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Web Discussion For April 7, 2006

On Wednesday, we took a hike to Boulder Mountain Parks to explore our surroundings and to expand our awareness of the natural world. We learned about wide-angle vision to tap into our peripheral vision, we identified plants along the way and learned about some of their many uses, we identified major landmarks and peaks in the area, tried to identify some scat, and we took a break from hiking to sketch something in the natural world. In your own words, what is nature awareness? In the context of this class, where we will develop outdoor skills and tackle an environmental issue in the community to help change the world, why is nature awareness important to develop?

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10 Responses to “Web Discussion For April 7, 2006”

  1. Becca

    Nature awarness is how aware you are of the animals,plants,and things living or dead, as well as the seasons around you. It is good to have nature awarness so you can truely know what is happening in nature.
    If you try and save nature and help the environment, but don’t have nature awarness, you could endanger millions of animals, plants, and other species. You may also endanger yourself. You should also be aware of what is around you before you do anything, so that you don’t hurt yourself or others.

  2. prasun

    Nature awareness is being conscious of your actions when you are outside and think ahead of what might happen if you do this or that. Meaning if you throw a piece of trash on the ground it will disturb the plants and animals, thus not being aware of nature. But if you keep that piece of trash in your pocket until you can throw it in a trashcan then you are thinking about what will happen if you just threw it on the trail.
    If we all develop nature awarness then everything will be that much better. If people just threw what ever they had in some random place then their would not be a need for a bio-hazard clean up team or landfills. We would just become all sick and die eventually because of our own waste. Im not saying that if everyone is aware of what they do our surroundings will look like a green miracle. But if you just take that one extra step to throw you trash or waste in the right places, then yes this would be a much better place to be in.

  3. gillian

    Nature awareness in CAP is a seriously necessary thing. In terms of the hikes and other excursions into the wilderness during class time, and on the overnights, it is key to be aware of your surroundings. You will need to know where your water source is, where the best places to sleep are (i.e. not in cold sinks, by critter homes, under falling trees), if there are dangerous animals around (i.e. by noticing and identifying the droppings of animals such as deer or bears), and what sort of plants are growing around you (so you don’t step in poison ivy, poison oak, or anything else that’s seriously sucky!). But it’s not just limited to the things that affect our every day lives. A person who is aware of their natural surroundings could point out human-caused damage to their environment–such as invasive plants, pollution, littering, a problem with dog poop, etc. This sort of awareness will help us with our action project!

    Someone who is unaware, uneducated, or just doesn’t care about their natural surroundings is bound to make serious yo-yo mistakes. From walking off of trails to polluting water sources and littering, these people only work to damage and encourage disrespect to the environment. That is not to say that they are bad people, just that they (and nature!) would be a lot better off (and cooler) knowing about what is going on around them in places other than the city.

    Besides, being able to impress the socks off of city slickers with your knowledge of peripheral vision, the qualities of deer scat, the location and growing patters of Wild Rose, and the many uses of Yucca is certainly a plus!

  4. brittany

    I think that nature awarness is being fully mindful of your surroundings when in a natural enviroment. Realizing that you can enjoy the plants, animals, smells, and unfamiliar things around you and not be worrying about the other stresses outside of that enviroment. Being able to relax in nature is an important skill to develop in the context of our class because it allows you to become more focused on a goal, for example the action project, as well as understand your personal motivation that will help you acheive that goal. There is one particular experiance that I can remember very vividly, and how being able to tap into my natural surroundings helped me get through the experiance. In my first CAP we did an activity at night where we went out into the forest alone with no shoes and as little clothes as possible. When we got to a spot that was well away from the campsite we closed our eyes and waited for Aslye to begin drumming. When I heard that drumming I got pretty freaked out and was thinking to myself that I would never make it back with my eyes closed. But I just sat and breathed for a minute and tryed to feel and open all my senses to the enviroment I was in and I just followed the sound of the drum all the way back to camp. It was amazing!

  5. Eric

    Nature Awareness is about opening your mind. When we leave school and our lives associated with it and enter an open space area in Boulder, we can either open our mind to nature or remain in our urban life. Opening your mind to nature is not just looking up from the trail and seeing what’s around you, or practicing wide angle visioning or plant identification. Opening the mind is putting yourself into a mindset where you are able to learn from your surroundings. You open your vision, you begin actively listening to nature (or your gossiping class mates, as it were), you feel the textures of pine needles and dry grass, you smell the landscape. When you become aware of all of these sensations, then you can begin thinking about what is happening in the nature around you.

