• Table of Contents
• About me
• My Writing
- Ideas in Ecocultural Communication
– Nonfiction & Science Writing Strategies
– Book Summaries: Key Ideas
• Tools I Use For Research and Writing
• Work with me
• Stay in touch
Hi there! My name is Gavin. I have an M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. My main research examines how language and culture shape human relationships with threatened species and places, with most of my work focused on Hawaiian green sea turtles in Hawai‘i. …
When it comes to science writing and communication, there are few writers as skilled at their craft as Ed Yong. He’s something of a science writing prodigy. His writing spans topics ranging from the microbes that inhabit our bodies and orca conservation to language genes and most recently, the current global pandemic.
In fact, Yong’s coronavirus reporting has been widely praised as some of the most well-researched, compelling, and informative coverage on the pandemic. He currently covers science as a staff writer for the Atlantic, and his work has appeared in National Geographic, Nautilus, Scientific American, Wired, Aeon, Nature, the New York Times, and more. …
Put simply, environmental communication involves all the diverse forms of communication people engage in to experience, understand, question, and act on environmental issues, problems, and solutions.
Do you love nature?
Maybe you’re concerned about the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, the destruction of the Amazon, or a fossil-fuel industry hell-bent on worsening global warming.
Maybe you’ve gone snorkeling at Hanauma Bay in Hawai‘i and admired the bay’s diversity of underwater life, or went hiking in Yosemite to witness a mind-blowing sunrise against the face of El Capitan?
On the other hand, maybe you feel that too much nature can be a bad thing? …
“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe better.” — Dr. Andrew Weil
When I first started reading James Nestor’s new book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, I was curious but skeptical. Why do I need to learn to breathe better? I’ve been breathing my whole life. It seems like I’ve been doing it pretty well so far. On average about 25,000 times a day. After all, I’m still alive.
Perhaps if you meditate or practice yoga, you are aware of how breathing techniques help you relax and focus. Something as simple as ‘focus on your breath.’ …
What is language? And how do our ideas about what language is shape how we learn ‘it’ and teach ‘it’?
When we consider all the beliefs and assumptions about the world we seem to absorb from others when we’re children, and later in life, it’s worth asking how our ideas about language influence how we approach learning and teaching language.
In other words, how do certain assumptions about what it means to be human –assumptions about how we feel, think, learn, talk, develop and interact in the world –influence our own learning and teaching.
For example, what is English? In their fantastic introduction to multilingualism, Kristine Horner and Jean Jacques Weber put it this…
Welcome to the Anthropocene, or so tells us the famous cover story of a 2011 issue of Economist.¹
While human beings have always altered and transformed their environment, the notion of the Anthropocene proposes that humans have written their signature into the Earth’s crust, now becoming the dominant force shaping the bio-chemical makeup of the planet.
The scale of the Anthropocene — the scale of the problems it identifies and the scale of the solutions it requires ––is so immense, many of us find it difficult to talk about.
Even the immensely talented environmental communicator and nature writer Robert Macfarlane struggles to find the…
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873–1954), or more famously known as Colette, was widely acclaimed during the 1920s to be France’s “greatest woman writer.”
In 1948, she was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, losing to T.S. Eliot. Colette is perhaps most well-known for her novella Gigi published in 1944.
But there’s another book I recently discovered, thanks to the research of the always illuminating Maria Popova, a now out-of-print 1975 edition of Earthly Paradise: An Autobiography of Colette Drawn from Her Lifetime Writings.
Popova writes that, as “A queer woman amid the conservative and bigoted culture of the early twentieth century, [Colette] tirelessly championed women’s sexual liberation through her art.” …
“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) was a Beat Poet and writer. Tucked away in The Portable Jack Kerouac, a collection of his most famous writings, is his list of 30 beliefs for writing and life entitled Belief and Technique for Modern Prose. Skip to the end to find the list.
Scholarship on the 1950’s American Beat poets, writes English professor and ecocriticism scholar Susan Signe Morrison, has mostly focused on the group’s experiences as city-dwellers who occasionally enjoyed road trips into the wild. …
In 2010, the Guardian published a series of articles on ‘Rules for Writing Fiction’ from some of the most famous writers out there. Contributors included science fiction writers such as Michael Moorcock, poets like Andrew Motion, playwrights/novelists like Joyce Carol Oates, and, in my humble opinion, all-around masters of wordcraft like Zadie Smith.
Reading through the list, one writer’s ‘top ten tips’ struck a chord with me. That writer is Jeanette Winterson.
I know of Winterson’s work primarily through her memoir, Why be happy when you could be normal?
Among many memorable, and to be honest, unsettling passages in the book, one that sticks with me is her thoughts on stories, the ones you can write, and the ones you…
A few days ago here on Medium, I wrote about how in 2009, the Latin American country of Bolivia — following in the footsteps of its neighbor Ecuador–– wrote something radical into its new constitution. Article 342 says:
“it is the duty of the State and of the population to conserve, protect, and use natural resources and biodiversity sustainably and to preserve environmental balance”
The next year in 2010, Bolivia passed The Law of the Rights of Mother Earth (Ley de derechos de la Madre Tierra).
In this new law, “Mother Earth” was defined as a legal person, and in doing so, Bolivia’s Law of the Rights of Mother Earth enshrined the Earth as a sacred being in national law, protected under the same rights as every other citizen of the country. …