Other Media

From time to time we record the presentations of Nature Institute staff and guest speakers. As these videos and podcasts become available, you will find them below.


Where Does an Animal End? The American Bison — a talk by Craig Holdrege

Craig shares the fruits of his many years of research into this fascinating animal: its physical constitution, its relationship to its ecosystem, its life as an individual and as part of a herd, and its relationship to the Native Americans. Through a close look at the American Bison, Craig sheds light on the boundaries of what makes an animal an animal, and how the demarcations aren’t as clear as we might expect.

September 21, 2018, at The Nature Institute in Ghent, NY.

The Science and Art of Composting — an interview with Bruno Follador

Bruno speaks about his work with composting — learning the language of a landscape through what is expressed in the compost and searching for the questions that can bring him into ever greater relationship to nature and the world.

This interview took place in early 2018 at The Nature Institute in Ghent, NY.

Giving Living Beings a Voice — a talk by Craig Holdrege

Speaking at a conference on “Synthetic Biology,” a discipline in which organisms are viewed as machine-like entities that we can manipulate with engineering precision, Craig asks: What might organisms themselves have to say about such a project?

November 3, 2017, Toronto, Canada.

Where Do We Come From? The Question of Origins and Ancestors in Evolution — a talk by Craig Holdrege

“At every time evolution is showing something wonderfully new...”

In this talk (with slides), Craig examines the widespread and perhaps overly simplified belief in a linear story of human ancestry. What emerges in its place is the importance of “the whole story” — a story that turns out to be complex and surprising.

October 27th, 2017, at The Nature Institute in Ghent, NY.

The Work of Franz Marc: Expressing the Being of Animals — a talk by Craig Holdrege

“I have no desire to paint animals as I see them, but rather as they are, how they themselves see the world and feel their being” – Franz Marc

With the aid of slides, Craig reflects upon the life and work of the Expressionist painter Franz Marc. Through the artist’s life, words, and works, Craig shows the loving attention with which Marc was able to enter into, and profoundly express, the life of animals.

February 14th, 2017, at The Nature Institute in Ghent, NY.


Cultivating the Roots of Earth Stewardship

How can we help our children grow up to become caring and responsible stewards of the earth, and what is the role of media and direct experience in the education we provide them? These are some of the questions that Craig Holdrege takes up in this talk that he gave on March 24th, 2018, at the Winkler Center for Adult Education in Garden City, NY.

Listen on SoundCloud or, if you listen to your podcasts on your phone, download from the iTunes store.

Special Feature: On Screens and Children

Reality-Based Education in a Hyperreal Culture — a talk by Craig Holdrege

Today we can come to know vast amounts about life on earth by watching nature videos. But how does that knowledge differ from first-hand experience of nature? In this short article, Craig shares a fox video and describes what the video misses — the perception of the deeper rootedness of a phenomenon, what the philosopher Albert Borgman called “commanding presences.”

“My focus here is not the issue of the negative impact of children being over-exposed to so many advanced technologies. It’s the question of how we can facilitate the positive impact of commanding presences. How can we help children participate in commanding realities so that the ideas that sprout up in the mind of future generations can be ideas that are rooted in the world and not in the fantasies of the cyber world?”

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