice treading that pathway. It entails careful observation of concrete phenomena, inner re-picturing, and becoming conscious of certain habits of thought that block our view from the deeper nature of nature. It also entails moving our attention from an awareness of things and formed products to relations and processes of becoming. For that we need to make our own inwardness more conscious and flexible on the one side, and on the other side cultivate attentiveness to the concrete qualities of the natural world. The weekend event is in celebration of Michaelmas.

The event is free. However, pre-registration is required so that we can plan ahead. Please register soon (518-672-0116 or info@natureinstitute.org) — at latest by the fall equinox, September 23.

On Saturday, please bring a potluck contribution and we will have lunch together at the Institute. We hope you can join us.

Schedule:

Friday: 7:30 pm – 9 pm

Saturday: 9am – 4pm

Sunday: 9 am – 12 noon

November 7 – 9, 2014
The Tyranny of “Algebra I”: Reimagining Math Curricula for Grades 7 – 12.
A Teachers’ Colloquium with Marisha Plotnik, Beth Weisburn, and Henrike Holdrege

For information, please see the accompanying flyer.

November 14 – 16, 2014
Contemplative Practice and Sense Perception
Weekend retreat with Henrike Holdrege and Penelope Baring

(Details to come.)

February 8 – 13, 2015
Developing a Qualitative Understanding of Nature: Animals, Humanity and Evolution
A course for farmers, gardeners and others seeking a renewed relation to the land. With Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege

Registration opens October 2014. (Save the date!)

Past Events in 2014

July 31 – August 3, 2014
Dynamic Embryology and Morphology
A four-day seminar with Dutch embryologist Jaap van der Wal.

This course explores human prenatal development and how the shaping of the body (morphogenesis) expresses essential attributes of the development of the human being as a being of spirit and matter, of body and mind. The scientific method of phenomenology is used to open up a truly holistic understanding of the human being. By following the processes forming the human embryo, the course will shed light onto such themes as healthy development, the purpose and wisdom of the human form, and, indeed, the very meaning of human existence.

This course will be taught by Jaap van der Wal, PhD, MD. Jaap is a retired teacher of Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Maastricht, Holland, with a special focus on human embryology. He teaches courses around the world and presents his unique perspectives on human development in a lively way with great clarity. This course will be of special relevance for health professionals and educators, and will be of interest to everyone who wants to learn more about the remarkable nature of human development.

Schedule:
Mornings: 9 am to 12:30 pm
Afternoons: 2 pm to 5:30 pm
The course begins on Thursday at 9 pm and ends on Sunday at 1 pm.
Registration:
You will find a registration form here.
Scholarships for Waldorf Educators are available.
June 29 – July 5, 2014
Reading in the Book of Nature: Enlivening Observation and Thinking Through Plant Study
Public Summer Course

When we read, we participate in meaning – the meaning that is inherent in the text. It is not enough to know word definitions and grammatical rules to read. Similarly, when we observe and strive to understand the natural world around us, it is not enough to know names and an array of characteristics. Rather we must try to see the relations between, say, parts of a plant and understand how a plant relates to its environment. What is a plant expressing through its unique way of being? Can we begin to fathom the deeper meanings that are present in the living world? This is no simple task, because it demands a new kind of relational knowing that moves from a clear understanding of details to a perception of processes and interconnections. In this course we want to take steps in learning to read in the book of nature through:

  • exercises in flexible thinking;
  • careful study of plants in the local surroundings;
  • clay modeling with a focus on metamorphosis.

Thursdays, March 20, April 3 and 17 (7:30 pm), May 15 and 29 (8 pm)
Astronomy
with Henrike Holdrege and Jeanne Simon-MacDonald

A five-session course on the starry sky through night observation (if the sky is clear), eurythmy, and classroom study.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 (7:30 pm)
Resurrecting and Transforming the Social World
Lecture by Christopher Schaefer

An aspect of modern consciousness is to see the external, physical world as “real”, and thoughts, feelings, and intentions as “subjective” and therefore not real. Yet if the social world is built out of and sustained by our world of thoughts, feelings, and intentions, what power lives within the human soul to transform and resurrect the social world and indeed ourselves.

May 16 – 18, 2014
More Humus — More Humanity: The Inner Nature of our Agricultural Crisis
Weekend workshop with Bruno Follador

What is the relationship between soil erosion and social conflicts? How can we develop a living, practical, and meaningful relationship with compost and soil fertility — one that goes beyond waste management and yields nutritious food? How does our way of seeing, thinking, and speaking contribute to creating our agricultural reality?

Bruno Follador is a biodynamic researcher and has worked as a consultant in Europe and the U.S.

Tuesdays, March 25, April 8 and 22 (7:30 pm)
Evolution
Lecture series by Craig Holdrege

A series of talks about discovering evolution as a meaning-filled process ─ the metamorphosis of beings through time. Craig will also discuss hominid fossils that shed light on human evolution.

March 28 – 30, 2014
Mathematics Alive!
Algebra Workshop for Middle School Teachers

Weekend workshop for teachers with Henrike Holdrege and Marisha Plotnik

Our goal for this weekend workshop is to assist teachers in entering the inner activity of doing mathematics from which math teaching can become alive. This year we will focus on negative numbers and on solving equations. We will explore the subjects from various angles to enliven them and to give them meaning for teachers and students. Collegial exchange and dialogue will carry our work.

Schedule:

Friday: 6 pm – 8 pm

Saturday: 9 am – 12 noon and 2 pm – 6 pm

Sunday: 9 am – 12 noon

Registration:
Course fee is on a sliding scale: $150 - $250. To register by March 20, please visit this page. For more information, contact us at 518-672-0116 or info@natureinstitute.org. We can assist you with finding accommodations.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 (7:30 pm)
Social Art and Social Science in Everyday Life
Lecture by Christopher Schaefer

In this talk and conversation we will explore how we are all social artists and social scientists in building and seeking to understand the social world. The question we all face is with what awareness and understanding do we approach the tasks of building a new world which is fast replacing the world of nature.

February 9 – 14, 2014
Nature Institute Winter Course
Experiencing the Deeper Nature of Nature
A course for farmers, gardeners, apprentices, and people who love the land
With Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege

Gaining a deeper understanding of nature involves a widening of our inner horizons. While it is one thing to acknowledge that nature is dynamic, interconnected and whole, it is another matter to experience, articulate, and respect these qualities in our interactions with nature. This course will focus on practices that can enliven our experience and understanding of the natural phenomena that provide the context for our lives.

Past Events in 2013

September 30, October 28, November 25
Monday Nights with the Stars
with Henrike Holdrege and Jeanne Simon-MacDonald
Mondays at 7:30 pm

In three evenings we will give an introduction to our fall sky – the constellations of the zodiac as they appear in the fall, and the planets. With eurythmy movement led by Jeanne Simon-MacDonald, we will deepen our relationship to the starry sky. If the sky is clear we will conclude the evening with sky observations. Please dress warmly and bring a flashlight.

Sunday, November 17, 3 pm
Gestures of Radioactivity and Its Effect on Life
A talk by Johannes Kühl

Johannes Kühl is a physicist and director of the Natural Science Section at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.

