Forever Wild: To Conserve or Not To Conserve?

I am working on a minor in Environmental Studies and would like to take a different approach to the project. I want to combine our studies of Art and Environmental Studies by giving a prospective of nature with animals in mind. I believe nature would not be the same if it were not for the animals. In my opinion, the wild animals are what make nature so beautiful. It seems that the animals paint a different picture every day because they are using the land to survive. Birds build nests, beavers chew trees, and rabbits dig burrows are all examples of animals surviving by painting a different picture on a day to day basis. I will show how wild animals can contribute to the aesthetic view of nature and how much their presence in nature means to us as humans. I am not trying to say that animals control the aesthetic view of nature because there are many other factors that contribute; like rushing rivers, avalanches, geysers and many other natural occurrences. I only chose animals because humans have more compassion and love for them. In other words, my project will hopefully strengthen people’s respect and feelings for wild animals.

I plan to answer several questions during the course of my research. First, how do wild animals contribute to the aesthetic view of nature locally? Second, why is a wild animal’s contribution to nature important to humans? Third, what can we do to preserve the natural state of an environment?  I am sure there will be many more questions that will arise during the course of my project, but I believe these four can be the vocal point of my research. I believe the answers to the other question will come about in my answering of the three main questions.

I will be using a few different techniques to answer my questions, including: photography, video, and power point presentation. The photography portion will be used to answer my first question. I will be taking photos of wild animals and their inhabitants to show how they contribute to the aesthetic view of nature. For instance, I will be photo’ing several different animals with respect to their home environment. Birds’ nest, squirrels’ nest, beaver dams, whitetail deer, wild hogs are  just a few examples of what I might come across in nature. My power point presentation and video will be used to demonstrate my second question  by research through the Internet and the reading of text materials. I will use the Internet to find articles that may support, or even decline, my findings. There are several articles about protecting and preserving an environment in its natural state that I will be using to educate people on this topic. Lastly, my third question will be answered through photography.

I will begin taking photos the week of October 28 at Tannehill State Park and Oak Mountain State Park to gain a perspective of the local aesthetic view. These two state parks are the closest thing Alabama has to a national park. I will wonder aimlessly throughout the parks to try and find some natural wild animal inhabitants and document anyone I come across. My Internet research will begin the week of October 21 to give myself ample time to find the right articles I will need to support or decline my thoughts.

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One thought on “Forever Wild: To Conserve or Not To Conserve?

  1. This is a really interesting idea! When I was in grad school I worked in the art library and I would often look at a copy of a book on animal architecture (when I was supposed to be doing things like shelving and shelf reading!). I’m trying to find that book to suggest to you. It might be “Animal Architecture” by Karl von Frisch, but while searching I came across another book, “Animal Architects: Building and the Evolution of Intelligence” by James Gould that looks really interesting, too. You could get them through Inter Library Loan. Also, I strongly recommend you look an artist, Andy Goldsworthy, I think you might find his working interesting. Here’s a little video that someone put together about him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC-4bedyT_k&feature=related The video snippet is from a documentary called “Rivers and Tides.” He uses only materials he finds in nature and no tools other than a pocket knife occasionally.

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