    You can begin thinking about why the grass has been flattened out in a flowing uniform direction. You can think about the deer scat you see: Where did the deer come from? how many deer were here? were they looking for food, or water, or were they seeking shelter? What elements of a deer’s behavior is valuable to human survival? Deer, when they get spooked, often freeze and assess danger, then scamper away bouncing up and down. One advantage of this is that is grants them a view of their surroundings, while they are still on the move. While it is physiologically uneconomic to bounce up and down while humans travel, we may take a detour by a high spot so that we can reorient ourselves without stopping and breaking out a map. This can be very valuable when you’re in a hurry, and hurrying to get to shelter before night fall can often be a life or death decision.

    Nature awareness is important in our class because observation can be the best way to learn, in many cases. Also, it would be ignorance to identify an environmental issue without first noticing the effects in nature.

  6. Torie

    Nature awarness is important for many reasons. One being if you are not aware of nature and enviromental issues how can you help the enviroment? One way would be being aware of your own actions. In the context of the class, when we are tackling an enviromental issue it will be essentail to have a an awarness of nature. That way we can teach others about nature awarness and they can tell others as well. It’s a cycle.

    When we were hiking in Boulder Mountain Parks and identifying a few peaks that was really important for me to be aware of. This is because when I go rock climbing outdoors I will to pick where I want to climb. Another important part of nature awarness is paying attention to detail. I have lived in Boulder, CO. almost my whole life and I have honestly never observed the Flatirons as closely as I did on our hike. Nature awarness teaches you to respect all the small and big things in nature that we are so fortunate to have.

  7. Tristan

    Being the gossiping city slicker that I am, nature awareness is a relatively new thing to me. I have actively know and practiced it for just over a year now. I think I picked it up in winter CAP. I believe it is a combination of many things, yes, it is opening the mind, leaving no trace and not stepping in Poison Oak, I know from experience how much that sucks. I think nature awareness is something much more than that.

    Nature awareness is looking to see if you are building your quinzee with a big root going right through the middle, in this sense it is planning. It can be bringing a garbage bag for your trash, and an extra one for Drew, here it is being prepared. It can also be telling me not to go over there without snowshoes because I would get stuck (I didn’t listen.) Here it is leadership. I think that leadership is one of the most important things someone can bring to a CAP class. Of course wide angle vision is part of it as well, but my long hair denies me of an opinion on that.

    Now I plan to go gossip, make inappropriate jokes, and be a all around city slicker.

  8. rachel

    Nature awareness is not only knowing about nature around you but also being in natue a lot and appreciating it. It is when you are fully aware of what is happening in nature. Nature awareness is important becuase we all live in nature and I don’t think we take very good care of it. If people were more aware of nature than people would be less likely to do bad things to it. It also important to be more aware of nature in the sense of just knowing things about it, like being able to identify plants and trees and stuff, becuase if I ever got lost in the woods or something then it would be good to know what plants are poisenous and stuff. It is important to develope this for this class becuase then we will know what enviornmental issue we want to tackle. And we will be out in nature a lot so it will be good to be aware of nature.

  9. Noah

    I suppose if I knew what is nature awareness is, or rather if I had it, I might not be taking this class. My biggest incentive in signing up for CAP is my hope to learn something significant about my world, my environment. To learn something that will expand my mind. I know that I don’t care about my world as much as I would like. I know I contribute to it’s destruction as much as the next person. I drive a car that puts toxins into the air…so what? I take hour long showers…yeah well they feel good. It’s all these ignorant rationalizations and more I hold that scare me and make me want to change. Most of the time, I just don’t care. I know it’s that kind of mindset that is making this planet uninhabitable.

    The scary thing is, is that I probably don’t know the half of what I do that damages the environment. When William McDonough pointed out that the shoes I wore were hurtful, I was shocked. My own shoes! What else am I doing that’s bad? I suppose a part of nature awareness is discerning all I do as it hurts or helps nature. It’s my own job to put this knowledge to good use. Perhaps CAP, through our relatively tranquil hikes into the waiting beauty of our surroundings, and the research we conduct, can increase my will to be constructive in nature, or at least not destructive, and to teach me what being helpful and harmless, instead of helpless and harmful in nature really means.

  10. Hawk

    Nature awareness is when you are aware of your surroundings and the issues attached to them. It is important to be aware because unawareness can lead to stupidity.


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