Friday, October 25, 5–7 pm
A Book Event
at the Chatham Bookstore, 27 Main Street, Chatham, New York

Craig Holdrege will give a short presentation about his new book, Thinking Like a Plant: A Living Science for Life, followed by a conversation about the book with Thomas Chulak, co-owner of the Chatham Bookstore. Craig will be available to sign books, and there will be a reception.

Wednesday, October 9, 7:30 pm
Perceiving, Understanding, and Transforming the Social World: A Goethean Approach
A talk by Christopher Schaefer

In this talk and conversation, Christopher Schaefer will explore the contours of a Goethean phenomenological social science — one capable of overcoming the often sterile and control-oriented, causal approach of the western social-scientific tradition. Drawing on Rudolf Steiner, but also on Max Weber and other continental thinkers, he will describe ways of reconceiving the social world in a manner that honors human freedom and dignity. (Christopher Schaefer, Ph.D., is currently co-director of the Center for Social Research at the Hawthorne Valley Association. He is author of several books.) Suggested donation: $5 – $20.

Saturday, September 28, 2013 (9 am – 1 pm)
Volunteer Work Day

Please join us for a half day’s work on what we hope will be a beautiful autumn day. We will do some landscaping on the Institute’s property and, as part of our stewardship responsibility, clear the trails at the nearby 29-acre wetland preserve. Refreshments will be provided.

Friday, September 27, 2013 (7:30 pm)
Inner and Outer Light
A Talk in Preparation for Michaelmas by Henrike Holdrege

The beginning of fall is a fruitful time to consider our relation to nature and the spiritual in nature and in us. In all of our seeing, an inner aspect and an outer aspect of light are closely entwined. Taking the phenomenology of the visual world, our experiences in seeing, as a starting point of observation, we will find in what way we can meaningfully speak of ‘inner light’. The talk will be at The Nature Institute.

July 7 – 13, 2013
Earth, Water, Air, and Warmth
Experiencing the Four Elements through Nature and Art
Weeklong course with Laura Summer and Henrike Holdrege at The Nature Institute

This new interdisciplinary course will employ artistic practice and the Goethean approach to nature in order to build awareness and understanding of the four elements. The mornings will be spent in nature observations and experiments, led by Henrike Holdrege, and in the afternoons we will explore the elements around us using watercolor, pastel, charcoal and collage, led by Laura Summer. The artistic techniques are both exciting and very forgiving; no experience is necessary. Materials for painting and collage will be provided. Please bring your own sketch book and colored pencils.

June 23 – 29, 2013
Evolution
Public summer course with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege, and Nathaniel Williams, at The Nature Institute

The topic of evolution leads into the mysteries of the development of life on earth. It is hard to think of an area of biological inquiry that shows so deeply the interrelatedness of all life forms and that raises such fundamental questions about our own origins. Evolution is also a topic of controversy, one in which scientific and religious worldviews often restrict open-minded inquiry. Perhaps the primary challenge in any consideration of evolution is: how can we learn to think evolutionary processes in a way that does justice to the phenomena themselves?

In this course we will study phenomena that introduce and depict the dynamism and complexity of evolution. It will become clear that any deep understanding of evolution demands an evolution of human consciousness itself. We will therefore also work on honing our capacities to perceive, discern, and think developmental processes. The course will integrate scientific and artistic explorations.

You will find more information about the course here.

Course tuition is $560 and registration deadline is June 1. If you register before May 1, subtract $30 from the course fee. See the registration form. You can also contact us at info@natureinstitute.org or by phone: 518-672-0116 to ask about tuition assistance or other matters.

June 12, 2013
How Can We Integrate Nature and Culture in the Design of our Landscape?
Public lecture by Jean-Michel Florin, co-leader of the Agricultural Section at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland.

The lecture is sponsored by the Hudson Valley Biodynamic Group and The Nature Institute.

May 25 – 26, 2013
Celebrating the Completion of the New Building
Saturday, May 25, 7:30 pm
Why Goethean Science?
A talk by Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege
Sunday, May 26, 11 am to 1 pm
Festive Open House
Beginning promptly at 11am: Music, a few words, building tour, refreshments

If you live in the area and plan to help us celebrate our new quarters, please RSVP by May 20 by calling 518-672-0116 or emailing info@natureinstitute.org.

March 8 – 10, 2013
Mathematics Alive!
Introducing Algebra in Middle School — The Divine Proportion

Weekend workshop at The Nature Institute with Henrike Holdrege and Marisha Plotnik

The workshop is intended for teachers of middle school math. Bringing algebra alive is a challenge. We will enliven the subject from various angles, including a consideration of the golden mean. As in previous years we will engage in hands-on exercises and encourage collegial exchange.

February 10 – 15, 2013
Understanding Qualities in Nature: A Basis for the Agriculture of the Future
Winter intensive for farmers, gardeners, and others who love the land
With Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege at The Nature Institute

We will explore the four elements, the nature of animals, and also the movements of the moon and planets. The course will be held in collaboration with the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association and Hawthorne Valley Farm. For registration information about this intensive and an additional week-long course devoted to biodynamic agriculture, contact Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center: 518-672-7500 x232; caroline@hawthornevalleyfarm.org.

Events in 2012

October 17 to November 30, 2012
Goethean Explorations of Perspective and Light and Color
12 classes, Wednesdays and Fridays (except November 21st and 23rd), from 8:30 am to 10 am
with Henrike Holdrege at Bright Wing Studio, 651 Harlemville Road, Hillsdale, New York.
This series of workshops, as part of the Free Columbia Art Course, is designed for artists and art students, but is also open to everyone interested in the subject or in the Goethean method of research. First we will study the laws of linear perspective, and in the following sessions we will explore light and color with a variety of experiments and observations.

November 11, 2012 (Sunday, 7 pm)
Benefit Concert for The Nature Institute
with “Quiet in the Head,” the duo of violinist Jonathan Talbott and guitarist Seamus Maynard
at the Hawthorne Valley School Hall in Ghent (Harlemville), New York.

September 24 to 28, 2012
A pathway of Living Knowledge
with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege at Threefold Educational Center, 260 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, New York
This course focused on the nature of phenomenological inquiry, both as rooted in Goethe’s approach and developed further through Rudolf Steiner. The event was sponsored by the Threefold Education Center.

July 8 to July 14
Bringing Science to Life - Coming to Our Senses, A Course for Science Teachers
with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege and Jon McAlice
A course to stimulate the practice of science teaching as an experiential, open-ended process that empowers students to think and perceive for themselves. Collegial exchange and concrete scientific exploration are essential parts of this course. Click here for more information.

June 17 to 23
Coming Alive to Nature - The World of Color and Light
with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege and Nathaniel Williams
Our public summer course is for people from all walks of life and will provide a practical introduction to Goethean phenomenology in which we explore phenomena from the natural world and work to develop a living thinking modeled after the dynamism of the natural world. Click here for more information.

April 24
Introduction to the Spring Sky 
with Henrike Holdrege
Tuesday at 7:30 pm.  
We will work indoors and prepare ourselves for the night sky this spring.  Donations are welcome.  
For information call 518-672-0116.

