The Nature of Change: Exploring Humanity's Response to an Evolving Earth

To commemorate our 150th anniversary in 2019, the College of Liberal Arts created a special edition magazine for alumni and friends of the college. View Liberal Arts: The Next 150

Life has existed on Earth for at least 3.5 billion years, and in 2019 humans stand firmly at the top of what used to be a more natural order. We may have achieved remarkable societal evolution, but we’ve done so at great cost to our ecology and climate. Now facing rising seas, melting glaciers, and disappearing species and ecosystems, humans have choices to make about the future of the planet. 

While there is no easy path forward, proponents of change assert that humans must first reconsider our belief that there is a division between us and nature if we’re to achieve a more sustainable future. Three CLA professors share their forward-looking work in the context of the questions: What is humans’ relationship to nature? And how do we make sense of our connection to the physical world as we face the challenges of our changing Earth.