An endangered species of butterfly has found an unusual set of champions — the inmates of the Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women in Washington. While the number of Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies has dwindled in Washington in recent years, the Mission Creek inmates are working hard to help the species rebound, reports the Nature magazine […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Nalini Nadkarni has spent two decades climbing the trees of Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, the Amazon and the Pacific Northwest, exploring the world of animals and plants that live in the canopy and never come down; and how this upper layer of the forest interacts with the world on the ground. A pioneering researcher in this area, Nadkarni created the Big Canopy Database to help researchers store and understand the rich trove of data she and others are uncovering.
Nadkarni teaches at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, but her work outside the academy is equally fascinating -- using nontraditional vectors to teach the general public about trees and the ecosystem. For instance, she recently collaborated with the dance troupe Capacitor to explore the process of growth through the medium of the human body. In another project, she worked with prison inmates to grow moss for the horticulture trade, to relieve the collecting pressure on wild mosses. The project inspired in her students a new reverence for nature -- and some larger ecochanges at the prison.
She's the author of Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees.
What others say
“Nalini Nadkarni explores the many subtle and extraordinary ways that people rely on trees for the products they yield, the imagery they invoke, and the ecosystems they support.” — Jade Leone Blackwater, Brainripples
Nalini Nadkarni’s TED talks
Nalini Nadkarni challenges our perspective on trees and prisons — she says both can be more dynamic than we think. Through a partrnership with the state of Washington, she brings science classes and conservation programs to inmates, with unexpected results.(Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 5:07) Watch Nalini Nadkarni’s talk on […]Continue reading
To celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day, we suggest these four TEDTalks gems from some amazing speakers — artists, scientists and economists who think deeply about the role of women. Author and activist Isabel Allende discusses women, creativity, feminism — and the power of passionate thinkers and doers: The former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi […]Continue reading