Seidl, Amy - 1983F |
student in media lab

Seidl, Amy - 1983F

Amy SeidlAmy Seidl 83F has always found lyricism in nature. Her Div III, for example, was an exploration of poetry and the science of ecology.

After graduating from Hampshire, she continued to study the natural sciences, earning a master's degree in entomology from Colorado State University and a doctorate in biology from the University of Vermont while embarking on a career teaching in the environmental programs at UVM and Middlebury College.

Amy found that motherhood helped her rediscover nature through the eyes of her children. An expert on butterflies in her professional life, she saw her daughters play with and be amazed by butterflies, bringing her in touch with the poetry of nature that had initially attracted her. A dominant perception of climate change in America is that it is emotionally and geographically distant, and with her recent book, Early Spring, Amy "find[s] a lyricism and a poetry to describe what I feel so close to." The book uses her own back yard as a jumping-off point for a discussion of global climate issues.

Her desire to write a lyrical book began at Hampshire, she says, and Early Spring represents the fruits of that long-developing process. Through the process of writing the book, Amy was able to bring her immense scientific knowledge in touch with the insights of her children and better understand and explain the risk of losing life on the planet.

Despite the seriousness of the issue, however, Amy is no fatalist. In striking contrast to much extant literature about climate change, she believes that with an appropriate combination of prevention and adaptation, the crisis can be lived with and lived within. Her next book will focus on scientific and cultural adaptations necessary to deal with the existing crisis, and will be based on scientific study of life's adaptive capacity. Amy herself has already started the process, as an example to others and as an experiment in effectiveness. Living off the grid near Burlington, VT (her house is powered entirely by solar and wind power), she believes in a future that can be actively constructed rather than a future of constant reaction. Ecological change can act as a platform for a re-examination of human morality, she argues, and the future can be "a radical new place. We can build it."

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