March 16 to March 18
Mathematics Alive!
Geometry Workshop for Middle School Teachers

with Henrike Holdrege and Marisha Plotnik
Friday from 6 to 8 pm, Saturday from 9 am to noon and 2 pm to 6 pm, Sunday from 9 am to noon.
Our goal for this weekend workshop is to assist teachers in entering the inner activity of doing geometry from which math teaching can become alive. We will explore selected topics commonly taught at Waldorf Schools in sixth, seventh and eighth grade through imagination exercises, free hand drawings, movement, constructions with compass and straightedge and conversations. Collegial exchange and dialogue will carry our explorations.
If you wish to participate and have a specific question you would like to discuss during the weekend, please inform Henrike at henrike@natureinstitute.org or by phone 518-672-0116.Tuition on a sliding scale is $150-$225.
Space is limited, please register by March 1. We will provide morning and afternoon refreshments.
To print out a registration form, click here.

February 12 to February 17
Cultivating Perception and Flexible Thinking Through Plant Study and Astronomy
with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege
THIS COURSE IS FULL AS OF JANUARY 1, 2012
Sunday, 6 p.m., to Friday, 5:30 p.m.
This course is held in collaboration with the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association and Hawthorne Valley Farm. To receive a registration form, contact Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center, 518-672-7500 x 232 or caroline@hawthornevalleyfarm.org.

Events in 2011

October 3, November 14 & 21, December 12 & 19
Guided Night Sky Observations, only if the sky is clear
with Henrike Holdrege
Mondays, at 7:00 p.m.  
After a short introduction we will observe stars and planets with the unaided eye. Please dress warmly and bring a flashlight. If you are in doubt about the weather, before you leave call The Nature Institute at 518-672-0116 for a message. No fee.

November 14 & 28, and December 5 & 12
Goethean Explorations of Light, Darkness and Color
Workshops with Henrike Holdrege
Mondays, 2 to 5 p.m.
This course is designed for the Free Columbia Art Course with limited space available for others to join. Please inquire by calling The Nature Institute at 518-672-0116. We will work from direct observations and explore color phenomena within the natural world. Sliding fee for the whole course: $100-$160.

November 29
Franz Marc: A Painter in Search of the Being of Animals
A talk and slide presentation with Craig Holdrege
Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m. at 11 Maple Avenue, Philmont, NY
Offered as part of the Free Columbia Art Course, Craig will discuss and show slides of the work of early 20th century painter Franz Marc. As part of the expressionist group, "The Blue Rider", Marc strove to express something of the essence of animal nature in his paintings. Suggested donation: $10.

October 21
Rudolf Steiner and Natural Science
a talk by Craig Holdrege at Space 360, 360 Warren Street, Hudson, NY
Friday, at 7:30 p.m.
As part of the Oct 21-23 weekend celebrating Rudolf Steiner's vision, sponsored by the Berkshire-Taconic Branch of the Anthroposophical Society, Craig will discuss Steiner's view of natural science: its significance in the evolution of human consciousness and the importance of a further development of science as exemplified by Goethean phenomenology. For more information, contact John Barnes at 518-325-1113.

October 2
Sowing the Future
Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m., Hawthorne Valley Farm
Hawthorne Valley Association and The Nature Institute invite the public to join in hand-sowing a field of hard red winter wheat and to learn about seeds, grains, and the evolution of agriculture in Columbia County. Meet at the Dining Hall, Hawthorne Valley Farm ,Route 21C, Harlemville, NY. Contact: Hannah Shepard 518-672-4465 x224.

September 29
Goethean Science and Social Process
A talk and slide presentation with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege
at the Hawthorne Valley School Hall, Harlemville, NY at 7:30pm
Craig and Henrike spent nearly a month in South Africa and collaborated in courses with the Proteus Initiative, an organization concerned with social process and organizational development.  Based on their experiences in South Africa, they will speak about how the Goethean approach, which they work with in the natural sciences, bears fruit for the perception and understanding of social relations and processes.  As an added treat, for nature lovers, they will show some slides of the unique fynbos flora of the Western Cape, where they spent two weeks teaching. Fee: $12; $8 students, apprentices and seniors.

September 19
Introduction to the Fall Sky
with Henrike Holdrege
Monday at 7:30pm  
This evening we will work indoors and prepare ourselves for the night sky this fall. No fee.

July 10 to July 16, 2011
Forming Living Ideas & the Significance of Experience-based Learning ~ Professional Development for Science Teachers
with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege, and John McAlice
A course to stimulate the practice of science teaching as an experiential, open-ended process that empowers students to think and perceive for themselves. Collegial exchange and concrete scientific exploration are essential parts of this course. More information and a registration form click here.

June 19 to June 25, 2011
Polarities in Nature and the Nature of Polarity ~ Public Summer Course
with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege, and Nathaniel Williams
Our public summer course is for people from all walks of life. We will study a variety of phenomena in nature that reveal polarities and through experiential exercises work to deepen and enliven our understanding of this fundamental quality of all life. More information and a registration form click here.

June 28 to July 2, 2011
Experiential Math and Science in the Middle School
With Henrike Holdrege, Brigida Baldun (Eurythmy), and Brigitte Bley-Swinston (Painting)
at Sunbridge Institute, Chestnut Ridge, NY
The course begins on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. and ends on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Geometry, astronomy and optics as taught in the middle school are interdependent: knowledge within one discipline can support the understanding and deepen interest in the other. We will approach these three subjects by experiencing them ourselves. We will practice geometry, picture the movements of stars, sun, moon and planets, and explore our visual world, striving for careful observation, clarity of thought and the practice of imagination.
Rather than starting with a hypothesis or introducing a scientific model, we will work to form living concepts based on what we observe and experience. Engaging in geometry and science in this tangible way will help teachers to guide their students through an experiential process of learning that furthers the students’ interest in the outer world as well as strengthens their confidence in their own inner capacities for understanding the world.
The course work will be supported and graced by daily classes of eurythmy and painting.
For more information or to register, please visit www.sunbridge.edu or contact Kathleen Morse at Sunbridge Institute, 845-425-0055 or summer@sunbridge.edu

March 12, 26, April 2, 16
Goethean Explorations of Light and Color
with Henrike Holdrege
Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
In these four Saturday workshops we will explore the visual world through various observations and experiments. We will work with human vision, atmospheric and prismatic colors, afterimages, colored shadows, the mixing of colors through darkening and lightening. The workshops want to demonstate the practice of Goethean phenomenology and are designed for artists and everyone else who is interested in the subject.It is possible to attend a single workshop, although all four complement each other. Sliding fee is $20-40 per Saturday, pre-registration is required. Co-sponsored by Free Columbia Art Course.

March 21, March 28 and April 18
Monday Nights with the Stars
with Henrike Holdrege
Mondays at 8:00 p.m.
Learn to orient yourself in the night sky. Learn about the monthly and yearly rhythms of sun, moon and planets. Look up to the stars with deepening knowledge and wonder. No fee.

