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The Promise of Solutions from Increasing Diversity in Ways of Knowing

Educational Lessons from Meteorology, Ethnobotany, and Systems Ecology

Amy Freitag

The number of terms used for historically unrepresented types of knowledge in environmental management is large and growing. The emphasis on these “new” perspectives reflects a shift in how society values different ways of knowing. A primary reason behind this recognition of value is that fresh perspectives offer new problem framings, approaches to solutions, and linkages to other issues. Successes in collaborating across multiple knowledge domains have yielded new medicines, culturally appropriate regulations, and a better understanding of ecological dynamics, among others. These examples show the search for creative solutions cuts across disciplines, each of which has its own priorities, values, ethical practices, and approaches to knowledge creation. This review demonstrates how systems ecology, ethnobotany, and meteorology increase problem solving by legitimizing different ways of knowing. Pioneers in valuing nonscientific ways of knowing, they set the path forward for methods and theory used to inform research questions.

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An Environmentally Literate Explorer

A. E. Nordenskiöld’s Three Expeditions to the North Asian Coast, 1875–1879

Seija A. Niemi

investigations. He studied the flora, fauna, geology, geography, hydrology, and meteorology of the region, as well as produced charts and undertook ethnological research with his scientific colleagues on the expeditions. His scientific findings on the unknown

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Ailise Bulfin

This article explores late Victorian fictions of natural catastrophe and their relationship to contemporary developments in the natural sciences. During this era, popular culture had become saturated with an 'apocalyptic imaginary' – a myriad of images of degeneration, total war and the fall of civilisation. While the majority of popular catastrophe texts turn on disasters of a man-made, military nature, including global wars, nationalist uprisings, and domestic revolutions, a significant subset employ natural disaster as the means of catastrophe – some dramatising the astronomical theories of cometary collision or the heat death of the sun, and others postulating meteorological and geological disasters such as volcanic eruption, earthquake, fog, ice, flood, and even climate change. These include H.G. Wells and George Griffith's tales of comet strike, M.P. Shiel and Grant Allen's volcano tales, and William Delisle Hay, Robert Barr and Fred M. White's accounts of deadly fog. This article relates this little-known body of texts to developing Victorian concerns about the sustainability of human life on earth, arguing that by focusing on determining the causes of the catastrophes depicted it is possible to see links emerging between 'natural' catastrophe and human activity in Victorian thinking and hence the development of an ecological awareness.

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Victoria Churikova, Alexey Druzyaka and Alina Galimova

formal data such as tables and regular meteorological observations, on the other. Traditional knowledge has been accumulating for thousands of years, mostly orally and as a result of stories, legends, and other bits of folklore from elders, local hunters

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Hannah Swee

all knowledge as being equal, this is not to say that locals did not have a clear idea of who the authoritative and expert agencies were. Throughout this article I will refer to disaster management and the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). These agencies

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Temperature and Capital

Measuring the Future with Quantified Heat

Scott W. Schwartz

(2013) details extensively in his work on the history of meteorology, temperature is much more about collecting data than about heat. Data are the abstracted reality that finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) use to incubate probabilistic futures

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The Chaco Skies

A Socio-cultural History of Power Relations

Alejandro Martín López and Agustina Altman

. The greater the power, the greater the variety of bodily regimes 7 available to a being. 8 For this reason, in the time of origins, beings were able to choose among a variety of bodily forms—animal, anthropomorphic, meteorological phenomena, and so

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Rachel Adler

beneficent creator of infinite complexity. Meteorologically, I suspect we shall have a fine day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?’ Holmes was silent for a moment, then spoke. ‘Watson, you blockhead. Some miscreant has stolen our tent!’ To those with

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Raw Data

Making Relations Matter

Antonia Walford

, European, and North American institutions, the LBA built meteorological towers that stretch more than 20 meters above the top of the forest canopy, up to almost 70 meters in places. These towers have a profile of equipment on them that measures different

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Keep Moving, Stay Tuned

The Construction of Flow in and through Radio Traffic Reports

Marith Dieker

] These excerpts indicate how the radio hosts and traffic reporters combined information about particular local areas, meteorological situations, and personal and culturally rooted stories and events with explicit concerns about the safety of drivers on