Storytelling as an Act of Translation

Story-Telling as an Act of Translation

Barbara Hurd

UMCES Appalachian Laboratory, Frostburg, MD

Richard A. Johnson Environmental Education Award Program - April 28, 2016 

Additional Ideas and Resources for Integrating the Arts and Humanities with the Sciences

A. In terms of school curricula – support the increasingly crucial move to incorporate more art in the STEM curricula, moving it, as they say, from STEM to STEAM.

B. Support the No Child Left Inside coalition that promotes Environmental Education and insist that environmental literacy curricula include the arts and humanities (

C. At Rocky Gap, New Germany, and Swallow Falls State Parks, adopt an artist-in-residence program.

D. Support nature camps in local parks that include a healthy dose of artistic play.

E. Develop a local version of NPR’s “The 90-second Naturalist” to be broadcast on WFWM and other local stations and/or printed in the Cumberland Times or Oakland Republican.

F. Spread the word about the online challenge called “Ten Hundred Words of Science” in which complex scientific concepts are explained using only the thousand most used words in the English language.

G. Check out the “Dance your Ph.D.” challenge.

H. Here at AL, look for funding for an “Artists in Labs” program.

I. Support the national River of Words programs that encourages poems and arts based on local watersheds. Push local school systems to participate in this annual competition.

J. Here’s something else we desperately need: Good, well written children’s books about the natural world—about science and backyards, the resident squirrels—and about the resilience and degradation of that natural world. We don’t need shrill or strident voices in children’s libraries, but we need well told, science-based stories that appeal to kids of all ages. FSU’s Children’s Literature program does a fabulous job of highlighting kids’ stories; maybe we can support an increase in their focus on environmental issues.

K. A small sampling of the many websites loaded with ideas:

L. Books & Journals

For a thorough list of books that connect literature and the environment, see the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment’s bibliography:

A few (of many) magazines: Orion Magazine, Ecotone,