March 18 - 20
Mathematics Alive
Geometry Workshop for Middle School Teachers and Parents

with Henrike Holdrege and Rebecca Soloway
Friday, 4 p.m., to Sunday noon
A main aim of the workshop is to help educators enter actively into the process of doing mathematics and gain greater confidence in their own abilities. We will focus on topics from middle school geometry; in the evenings we will study astronomy. The participants will be involved in hands-on explorations rather than listening to lectures. Sliding fee: $150-$225
For more information, click here.

February 13 to February 18, 2011
Understanding Qualities in Nature: A Basis for the Agriculture of the Future
Animals and humanity, the four elements, and the rhythms of the planets

with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege
This course is held in collaboration with the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association and Hawthorne Valley Farm. Download the Winter Intensive Brochure and the Detailed Schedule for both this course and an additional week-long course devoted to biodynamic agriculture. For more information on both courses, contact Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center: 518-672-7500 x105; caroline@hawthornevalleyfarm.org. Take advantage of the Early Bird Discount! Register for the 2011 Winter Conference by Friday, January 2, 2011, and receive a discount on your registration fee: $200-350 for one week (instead of $250-400) and $300-650 for both weeks (instead of $400-800).

January 30
Winter 2011 Wildlife Tracking
With Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott
Sunday, 9 a.m. to noon
Pre-registration is required.
This session will give a foundation for outdoor observation and track identification. Beginners and experienced trackers are welcome. Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott have conducted workshops for adults and young people for many years and have introduced many area residents to the wonders of wildlife activity in Hawthorne Valley and nearby places. Please come prepared for cold or rainy weather conditions.
Adults $30, $20 students and seniors, free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult (not suitable for very young children). Please call or email to reserve a place.

Events in 2010
November 30, December 7 and 14
Linear Perspective
Three-part workshop with Henrike Holdrege
Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
We will explore the laws of linear perspective by drawing, studying works of art and by practicing the principles of central projection. And we will work with the question whether perspective is a visual experience.
Sliding fee: $ 30 to $ 45 for the three-part workshop. November 22
The Spiritual Origin of Holistic Science in Goethe`s Life
Lecture by Johannes Kühl
Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Johannes Kühl is a physicist, researcher and teacher. He is the director of the natural science section at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.
Fee: $12; $8 students, apprentices and seniors.

September 27, October 4, November 8 and 15
Monday Nights with the Stars
with Henrike Holdrege
Mondays at 8 p.m.
Learn to orient yourself in the night sky. Learn about the monthly and yearly rhythms of sun, moon and the planets. Look up to the stars with deepening knowledge and wonder.
No fee, no pre-registration.

October 1
Wonders of Light and Color - Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Goethe's "Theory of Color"
Talk with demonstrations by Henrike Holdrege
Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Fee: $12; $8 for seniors, apprentices and students.

July 4 to July 10
Bringing Science to Life: Experiential Learning in Science
A professional development program for science teachers with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege and Jon McAlice
Designed for teachers, this course takes up the challenge of high school science. How can we teach science in a manner that allows students to experience and question the world? Through seminars, concrete practice of phenomenological methodology, group project work, and collegial dialogue we want to address and explore many still untapped aspects of experience-based learning.
For more information or a registration form, click here.

June 20 to June 26
2010 Summer Course: Transformation in Nature and in Human Knowing

A weeklong course with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege and Nathaniel Williams
Everywhere we look in the world we find transformation. But how strongly is the way we participate in the world infused with awareness of transformation? Typically we think about the world in terms of discrete objects and things; to make sense of fluids, we often conceive of particles. How often do we catch ourselves thinking in static terms when the phenomenon we’re facing is crying out for us to acknowledge change, flux and development? In this course the different seminars will provide a variety of practices to help participants learn from transformative processes in nature and to become more aware of sources of transformation within ourselves.
For more information or a registration form, click here.

May 8
Edible Mushroom Cultivation
Workshop with Justin West
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon
This is a hands-on workshop covering shiitake mushroom cultivation on logs. Justin will discuss various techniques for home-scale cultivation of mushrooms. Participants will inoculate hardwood logs with shiitake spawn which later will yield mushrooms.
Fee: $35 (includes shitake spawn); no fee for children who accompany adults.
Please pre-register by April 25 so that we can order enough spawn and give you instructions about the logs you need to bring.

May 7
Regenerative Land Practices in Colombia and Brazil
A talk and slide presentation by Justin West
Friday at 7:30 pm
The degradation of land and the loss of biodiversity due to human practices are deeply troubling. But there are also inspiring examples of how people can mitigate ecological unraveling and loss of biodiversity by weaving principles of ecology and diversity into the food- and fuel-producing ecosystems themselves. In 2009, agro-ecologist Justin West visited Colombia and Brazil, and he will present a photographic journal of some of the most impressive, inspiring, and encouraging food and agro-forestry systems being designed in the tropics today. ($12; $8 for seniors and students.)

April 22
Thinking Like a Mountain: Our Future with the Earth and the Legacy of Aldo Leopold
An Earth Day talk by Craig Holdrege
Thursday at 7:30 pm
Aldo Leopold was one of the most significant ecologists and ecological thinkers of the 20th Century. He believed that human beings could develop a way of thinking and being in the world - which he called "thinking like a mountain" - that would make it possible for humanity to play a more integrated role in the whole of nature. In this talk Craig Holdrege will develop this key idea within the context of Leopold's life and times, and show its relevance for the 21st Century. ($12; $8 for seniors and students.)

March 22, April 12 and May 10
Monday Nights with the Stars
Night sky observations with Henrike Holdrege
Mondays at 8 pm
This spring we will focus on the movements and rhythms of Sun and Moon. When the sky is not clear, we will work indoors. There is no fee; all voluntary contributions will go toward the Credere Community Fund for Goethean Science.

February 14 - February 19
Plant, Earth and Cosmos: Cultivating Perception and Flexible Thinking
A weeklong course with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege at The Nature Institute for farm apprentices, farmers, gardeners and others seeking a working connection to the land.
Can we learn to perceive and understand nature in more vital and truly ecological ways? When we enliven our perceptions and enhance our ability to form more dynamic and holistic pictures of nature’s creatures and processes, the life of nature can become ever more embodied in what we perceive, think, and do. To stimulate this transformation of our capacities, we will carry out exercises in flexible thinking and careful observation. We engage in phenomenological explorations of the qualities of the plant, which lies at the heart of all agricultural endeavors. Each day will consist of the following activities:

Morning Seminars (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.):

  • Projective geometry—Exercises in flexible thinking
  • The plant—Metamorphosis; plant growth forms in different environmental conditions and in relation to climate and seasons

Afternoon Seminar (2 to 3:30 p.m.):

  • Observation exercises related to the plant study

Evening Seminar (7 to 8:30 p.m.):

  • Astronomy—Finding orientation in the night sky

This course will begin on Sunday evening, February 14, at 7 p. m. and end on Friday, February 19, at 3 p.m.
Course fee is on sliding scale $250 to $420.
As part of a 2010 Biodynamic Winter Intensive this course is followed by a weeklong course (February 21 to 26) on The Theory and Practice of Biodynamic Farming at Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center. If you attend both courses, fee for both weeks is on sliding scale $450 to $800.

