This has become a huge conflict for me, because I live on a different continent than the rest of my family. Because of that I know it’s unlikely I will ever stop air travel completely, but I’m trying to avoid it in every other way.
It’s frustrating that there is still a heavy academic cultural expectation to attend meetings and conferences in person, and that one is usually completely excluded otherwise. There must be better ways to form and keep active knowledge-sharing communities that don’t rely on air travel and a slew of other wasteful practices (disposable catering, name tags, merchandise, hotel catering/cleaning, expensive registration, etc.).
If anyone is interested in talking about possible ways forward, I’d love to be a part of those conversations.
In addition to environmental concerns, I love flying less because it takes away so much stress, expense, and pressure. I really enjoy opting out of the rat-race in the small ways that I am able! I value the local and notice the world around me so much more. And, when travel is really essential, I love road trips. They’re such a great way to enforce slowing down, building relationships, and finding the time to notice things.
I am a research-based storyteller and artist whose practice bridges the arts, sciences, and social sciences to tell stories about environmental and industrial change over time. Incorporating multiple storytelling forms, recent work has comprised creative non-fiction and prose, live performance, audio, and film story.
My current project, ‘Borrowing Limulus: a horseshoe crab story,’ is a book-length auto-ethnography that focuses on the complex medical, environmental, and cultural histories of the horseshoe crab. I hold a special committee PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts and Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and have been artist-in-residence at locations nationally and internationally, culminating in interactive installations, performances, screenings, workshops, and publications across five continents.