Expanding the Lens and the Connection of Everything: Ecology, Regenerative Agriculture, and Hope for the Future
The human population, its intense expansion, and the globalization of our systems have been the leading forces imposing changes on the natural world (Ricklefs et al., 2000). Human activities undoubtedly continue to cause a rise in the global surface temperature, with the ongoing increase of greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC, 2023). Global warming and the widespread, rapid changes in the environment are a threat to the human species and to Nature as a whole. Implementing effective adaptations and mitigations is necessary to secure a livable future but doing so is extremely complex and difficult. With around 1,700 total species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the intense impacts of the human species can be seen. Change can be seen throughout the world with ecological research focusing largely on endangered species and with regenerative agriculture becoming more prevalent. With the help of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Santa Monica Mountains Fund, I had the opportunity to plan and conduct research as part of the Directorate Resource Fellows Program (DFP). 96 samples of narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) were collected from 20 sites in southern California and are currently being tested for pesticide contamination using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. With the human species and all ecosystems on Earth declining in health, we must decide to use our power to implement change from within our own lives and communities. Our connection to other organisms and all ecosystems needs to be realized to gain compassion and value toward fostering sustainable relationships with the planet. To secure a safe and livable future for ourselves, future generations, and Nature as a whole, we must heal the root of the disconnect and disrespect that is embedded in our society. We can cultivate healing and positive change by expanding our perspectives and knowledge while connecting back to ourselves, each other, and Nature.
ecology, regenerative agriculture, hope, climate change, connection, nature, community, education, research, insect decline, endangered species, Honors College
Chen, C. (2023). Expanding the lens and the connection of everything: Ecology, regenerative agriculture, and hope for the future. Honors College, Texas State University.