February 1, 8 and 15
Winter Wildlife Tracking
With Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott
Sundays, 9 a.m. to noon
Pre-registration is required.
The first workshop will begin with an introduction to outdoor observation and track identification. Beginners and experienced trackers are welcome at all sessions. Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott have conducted workshops for adults and young people for many years and have introduced many area residents to the wonders of wildlife activity in Hawthorne Valley and nearby places. Please come prepared for cold or rainy weather conditions.
Adults $30, $20 students and seniors, free for a child under 12 accompanied by an adult (not suitable for very young children). Contact us for family rates.
Events in 2009

September 14, October 19, November 23 and December 14
Monday Nights with the Stars
with Henrike Holdrege
Mondays at 7:30 p.m.
Living in the country we are blessed with darkness at night that allows us to see the stars. Weather permitting, we will directly observe and find orientation in the night sky. If it is cloudy, we will work inside to prepare for observations that you can do on your own on a clear night. We will study the daily and yearly movements of the stars, the constellations of the zodiac, and learn about the rhythms of Sun, Moon, and the planets.
No fee; pre-registration not required.

October 24 and 31, November 7 and 14
Goethean Explorations of Light and Color
Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
This series of workshops, as part of the Free Columbia Art Course led by Laura Summer and Nathaniel Williams, is designed for artists and art students, but is also open to everyone interested in the subject or in the Goethean method of research. Each Saturday we will explore in a variety of experiments and observations light and color from a different angle. The topics will be:
October 24
Exploring human vision and after images
October 31
The forming of a real image in the human eye and colored shadows
November 7
Color between light and darkness – atmospheric and prismatic colors
November 14
Mixing of colors through darkening and lightening processes
Pre-registration is required; fee is $30 per Saturday.

November 12
The Plant as a Teacher of Living Thinking
A talk by Craig Holdrege
Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
In a time that calls for the human mind to become ever more flexible, dynamic, and context-sensitive in order to address pressing problems, the humble plant can become a forceful teacher of a living thinking. In this talk, Craig Holdrege will show, through many concrete examples, how we can learn to model our thinking after the way plants live. Fee: $12; $8 students, apprentices and seniors

October 17
Volunteer Day in the Woods
Saturday, from 2 to 5 p.m.
In April a group of 19 volunteers helped to clear the trail and boardwalk in the Institute’s Nature Preserve from debris from the December 2008 ice storm. The area was brought back into a harmony and plant growth thrived during the spring and summer. There are still some areas that need attention, so if you would like to help us with this work, please come to the Institute and bring gloves, and if you have them, loppers. Rain Date: October 24.

October 16
Beyond Plastic: Its Dangers for our Environment and Human Health
A talk by Tim Scherbatskoy
Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Plastic is a ubiquitous element in our world today. But how much awareness do we have concerning its effects? In this talk, Tim Scherbatskoy will discuss how we have become inundated with plastic, the harm this does to our body and our environment, and how we can unlearn some of our bad plastic habits and develop more sustainable approaches to living lightly on the planet. Tim is an Associate Professor of Biology, Adirondack Community College. He studies and advocates sustainability, teaching how we can become more alert to the environmental consequences of our daily choices and be happy in this awareness. Fee: $12; $8 students, apprentices and seniors

October 4
Hand-Sowing a Field of Rye
Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Hawthorne Valley Association and The Nature Institute invite you to join in hand-sowing a field of rye and learning about seeds, grains, and the evolution of agriculture in Columbia County. The event will take place at 391 Carpenter Road, two miles from the center of Philmont, NY. For more information call Hawthorne Valley Association at 518-672-7500 x105.

July 5 to July 11
Bringing Science to Life: Experiential Learning in Science
A continuing education program for science teachers with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege, and Jon McAlice
Designed for teachers, this course takes up the challenge of high school science. How can we teach science in a manner that allows students to experience and question the world? Through seminars, concrete practice of phenomenological methodology, group project work, and collegial dialogue we want to address and explore many still untapped aspects of experience-based learning.
For more information or a registration form, click here.
June 21 to June 27
2009 Summer Course: Experiencing Wholeness in Nature
A weeklong course with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege and Nathaniel Williams
While we may “know” that organisms are integrated wholes, can we actually experience that wholeness? Can we learn to see the unity of the organism that is reflected through its diverse parts and through its growth dynamics? Such are the questions we want to pursue in this course. We will explore how our thinking can become more dynamic and integrated so that we perceive more deeply and vibrantly the wholeness in the rest of nature. As Henri Bortoft writes, “The complete phenomenon is visible only when there is a coalescence of sensory outsight with intuitive insight.”
For more information or a registration form, click here.
May 30
Edible Mushroom Cultivation Workshop—Transforming Firewood into Food
Saturday workshop with Justin West, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Join us at The Nature Institute for a hands-on workshop covering shiitake mushroom log cultivation. We will discuss basic biology and ecology of fungi, their importance in the forest ecosystem, and various techniques for home-scale cultivation of edible species. We will then inoculate hardwood logs with shiitake spawn. Participants will be invited to take them home and enjoy the many years of gourmet mushrooms to follow. We hope participants will come away from the workshop with all of the knowledge and practice necessary to make good use of the abundant gift of downed wood the forests have offered this past winter.
Justin West grew up in New Jersey and later spent several years working as a vegetation ecologist in the Rocky Mountains. More recently he has spent the past three years at Schumacher College in Devon England completing a masters degree in Holistic Science as well as designing and implementing a practice in regenerative land use that seeks to maximize biodiversity, productivity, and creativity.
Fee: $35 (includes shitake spawn); no fee for children who accompany adults.
Please pre-register by May 15 so that we can order adequate amounts of spawn.

May 16
Light and Color - A Workshop for Artists
Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In this workshop Henrike Holdrege will lead participants through an array of observations relating to light and color that will be especially illuminating for artists. Fee on sliding scale: $60 to $100. Bring your lunch. Please pre-register.

April 4 
Volunteer Day in the Woods

Saturday, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The December ice storm created quite a chaos in the woods of The Nature Institute. We have already begun to clean up, but an afternoon of brush clearing would go a long ways to bring some harmony into the areas we use for our courses and events. Please come and join friends and neighbors for an afternoon of service to The Nature Institute. Bring work gloves and, if you have some, loppers.

March 23, April 27 and May 18
Monday Nights with the Stars
8 p.m.
Living in the country, we are blessed with darkness at night that allows us to see the stars. In three evenings this spring, Henrike Holdrege offers an introduction to astronomy. We will study the daily and yearly movements of the stars, the constellations of the zodiac that are visible, and some rhythms of sun and moon. If it is cloudy, we will work inside to prepare for observations that you can do on your own on clear nights. Please come prepared for cold weather, bring a cushion and a flashlight. There is no charge, but donations to The Nature Institute are appreciated. Please pre-register.

March 21, April 4 and April 25
Schooling of Thought and Imagination through Projective Geometry
Saturday Course with Henrike Holdrege, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
In a series of three Saturday morning workshops, we will introduce projective geometry as a schooling path to expand our thought life and to practice inner picturing and imagination. We will explore how projective geometry grew out of the understanding of perspective and then move into explorations of the infinitely distant. We will provide a mid-morning snack. Fee on sliding scale:  $90 to $150. Please pre-register.

