“Topophilia,” a new episode of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast series, examines what motivates people to care for Earth’s creatures and its places.
The podcast’s third season -- "What Do We Know about Love?" -- showcases the newest thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and love. The series is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty. New episodes are released each Tuesday through the spring.
Academics use terms like biophilia—which means love of life—or topophilia, love of place—to talk about what motivates people, and “sense of community” to describe the human need for belonging and mattering to others, says Marianne Krasny, professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Director of the Civic Ecology Lab in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in her podcast episode. But, she adds, “I am not sure any of these terms capture why civic ecology stewards...do what they do.”
Krasny specializes in community environmental stewardship and environmental education in urban and other settings in the U.S. and internationally. Her most recent books are Communicating Climate Change (with Anne Armstrong and Jonathan Schuldt); Urban Environmental Education Review. Urban Environmental Education (with A Russ); Grassroots to Global: Broader Impacts of Civic Ecology; and Civic Ecology: Adaptation and Transformation from the Ground Up (with Keith Tidball). She has served as instructor for multiple global online courses and was director of EECapacity, EPA’s National Environmental Education Training Program.