Climate Leadership Parade

Climate March in Oakland Feb 2015

How do we effect change? We march. We put ourselves out on the streets with tens, hundreds, thousands of other people.

In this case, I marched on February 7th in Oakland, CA for Climate Leadership with over twenty of my San Jose State University students. Before we hit the streets, we held a circle in front of the Unitarian Church of Oakland. Where we remembered why we march: because we’re standing on the side of love.


Reports from students who attended:

“Saturday’s Climate Change Rally in Oakland was a blast!  The clouds parted and the rain held off for literally the exact amount of time for the rally to complete.  I met some fellow students from another class: Jerry, Yessica, and Elizabeth (plus the 3 month old pup Rocky that chases cars), and we got to experience the unified presence of those that made their presence known in the fight for environmental protection.  

The rally began in the central park area, with gatherers flaunting their signs and decorative wear.  The majority of the protection aspects were focused on anti-fracking, the extinguishing of dependency of fossil fuels, and the fact that the Earth is our gift rather then our unilateral resource.  The four of us ventured through the parade-like rally, filled with banners, message-ridden parachutes, bull-horn advocators, and a little general weirdness.  

The experience was great, the weather was perfect, and we were given an approving sprinkle of rain at the very end; a thank you from Mother Nature for taking the time to appreciate her and state that we are here to protect her. “

Climate Change March“This was the first March that I have ever attended and walked in. I was actually surprised about how the March went. Everyone seemed passionate and loud, but it was not angry. There was a call for action, but no hostility. Overall the mood was joyful and optimistic. When ever I thought of a march in the past or witnessed the ones at San Jose State, there seems to be a sense of anger and tension associated and this was not the case. I was very glad to see that. I also loved how the people had giant bamboo poles with signs attached that were handed out and waived like giant flags. It brought people together and felt like a family event. I would not have ever thought I would have participated in an ecological march, but this experience changed my mind and it might be something I do again in the future, not just for the extra credit points but to join people in fighting for what is right.

Also I did not know what Fracking was when I came to the March. I looked it up at the March and it is now something that I am aware of. “

photo 3In the past I have marched on campus for racial inequality and sexual assault awareness, this would be my first city-wide scaled march and my first demonstration for a call to action on environmental issues.As an Environmental Studies major, minoring in Energy Policy, I was compelled to join to march in order demonstrate my stance on the issue as anti-fracking. The march itself, I must say, was an extraordinary and humbling experience to join a demonstration of that size with people who are fighting for the same thing as I am. To further augment the experience, I was honored to carry a large banner with ‘End Fossil Fuels’ on it with new friends, yelling as loud as I can with the other marchers. It felt great being a part o fsomething that is much larger than I am and for that reason, this march will not be my last.

New Year’s 2015 – Another essay goes live!

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about beginning research in the world’s largest Muslim nation, in a lively essay, “Indonesian Dungeons and Dragons,” appearing in Nowhere magazine’s blog.

Indonesian D&D P1

“FOR NEW SCIENTISTS, ENTERING THE INDONESIAN PERMITTING PROCESS RESEMBLES venturing into an omnivore’s lair: narrow openings, uncertainty, dank corners. I’ve known colleagues who have nearly abandoned their field research and forfeited grants, overwhelmed by the mire of archival complexity, bureaucratic pit-falls, and the occasional snarling official out for blood.”

FALL 2014 – SJSU Student Projects with Tribes

This semester’s Nature and World Cultures students outdid themselves with substantive, professional work: projects focusing on the challenges of retaining and revitalizing biocultural diversity (ancestral lands and waters, culturally significant biota, indigenous languages), in collaboration with Northern Californian tribes.


Ohlone microdocCalifornia Native Americans: Ohlone Costanoan Esselen NationYouTube video by Mary Yang, Jordan Zuchowski, and Catherine Utman

Also see: two new Winnemen Wintu Microdocumentaries on YouTube: short and long. Plus, an ultra-cool Prezi on the Hoopa Tribe and the Salmon.


HowWeGotOurHandsHow We Got Our Hands: A Wukchumni Story of Origin, told by Marie Wilcox. YouTube video by Nick Bellin, Jeff Hartung, Patrick Bacungan, Itzel Coronel, and Sami Boutros.

Whale and the SalmonThe Whale in the Creek: A Kashaya Pomo Story, told by Herman James. YouTube video by Dennis Yu, Janie Dusenberry, Lauren Malady, Patricia Andrews and Edgar Garibay.

Coyote & Two GirlsCoyote and the Two Girls: A Kashaya Pomo Story, told by Herman James. One Video by Ekaterine Franco, Amanda Morgan, Amelin Norzamini, Cori Majewski, and Jaskaran Dhami.

Also see: How the Ocean was Created (Kashaya Pomo, Herman James) on YouTube.

FALL 2014 – All Our Relations

Our Fragile EnvironmentMy essay entitled “All Our Relations” is one of two non-fiction essays in the Bellevue Literary Review issue devoted to Our Fragile Environment.

“In university I was taught to scientifically classify organisms within the Tree of Life, dividing them into Kingdom, Phyla, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. A series of evolutionary events leading to us, the top-of-the-food-chain humans. In many ways this is helpful. In other ways it is not. Categorically separating ourselves from life-giving biota is potentially a suicidal act. We have another choice. When my Native California friends speak of Salmon Nations, they are not only referring to their tribal identity and their dependence on salmon. They are also speaking of the salmon people who return to spawn in sacred waterways: the Chinook, coho, chum, pink, sockeye. The Gwich’in believe they share a heart with the Caribou Nation, and treat the caribou, and their ancestral habitats, accordingly….”

The issue contains pithy prose, fascinating poetry, and a number of stories one wouldn’t ordinarily find in a journal published by a medical school (!!). You can order your copy here.