March 14
Inside and Outside
Phenomenological studies with Henrike Holdrege
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., snack will be provided.
Fee on sliding scale $40-60, register by March 9.

February 25 to March 1
Winter Course for Farmers and Gardeners: Cultivating Perception and Imagination
with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege
For some years we have been asked to hold a winter course for people who work intensively on the land in the summer. We are pleased to be able to announce this new winter course. Nature’s life can become more embodied in our work when we enliven our own perceptions and enhance our ability to form dynamic and holistic pictures of Nature’s creatures and processes. Winter is a good time to step back from day-to-day concerns and concentrate on honing our inner skills. We will work with different content areas and at the same time practice what Goethe called “exact sensorial imagination”—a way of coming alive to nature, or we might say, bringing nature to life in us. Each day will consist of the following activities:

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Projective Geometry: Picturing and thinking in polarities
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Plants and Animals: Their essential and contrasting ways of being
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Observation exercises relating to plants and animals
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Astronomy: Finding orientation in the night sky

The course will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, February 25, and end at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1.
Course fee is $420. Please register by February 1, 2009. Some financial assistance is available.

February 1, 8 and 15
Winter Wildlife Tracking
With Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott
Sundays, 9 a.m. to noon
Pre-registration is required.
The first workshop will begin with an introduction to outdoor observation and track identification. Beginners and experienced trackers are welcome at all sessions. Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott have conducted workshops for adults and young people for many years and have introduced many area residents to the wonders of wildlife activity in Hawthorne Valley and nearby places. Please come prepared for cold or rainy weather conditions.
Adults $30, $20 students and seniors, free for a child under 12 accompanied by an adult (not suitable for very young children). Contact us for family rates.
January 17
Listening and Seeing
Phenomenological studies at The Nature Institute with Henrike Holdrege
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., snack will be provided.
Fee on sliding scale $40-60, register by Jan.12.
Events in 2008

December 13
Listening and Seeing
Phenomenological studies at The Nature Institute with Henrike Holdrege
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., snack will be provided.
Fee on sliding scale $40-60, register by Dec. 8. Cancelled.

November 15
Earth and Water —the Qualities of the Elements
Phenomenological studies at The Nature Institute with Henrike Holdrege
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., snack will be provided.
Fee on sliding scale $40-60, register by Nov.10.
(See text of October 18 event)

November 12
The World According to Monsanto
A Documentary by Marie-Monique Robin, followed by discussion with Craig Holdrege
Wednesday, at 7:30 p.m., donations welcome.
Monsanto has become the world leader in genetically modified crops, as well as becoming one of the most controversial companies in industrial history. Today it has reinvented itself as a “life science” company which has been converted to the virtues of sustainable development while continually moving toward its goal of complete control of the world’s seed and food markets. French filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin made this revealing documentary using hitherto unpublished documents, the testimonies of victims and scientists. Following the documentary there will be a discussion with Craig Holdrege, director of The Nature Institute and co-author of Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering.

October 18
Light — Brightness, Darkness, and Colors
Phenomenological studies at The Nature Institute with Henrike Holdrege
First of four Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Each Saturday can be attended individually or you may sign up for all four Saturdays, Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec.13, and Jan.17 (see below).
Fee is on sliding scale: $40-60 per Saturday or $120-240 for all four sessions. Snack will be provided.
Enrollment is limited, register by October 13.

How often do we take the time and care to attend to the rich and varied qualities of the world in which we live? These four Saturdays at The Nature Institute want to provide an opportunity to put aside our day-to-day concerns and focus on some essential features of our lives that are easily overlooked and taken for granted. Often by attending to what seems obvious, we are led into unexpected depths. On each Saturday our explorations will involve careful and varied observations — wakeful immersions in experience that can help us become more sensitive to our surroundings so that the world can reveal more to us.

October 16
Goethe and the Dynamics of Being
A lecture by Henri Bortoft
Location: Hawthorne Valley School Music Room
Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., $12 ($8 seniors and students)
Henri Bortoft taught physics and philosophy of science for most of his carrier and is the author of The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe’s Way Toward a Science of Conscious Participation in Nature. Bortoft’s lifelong interest in Goethe’s scientific method led to penetrating studies of the process of cognition and of the history of science. He will show how Goethe’s way of doing science requires an altogether different kind of cognitive activity from that of mainstream science to discover the deeper dimensions and lawful interrelatedness of phenomena.

July 6 to July 12
Bringing Science to Life
A course with Craig Holdrege, Henrike Holdrege, and Jon McAlice
Designed for teachers, this course takes up the challenge of high school science. How can we teach science in a manner that allows students to experience and question the world? Through seminars, concrete practice of phenomenological methodology, group project work, and collegial dialogue we want to address and explore many still untapped aspects of experience-based learning. For more information or a registration form, click here.

June 22 to June 28
2008 Summer Course: The Plant as a Teacher of Living Thinking
A course with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege
Our modern culture cultivates abstract thought that leads to fragmented modes of understanding and interacting with the world. But nature herself is whole and integrated. Can we learn from nature how to think and act in more living, whole ways? In this week-long course we will study plants in various habitats: plant form, metamorphosis, and environmental variation. Exercises in dynamic thinking will support the plant studies. We will also explore how—in various walks of life—a more living thinking can change our understanding of the world and the way we interact with it.
For more information or a registration form, click here. April 25 and 26
Miracle Tomato
A play written and performed by Jessica Cerullo and produced by Walking the Dog Theater.
Location: Basilica Industria, 110 Front Street, Hudson, NY
Friday and Saturday, play begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Nature Institute is co-sponsoring “Small Revolution Expo,” which has as its centerpiece the play Miracle Tomato, an original and serious comedy written and performed by Jessica Cerullo and produced here by Walking the Dog Theater. During the Expo on Saturday afternoon, Craig Holdrege will speak about the unintended “side-effects” of genetic manipulation and the widespread use of GM crops in agriculture today. The “Small Revolution Expo” surrounding the two performances of Miracle Tomato will feature local organic farms and related initiatives in Columbia County.

April 8
Whale Music
A lecture and demonstration by David Rothenberg
Location: Hawthorne Valley School (Music Room), 330 Route 21C, Ghent NY
Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., $12 (seniors and students $8)
David Rothenberg has traveled from Hawaii to Russia and Canada to make music with belugas, orcas, and the greatest of all animal musicians, the humpbacks. After years of investigating bird song, culminating in his book Why Birds Sing, and many recorded improvisations with his clarinet, he has turned his attention to whales.  He will share his explorations of the underwater world of sonic mystery and his attempts to create interspecies music with whales in their native habitats. His book Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound will be available later this spring.

