Transforming Agriculture, Perennially
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Ecosphere Studies

*Join Director Dr. Aubrey Streit Krug in Perennial Practice experiential learning exercises through a new video series.

Ecosphere Studies asks: if the ecological future of agriculture is to be perennial and diverse, what is required of us in social terms?

A just, caring, pluralistic society that accepts limits may be our best hope to sustain ourselves and bring perennial crops that hold soil and work with ecosystems into production. Our motivation for developing sustainable agriculture is to ensure the longevity of such equitable communities.

Ecosphere Studies investigates what we need to learn and remember if we are to create good human futures, nourishing people’s minds, hearts, and bodies. We develop sociocultural research and educational projects with a perennial perspective.

We emphasize material and energetic constraints. For life to thrive in the ecosphere, we must embrace healthy limits. The ecosphere is the creative, living globe that is our home. Rather than viewing Earth as a planet composed of living and non-living parts, and people as separate from our environments, Ecosphere Studies understands human communities as nestled within ecosystems.

Program History

In 2015, Wes Jackson convened a conference about how the invention of new perennial grain crops grown in diverse systems requires new ways of thinking and making a living within the ecosphere. Since then, Ecosphere Studies has regularly designed events to bring together researchers, teachers, students, and community members to co-produce and test ecospheric approaches to unlearning and learning.

In addition to colleagues at The Land Institute, our membership includes artists, activists, agroecologists, economists, farmers, geographers, historians, lawyers, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, and writers. They take what they learn back to their home places, where several are creating Ecosphere Studies courses and perennial education efforts.

Ecospheric learning and teaching is also going forward in public workshops and civic science projects as we create a network to engage people of all ages beyond formal school settings. We aim to embed emerging scientific knowledge about our ecosphere and perennial agriculture into durable educational and cultural practices, and to spread a new way of thinking throughout society.

Program Goals

Through transdisciplinary research and collaborations, we build learning communities to help society cross the threshold into a new perennial grain agriculture. Ecosphere Studies seeks to:

  • Create intergenerational practices of learning how to provide ongoing care to perennial crops, soils, and land communities.
  • Build the cultural capacity, values, and institutions needed for the positive transformation of human food systems.
  • Engage and educate the courageous constituency needed for just transition toward perennial agricultural economies.

 

Project Team

Aubrey Streit Krug
Director of Ecosphere Studies

Wes Jackson
President Emeritus

Carl Bowden
Ecosphere Studies Associate

Rena Detrixhe
Research Resident

Publications

Caring for other beings – both human and more-than-human – is crucial to our ongoing existence. This article connects an analysis of care work with an ecospheric perspective to conceptualize…

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Abstract: Climatic change will seriously impact Mediterranean areas. Palestine, which has given forth annual grain based agriculture, is particularly vulnerable given its political and economic situation. Research is needed to…

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The development of agriculture is one of the key fault lines in human history, the starting point for the human project of dominating the planet. As the catastrophic consequences of…

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Abstract: Genomes can be regarded as miniature ecosystems which display many of the same characteristics as that of a prairie or forest ecosystem. Human communities may likewise have characteristics common…

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Program Videos

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