The Meaning of Human Existence: A Continuing Conversation with E.O.Wilson

April 2015. My first conversation with Edward O. Wilson, the famous Harvard biologist, was forty years ago. We were sitting on an old couch on the front porch of my rented house in a neighborhood called “The Hill” in Boulder,
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Dreaming of Whales in the Desert

April 2015. Winter has lingered on and on here near Washington, DC, and spring has been slow and reluctant. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to end before the cherry blossoms even reach their peak bloom this year. And
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Anthrocynology at Westminster

February 2015. OK, it was a bit out of character for me. I was in New York City, attending the second day of the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Westminster is the oldest and most prestigious dog show in
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The Art of Ecology: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of the Andes

February 2015. I was in New York City recently, and on a sudden whim I decided I needed to see The Heart of the Andes. A snowstorm had passed through the previous night, dumping a few inches on the city,
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Cyamudongo Forest: Chimpanzees, Batwa, and Tea

October 2014. Cyamudongo is a small forest fragment southwest of the mountain forests of the Nyungwe National Park in southwestern Rwanda, and is administratively part of the park. Cyamudongo – the “cya” is pronounced “cha,” but with a soft “c”
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Mukura Forest Calling

September 2014. “Hello? Can you hear me? Hello?” Serge, my Rwandan consulting team member, was trying to call our contact at Mukura  Forest, the District Forestry Officer, on his cell phone.  We were driving up a rough rural road through
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Forest of Hope: A Visit to Gishwati Forest

September 2014. Sipping a draft Mützig in the patio restaurant at the hotel in Gisenyi, lightning flashing out over Lake Kivu.  Storms still around, after the fierce downpour this afternoon driving from Musanze to Gisenyi, where we stopped along the
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Islands of Biodiversity in the African Sky: Golden Monkeys and Irish Potatoes

September 2014. The view from my east-facing window at the Gorillas Hotel in Musanze before dawn was promising.  Even though Mount Muhabura was enveloped in clouds, the rest of the sky was clear.  After a quick breakfast we left for
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Searching for Grauer’s Swamp-Warbler at the Top of the Nile

September 2014. Tucked among the mille collines of northern Rwanda is a huge, high-elevation marsh called Rugezi. On a map, or on Google Earth, Rugezi appears among the “thousand hills” – as “mille collines” translates from the French of the
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The Art of Ecology: Audubon’s Oystercatchers and Other Examples

November 2014. After visiting John James Audubon’s (1785-1851) first home in America, Mill Grove, not far from Philadelphia, I was looking again through his masterwork, Birds of America. When I came to the plate of the Black Oystercatcher, I realized that
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