January 19 and 26 and February 2
Winter Wildlife Tracking
With Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott
Saturdays, from 9a.m. to noon
Pre-registration is required.
The Nature Institute and Woodland Ways are offering three Saturday morning tracking workshops. The first workshop, on January 19, will begin with an introduction that will give beginners a firm foundation for outdoor observation and track identification. Beginners and experienced trackers are welcome at all workshops. Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott have conducted workshops for adults and young people for many years. Meet at The Nature Institute on January 19 and 26 and at Hawthorne Valley School parking lot on February 2. Please come prepared for cold or rainy weather.
Each workshop: Adults $30, students and seniors $20, free for a child under 12 accompanied by an adult (not suitable for young children). Contact us for family rates.
Events in 2007

December 3
Disrupting Life’s Integrity: The Nontarget Effects of Genetic Manipulation
A talk by Craig Holdrege
Monday, at 7:30 p.m., $12 ($8 students and seniors)
Craig will speak about the Institute’s current research project investigating how genetic engineering causes unforeseen changes in the manipulated organisms. Through describing a variety of examples, he will provide a picture of the massive experiment with the earth’s organisms and discuss its implications.

November 18
The Colors of the Heavens: Rainbows, Halos, and Glories
A talk by Johannes Kühl
Sunday, at 7:30 p.m., $12 ($8 students and seniors)
Johannes Kühl is a physicist and head of the Science Section at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland. He has been a high school teacher and has lectured widely to audiences around the world. This evening he will focus our attention on some common and rare celestial color phenomena. October 15
An Idea That Hasn’t (Yet) Saved the World
A talk by Stephen L. Talbott
Monday, at 7:30 p.m., $12 ($8 students and seniors)
Waldorf education, anthroposophy, Goethean science--powerful and restorative ideas are at work in these undertakings. But every idea holding a power to heal and redeem also holds a power to weaken and enslave. The art of working with ideas is crucial today, and developments within science give us ample warning of the danger when ideas possess us instead of our possessing them. Drawing his illustrations from those aspects of science that have proven more oppressive to the human spirit, Steve Talbott will talk about a profoundly healing idea--and how easily it can be mis-used.

Beginning September 29, 2007
In Dialogue with Nature
A new course at The Nature Institute with Craig Holdrege and Henrike Holdrege
One Saturday a month, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dates: Sept. 29; Oct. 27; Nov. 17; Dec. 15; in 2008: Jan.12; Feb. 9; March 8; April 19; May 17; June 14
Registration required by Sept.1; course fee $ 800

September 21 - 23
Gestures of Becoming a Human Being
Embryology Seminar with Jaap van der Wal
Friday, 5 - 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 - 9 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 3 - 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Seminar fee $160, preregistration required by end of August. Details. August 11-12
Sounds of the Wild
Weekend workshop with David Rothenberg
Saturday, 9 a.m. to Sunday noon
Workshop fee $120, please preregister by the end of July.
Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments. Details. June 24 to June 30 - 2007 Summer Course
Coming Alive to Nature: Practicing the Goethean Approach to Science and Nature Study
For more information, click here.

April 16, 23, 30 and May 7, 14, 21
Center and Periphery
A workshop in 6 sessions with Henrike Holdrege
Mondays, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Workshop fee: $90. Please register in advance.

In six sessions we will explore the theme of "Center and Periphery" through exercises in geometry, plant observation and optics. The polarity of a center and its periphery is central in our relations to one another as human beings and also in our relation to the rest of the world.

March 15
Why Birds Sing: A Journey into the Mystery of Bird Song
A lecture and musical presentation by David Rothenberg
Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Hawthorne Valley School (Ghent, NY), Music Room. Admission $12 (seniors and students $8)

In his book Why Birds Sing, David Rothenberg combines the insights of science, music, and poetry to penetrate the mystery of the natural symphony that resounds around us every spring. David Rothenberg is associate professor of humanities at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a composer and musician who tries to blend the indigenous energy of the world's primal music with the exploratory spirit of improvisation. He has performed and spoken all over the world and has many recordings, articles, books, and interviews reflecting his passion for the sounds that connect the human and natural world.

March 12, 19, 26 and April 2
Evolution Beyond Scientific and Religious Dogmatism
A series of four talks by Craig Holdrege
Mondays, at 7:30 p.m., admissions $12 (seniors and students $8).

The public discussion of evolution has become highly polarized. Material and spiritual views of nature and humanity are presented as irreconcilable opposites. Instead of nuanced arguments, we are offered oversimplifications that gloss over deeper questions. One way to move beyond oversimplification is to return to a careful consideration of the phenomena themselves, which are always more complex than any simple scheme can encompass. In this series of talks, Craig Holdrege will discuss the topic of evolution by drawing on concrete examples from animal and human evolution. While offering no pat answers, he will point to patterns and riddles that embrace the physical-spiritual nature of evolution. The four evenings will build on one another. Participation in all four is encouraged, although attendance at single lectures is possible. Seating is limited so we suggest that you register in advance.

February 3
Winter Wildlife Tracking
Fieldtrip to Quabbin Reservoir
With Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott
Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., meet at Hawthorn Valley School parking lot.
Fee $ 60, students and seniors $ 50. Please preregister.
For those who have some tracking experience, here is the opportunity to put those skills to good use in exploring the vast Quabbin Reservoir area. Thousands of acres of forest provide a superb refuge for wildlife. Bring a bag lunch. Transportation is provided. January 27
Winter Wildlife Tracking
With Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott
Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, meet at Hawthorn Valley School parking lot.
Workshop fee $30, students and seniors $20. Please preregister.
For those who have attended the previous workshop or have had some tracking instruction and experience. We will explore the valley and surrounding areas to trace the activities of local wildlife. January 20
Winter Wildlife Tracking
With Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott
Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, meet at Hawthorn Valley School parking lot.
Workshop fee $30, students and seniors $20. Please preregister.
Events in 2006
November 16
Who Was Goethe Anyway?
A lecture by John Barnes.
Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., admission $12 (seniors and students $8).
October 21
Workshop on Bees and Beekeeping
with Gunther Hauk.
Enrollment is limited. Advanced registration required,  phone 518-672-0116 or e-mail info@natureinstitute.org
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., workshop fee $85.
October 20
The Healing Qualities of Bees
A lecture by Gunther Hauk.
Friday, at 7:30 p.m., admission $12 (seniors and students $8).

October 6
The Problem of Genetically Engineered Food: What Is It and What Can We Do?
A lecture by Craig Holdrege at The NOAH Center.
Jointly sponsored by The NOAH Center and The Nature Institute.
Seating is limited and must be reserved by calling The NOAH Center at 413-528-0297.
The NOAH Center, 40l Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA.
Friday, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., admission $10.

September 29
Guess What's Coming to Dinner: The Unintended Effects of Genetic Engineering
A lecture by Craig Holdrege,
sponsored by the Hungry Hollow Coop in Spring Valley.
At the Green Meadow Waldorf School, Arts Building, in Spring Valley (Chestnut Ridge), NY.
Friday, at 8:00 p.m. September 23 (Rain date September 24)
Spectacular Tag Sale
The ultimate community recycle event. Turn your gently used household items into support for The Nature Institute and shop for nearly-new treasures. Furniture, tools, toys, housewares and more.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
June 25 to July 1
Practicing Goethean Science (Advanced Course)
For more information click here.
June 15
Open House at The Nature Institute
A festive evening featuring a display of the projects by students completing the Goethean Science Studies.
Thursday, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
June 1-2
Water as Activity: Moving Beyond a Material Conception
A workshop with Michael D'Aleo.
Thursday, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Advanced registration required, workshop fee $50.
June 1
Images of Water: Probing the Essence of Water's Nature
A lecture by Michael D'Aleo.
Thursday at 7:30 p.m., admission $12.
May 25
Poetry as a Schooling of Perception
A workshop with Gertrude Reif Hughes.
Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Advanced registration required, workshop fee $50.
May 24
What Barfield Thought
A lecture by Gertrude Reif Hughes.
Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., admission $12.
May 11
Goethean Science and Modern Physics
A workshop with Arthur Zajonc.
Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Advanced registration required, workshop fee $50.
May 10
Spiritual Perspectives on the Rise of Technology
A lecture by Arthur Zajonc.
Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., admission $12.
April 25, 27, May 2, 4, 9, and 16
Opening the Gates of Knowledge: Beyond Modernism and Postmodernism
A seminar (six classes) with Douglas Sloan.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Advanced registration required, seminar fee $90.
For more information, click here.
April 21
Tracking Dinosaurs Around the World
A lecture by Martin Lockley.
Friday at 7:30 p.m., admission $12.
Note the location: Chatham High School Auditorium.
For more information, click here.

April 20-21
Dynamic Patterns in Nature: The Example of Dinosaurs
A workshop with Martin Lockley.
Thursday, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., and Friday, 10:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Advanced registration required, workshop fee $50.
For more information, click here.

April 2 to June 16
Goethean Science Studies. Scientific Practice Modeled After Life
A Full-time Immersion Course

January 14, 21, 28, and February 4
Wildlife Tracking. Together with Woodland Ways, we are offering a four-session workshop in winter wildlife tracking with trackers Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott. This course will give participants the opportunity to get out into the winter landscape and learn to read the sign and tracks of the many animals inhabiting our woods and fields. The course is on four Saturdays (Jan. 14, 21, 28 and Feb. 4) from 9am to 12pm. The introductory session on Jan. 14 is open to all as a single session; otherwise, the four-Saturday course is conceived of as one unit. Fee for the introductory session only: $30; children under 12 w/ parents free. Fee for complete course: $120. At The Nature Institute. Please register ahead of time; call 518-672-0116 or email info@natureinstitute.org.

Events in 2005

September 20 to November 22
Projective Geometry – Extending our Boundaries and Experience of Thought.
Weekly course with Henrike Holdrege. Tuesday mornings 8:30 – 10 a.m.

November 18
Celebrating The Nature Institute's First Seven Years.
Please join us for this celebration, which will include a talk (with slides) by Craig Holdrege on his new research on the American Bison, music, and refreshments. 7:30 p.m. at the Hawthorne Valley School Hall in Harlemville (one-half mile north of The Nature Institute on Route 21C).

October 27
The Cow and the Cowherd in the Context of a Biodynamic Farm. A talk by Steffen Schneider. Steffen is the farm manager of Hawthorne Valley Farm, which neighbors The Nature Institute.
July 10 to July 16
Coming Alive to Nature: Reading the Gestures of Life.
A week-long interdisciplinary summer course for people from all walks of life. Details.
June 26 to July 2
Advanced Course: Practicing a Goethean Approach to Science.
This course is for people committed to the ongoing practice of Goethean science. Details.
May 21
Wildflowers of the Spring Forest. Spring wildflower walk with Craig Holdrege from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Bring Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, if you have one. Meet at The Nature Institute. Details.
April 23
Here Come the Birds. An early morning bird watching walk with Harry Lazare from 7:30 -10 a.m. Bring binoculars and a bird guide. Meet at The Nature Institute. Details.
April 14
Grasping for Certainty, Fleeing from Meaning – The Dilemma of Science and Some Thoughts on its Resolution. A talk by Stephen L. Talbott at The Nature Institute at 7:30 p.m. Details.
March 29
Projective Geometry Course. Henrike Holdrege. 8:30 to 10 a.m. for ten consecutive Tuesdays. Details. March 12
A Painter's Search for Meaning in Nature. A talk and exhibit of new paintings by Thomas Locker, followed by a panel discussion. A Benefit Event for The Nature Institute. 7:30 pm, the North Pointe Cultural Arts Center, Rte 9, Kinderhook, NY. Details.
February 12
Introduction to Winter Wildlife Tracking with Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott. Details.
January 27
Science at the Crossroads — A Battle Between Life and Death. A talk by David Auerbach at Hawthorne Valley School. Details.

January 22
Introduction to Winter Wildlife Tracking with Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott. Details.

Events in 2004 November 11
The Trouble with Genetic Engineering: New Developments in Biotech Food and Agriculture
A talk by Craig Holdrege. Details.

November 5 and 6
Encountering Nature as a Conversation: Our Responsibility as Human Beings for the Earth. Public talk and workshop with Craig Holdrege. Austin Waldorf School, Austin, Texas.

November 4
From Wonderbread to GM Lettuce: Genetic Engineering and our Food. Public talk by Craig Holdrege. Austin Waldorf School, Austin, Texas.

October 29
Thinking Through Metaphor: Figurative Language as a Key to Understanding Goethe's Phenomenological Approach to Nature. A talk by Christina Jamison Root. Details.

October 13 - 21
Understanding the Wholeness and Integrity of Nature. Craig Holdrege teaches at Schumacher College (Dartington, England) in a three-week public course on "Holistic Science: Seeing With New Eyes" and also in the Masters Degree in Holistic Science program.
September 24 - September 25
How Do Animals See the World? - In the Footsteps of Painter Franz Marc. An evening talk and Saturday morning workshop with Jan Kees Saltet and Craig Holdrege. Details.
September 21 - November 23
Projective Geometry - Extending our Boundaries and Experience of Thought.
A weekly course with Henrike Holdrege. Details.
September 10
The Nature of Drama and the Drama of Nature. A talk by Slava Rozentuller.  Details.
July 25 to July 31
The World of Light and Color. Summer course.
July 11 to July 17
Reading the Gestures of Life.
Summer course.
June 27 to July 3
Practicing Goethean Science: Advanced Course.
Summer course.
June 3-5
The Need for an Ignorance-Based World View.
Stephen L. Talbott participated in this working conference and gave a presentation, sponsored by the Land Institute in Kansas.
May 1 & 8
Wildflowers of the Spring Forest: Ecology and Identification. Two Saturday workshops with Craig Holdrege.
May 22
Spring Wildlife Tracking. A Saturday workshop with Michael Pewtherer and Jonathan Talbott.
May 31
A Goethean Approach to Understanding Genetic Engineering. Craig Holdrege spoke (in German) at a conference in Krakow, Poland; the conference has the overriding theme "Touched by the Elements: Ecology and Art in Polish-German Dialogue."
April 21
How Ecological Can Farming Be? A talk by Hugh Williams, Threshold Farm.
April 17
Here Come the Birds. An early morning bird watching walk with Harry Lazare.
April 7
The Promise and the Gift of Plants. A presentation and slide show by Jean-David Derreumaux about plants that heal.
March 23 - June 1
Projective Geometry - Extending our Boundaries and Experience of Thought.
A weekly course with Henrike Holdrege.
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